Hotbox gained quite a following serving their smoked meat and BBQ food at Street Feast’s Dalston Yard and Hawker House; so much so they’ve since opened their own shop in Spitalfields. We popped down for a late night bite to eat and the place was positively heaving.
It’s a dark and rather sexy affair; loud music and plenty of noisy chatter from diners at the shared benches. The staff are equally as lively and super friendly which is always nice.
We decided to share the Hotbox Smoked Selection (£21), which was a little disappointing. The smoked chicken thigh was dry and the skin had the most peculiar texture; genuinely like that of cardboard. The pulled pork and pork rib also suffered from a lack of moisture, which seemed such a shame as the flavour of both was cracking. Slices of hot link sausage were gorgeous but the beef short rib was chewy. The whole thing could have been a lot warmer too.
Talking of temperature, we sent back the smoked mac n cheese (£6) as it had a stone cold centre, only for it to be replaced within seconds with another equally cold one, which was weird as the dish it was served in was boiling hot. The sweet potato fries (£4) were at least fresh from the frier and were most pleasant indeed dunked in the fiery chipotle mayo.
Even the deep fried Oreos (£6) (do take a look at my Vine here, if you’re in to that sort of thing) weren’t that warm, but the flavour was absolutely divine. Deep fried cookies will always go down well with me let’s be honest!
I couldn’t fault the service at Hotbox in the slightest; the staff were so friendly and charming but I just found it hard to really rate the food. I love BBQ food, but when it’s not great it just leaves you feeling a little deflated and in need of a Rennie.