A couple of weeks ago a 2 hour queue up the stairs and out the door put me off venturing into this new Soho pit. If it wasn’t for social media you’d never know this restaurant existed. There’s a non-descript door, nothing else to tell you this is a restaurant. But social media does exist, and so if you don’t want to queue you have to turn up at an unsociable hour to guarantee a table.
Everything in the restaurant is bang on trend- paired back brick walls, uncomfortable wooden school chairs, a minimalist food menu, a choice of ‘craft’ beers that you’ve never heard of unless you’re a bearded tosser who grows your own hops…you know the type of place. Blacklock offers chops. Nothing else. At least you don’t have to waste time reading the menu. Chops it was then. The All In option at £20 a head gives you beef, pork and lamb, along with a ‘starter’ if it can really be called that. 6 uninspiring little crackers come on a plate- egg and anchovy, cheese and pickle and ‘filthy’ ham. They are what I would imagine an amuse-bouche from Iceland would taste and look like. They might as well do away with them.
Next up is the plate of chops with a couple strips of bread underneath soaking up all those meaty juices, which turned out to be the best bit. What more can be said other than they were simply done, tasty chops. Plenty of fat, plenty of flavour. A bit too heavy on the salt, but then at £5 a cocktail who cares if it forces you to drink more. The sides of kale with parmesan and burnt baby gems were tiny, were not half as good as they sounded. Too small and a bit bland. We threw a 10 hour ash roasted sweet potato- which is basically burnt sweet potato with its flavour cooked out of it- what’s wrong with thirty minutes in the fucking oven? The small pot of chilli hollandaise was bloody tasty but only enough to lather one chop.
For dessert it was white chocolate cheesecake with rhubarb. No complaints here. Just like in Chicken Shop with the world’s best apple pie, they slap it in your bowls from a huge dish. Means you get a nice big helping. This was probably the high point of the meal.
Overall it felt like a bit of a let down. All the hype and queues had made me expect great things. I’d hoped for a big hearty meaty meal. Instead it was some Riveta crackers and some decent chops. Maybe the hype has already died down a bit, as although it was full, there was no queue when we left at 7.30. It just feels like it is trying far too hard to be individual. They can keep the chops, but a little more attention elsewhere on the menu wouldn’t go amiss. The bill came to £75 for the two of us, with a couple of cocktails and a couple of too hoppy pale ales- not exactly expensive for the area, but it didn’t make me want to rush back.
24 Great Windmill Street, London W1D 7LG