The food at Hotbox is probably best summed up by Timeout London – “meaty barbecue masterpieces”. I couldn’t agree more. The restaurant is run by husband and wife team Basit and Preeya Khagram-Nasim, who have invited us in to give their updated menu a whirl.
The dining room is a simple space. There are long shared tables with benches meaning getting cosy with your fellow diners, whether you want to or not, is inevitable. There’s a fun and lively atmosphere though.
We start with tacos. Beef short rib is topped with pickled scotch bonnet (Â£7 for two) which provides a tickly heat but nothing too overbearing. The meat is soft and fatty. Mutton Barbecoa (Â£7 for two) is also fat heavy but the feta cuts through the richness. Well made tacos too.
Buffalo wings (Â£6), drenched in both hot sauce and blue cheese, is a reminder how good a simple classic can be. The light coating on the wings retains its crunch to the last bite.
A tomahawk pork chop (Â£12) is as perfectly cooked as you could hope. There’s a charred exterior which brings some bitterness to the otherwise sweet, blushing pink pork. Naturally, the crispy fat is my favourite part.
The citrus and sumac rub on the smoked chicken (Â£11) gives the skin an unusual flavour; one we find totally moreish. The chunks of chick are moist and drenched in a fiery Arbol chilli sauce which brings a tear to my eye.
USDA beef short rib (Â£17) really is that term I loath ‘melt in the mouth’. The Hotbox kitchen has a one tonne rotisserie smoker which uses a combination of kiln dried hickory and oak, where they cook the meat for hours. The result is something quite special.
Smoked mac & cheese (Â£5) is decent but doesn’t quite reach the same dizzying heights as the meat. It’s not quite wet and cheesy enough for me.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth order the deep fried Oreos (Â£5). They are coated in a donut-esque batter which gives way to gooey, molten Oreos. If that’s not good enough, there’s a whopping jug of hot chocolate sauce. Oh, and a scoop of Cornflake ice cream.
Hotbox is a fun place to devour some seriously impressive meat. Service is sweet and friendly too;Â even though the place is rammed they seem in control throughout. It may have been there for years but this is a restaurant certainly worth revisiting.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guest of the restaurant