The Original Smokehouse: Westfield
Our First Visit
We were up in London for an activity based in the Westfield Shopping Centre, and planned in advance to have some BBQ for lunch. We wanted somewhere close and decided to try The Original Smokehouse. The menu looked varied, in a location close to where we needed to be.
We arrived just as they opened (actually slightly before). The decor is fine, with an open warehouse type look and quite a large bar close to the entrance.
The Original Smokehouse lacked any kind of atmosphere. This was not only when it was empty but also as it was filling up with lunchtime diners. Maybe it is better of an evening with a slightly different crowd, rather than a clientele that was primarily families. The overall feel was not very warm or welcoming and overall it didn’t make any type of impression on me.
Onto the Food and Drink
Whilst we decided what to eat we ordered a couple of drinks. I ordered a draft Goose Island IPA, which was really enjoyable. They have a pretty good variety of drinks including milkshakes for the kids.
For starters, we went for the Crispy Salt n’ Pepper Squid and Burnt End Bites (brisket). The squid was nice with added crispy vegetables which were a nice surprise. These tasted great with tender squid and a crispy coating.
The Burnt End Bites were pretty non-descript. It was a good sized portion but they didn’t taste that smokey and the coating on them was not anything memorable. Pretty disappointing really!
For main we had a sharing platter called ‘The Sampler’. This consisted of 2 beef ribs, pulled pork, smoked BBQ wings, smoked chorizo with slaw, beans, pickles and bread.
The chorizo and BBQ wings were okay. As for the rest of the plate, it was truly disappointing. The beans were cold and just tasted like baked beans (which I didn’t expect) and yes, we did ask for them to be warmed up. The beef rib had very little meat on and again didn’t have the smokiness I would expect. It also had the membrane left on which wasn’t particularly pleasant. The pulled pork was sloppy and went cold really quickly, with the sides on the plate again being very non-descript.
The service was not particularly great either. Once we had finished picking at the plate it took them an age to take the plates and food away. Again no excuse as there weren’t massively busy.
I really don’t like being negative about anything to do with BBQ. I think it is a great way to cook and I really want to share with others how good BBQ can be. However, in this case, The Original Smokehouse really lets down BBQ. The food is so sub-standard in terms of where it could and should be.
It is interesting as they seem to have reasonable reviews on Google and Tripadvisor. We either caught them on a bad day or maybe some of the reviewers have not experienced how good BBQ truly can be.
The food is more like I would expect from a chain restaurant. From what I can see they are not a chain but everything about this place feels like a chain restuarant.
Personally, I won’t be back!!!