Based on Great Windmill Street in Soho (just a few doors down from Soho Radio), Blacklock is a new restaurant specialising in ‘skinny chops’. It’s the creation of a rather handsome chap called Gordon Ker who used to work at Hawksmoor so he knows a bit about meat.
We visited during the soft launch and things weren’t altogether finished (the front door still hadn’t arrived) but it still looked like a pretty little spot. The basement dining room, which is housed in a former knocking shop, felt lively and raucous; the sort you’d gladly spend the whole evening in.
The menu was short and simple. We went for the ‘all in’ at Â£20 per person, which got us a monumental amount of food. To start, some little crispy nibble things were more of a bar snack to get you ready for the main event, but they were tasty never the less. Cheese and pickle, ‘filthy ham’ and egg and anchovy were strong flavour combinations.
Then it arrived. A giant plate full of chops. It was a thing of pure, meat beauty – I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The beef, pork and lamb chops (I honestly couldn’t tell you my favourite) had been cooked on a bespoke charcoal grill giving them a real smokiness. To ensure the fat was super crispy yet the meat still pink, they use vintage irons to get a real crust going. You really have to try them.
If that wasn’t enough, they were all sitting atop some charcoal grilled flatbread which had become soaked in all the meat juices. What’s better than meaty bread I ask you?
Sides stood up to the incredibleness of the chops. Sweet potato that had been left to sizzle on the grill overnight had a charred smokiness that made it positively delicious. Barbecued baby gems offered some light relief as did the kale and parmesan salad. A heritage carrot and meat radish salad, which was a crunchy little number, was most unusual but well worth trying.
Dessert was served Chicken Shop style – a giant dish of white chocolate cheesecake was brought to the table and we could choose how big a dollop we wanted. And what a dollop it was. It was light as anything yet totally satisfying in that ‘I’m going to explode’ kind of way. A side dish of blueberries and strawberries (I think they were tinned?) was a comforting accompaniment.
My dinner at Blacklock was easily the best I’ve had this year – and I think I might be hard pushed to find one better. It’s got everything I like about a restaurant; lovely and friendly staff serving simple but perfectly executed food in fun surroundings. They even serve wine on tap. I can’t wait to get my chops around more of those chops.
I dined as a guest of the restaurant