May 20 2015

Blacklock

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Blacklock is a meat/chops restaurant in a Soho basement, where an old Soho brothel used to be. The restaurant was founded by 3 Hawksmoor steakhouse group veterans and so they know the importance of good meat and good cooking. The chops come from The Warren Family in Cornwall and are cooked pink. The restaurant is named after the Blacklock foundry in America’s deep south, antique irons from which they use to press the meat on to the grill.

Blacklock has become very popular since it opened a few months ago, and expect queues when you come here after a certain time. We came here around 6pm and then the restaurant was not full, but it became very full at around 7pm. It was located in a basement and I could not find it at first, I kept walking past the entrance a few times and just could not see where the entrance was, it is not very obvious, you need to know the number of the street to find it.

It is also one of those very annoying places that does not give you a table until the whole dining party is there. I came here at 6pm without the rest of my dinner buddies and even though the restaurant was completely empty, I had to argue with them a lot to get a table to sit down, as opposed to waiting at the bar on one side of the room. The restaurant is in a basement, but that does not really matter, and hopefully that keeps costs low, so they can buy better chops. The décor is casual, trendy, modern with wooden stools and a kitchen on one side of the room you can somewhat see.

The menu is small and features 3 “Pre Chop Bites” more like little snacks as opposes to starters and a variety of chops and meat and sides. The 3 “Pre Chop Bites” were “Cheese and Pickle”, “Dripping Ham” and “Egg and Anchovy” and we ordered all of them. Two of us thought the Cheese and Pickle bite was the best and 1 person preferred the Dripping Ham. I did not like the egg and anchovy as it felt like eating cold scrambled eggs with a bit of anchovy, but the Cheese and Pickle bite was delicious with lovely pickled vegetables balancing out the cheese very well. The cracker (bottom part of the bite) was lovely, crunchy and went well with the toppings.

You can either order skinny chops, Beef Lamb or Pork, each for £4 or order something called “All In”, which includes “all of today’s skinny chops” to share, piled on charcoal grilled flat bread and a choice of side each for £20 per person (minimum 2 people). We ordered this “All In” dish for 2, despite there being 4 of us, as well as some of their specials which were not found on the menu, but which were painted on to the pillars. We ordered veal and a streak from the side boards.

The chops were great, it was nice to eat a mix of them, they really woke up your carnivorous spirit. There was also no salt or pepper on the table, but that was fine as the chops were well seasoned. The flatbread at the bottom of the chops was incredible, infused with the juices from the meat, superb! The star of the meal, however, was the steak, served pink, it was incredible, cooked on the bone and 700g, so a huge chunk. All the men on the table thought it was the best dish and compared to this steak the chops sort of did not stand out. I also very much liked the veal, once again cooked beautifully pink, it was as tender and lovely as a veal should be.

We also ordered the 2 sauces they offered (for £1 the cheapest sauces I have seen in a while) – green sauce and chilli hollandaise. The sides were £3, a completely steal considering they were a good size, and we ordered “10 hour ash roasted sweet potato”, “Barbequed baby gems”, “Heritage carrots and rainbow radish” and green salad with parmesan cheese. I actually thought the sides were very good. Quite often in good restaurants they don’t really focus on the sides and give you something average for 2x the price that Blacklock charge, but these sides were great. The 10 hour ash roasted sweet potato came still burning, it had just finished cooking and had red sparks and was super soft. I loved the Heritage carrots and rainbow radish, like a healthier version of coleslaw. The barbequed baby gems had that extra flavor from being cooked and the green salad with parmesan cheese despite being a simple salad, was very well executed.

There was only 1 dessert on the menu – vanilla cheesecake, which was served from a big dish. The waiter came to us and scooped out some of the vanilla cheesecake from a big baking tin into our plates. We shared 2 portions, but it was sooo creamy and soooo good, we should have had a lot more, and when you have a dessert like this on the menu, you don’t need other dishes.

Overall our meal was excellent, apart from 2 things. The prices in general are very reasonable, as I mentioned before (they even have “cocktails for a fiver”), but I was very surprised when the bill came as it was more than what I was expecting. I went through it and found out the reason why it was so much was because that amazing steak we so loved cost £70. I had totally missed the part where it said £7 for 100g and they served us a 700g big steak, hence the £70. It was an amazing steak, and partly so because we thought it was more similar in terms of its price to the chops, for £70, it was a steak you can find in other great steak restaurants like Goodman and Hawksmoor. The other slightly annoying thing was that we were sitting next to a speaker and the music was so loud I could hardly hear the conversation of my dinner buddies even though the table was quite small and I was quite close to them. Overall though I had a great time at Blacklock, and when my carnivorous side strikes again, I will be back.

Date: 20/ 05/ 15
Location: Soho
Price for 4 people with food and drinks: around £193.50

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Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Blacklock
24 Great Windmill Street W1D 7LQ
United Kingdom
GB
Blacklock Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4