Header image: smoked BBQ brisket

The story: This artisan smokehouse and butcher (which boasts the biggest rotisserie smoker in Asia) began its life as a production kitchen, selling their Texas-style smoked meat and seafood products to restaurants and hotels around town. Now they’ve opened their tasting room to the public, with an à la carte lunch menu served on Saturdays (1–4pm), as well as the option of booking out the place for a private event. They’ve also just launched a new retail website, so even if you’re not a professional chef, you can get the likes of CRFT PIT’s hot smoked salmon spread, pastrami and pulled pork delivered to your door.

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The space: Like most of the kitchen spaces in Ap Lei Chau, CRFT PIT is big, open and industrial. It’s also cool, casual and inviting. We loved the metal-topped communal table, the oversized spice jars lining the wall, the fridge where customers are free to choose their bevvy of choice and the homey campfire-esque water pitchers and Mason jar glasses (yeah, they’re everywhere nowadays, but they’re still cute). The outdoor terrace is a huge (literally) bonus, even in this steamiest of HK weather – for brunch, we’re told that a canopy is put up, with fans aplenty, so you won’t melt. The wine/beer troughs built into the centre of each terrace table are a nice touch too.

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Smoked dino ribs

The grub: Down to the crunchy pickles that crowned our cold smoked chicken sarnies, we were impressed with just about everything that Chef Leo Kam turned out. We started off with a sensational smoked seafood platter – now’s a good time to note that all the seafood is sustainable and the meat hormone and antibiotic free. The chunky hot smoked salmon spread was the standout, its subtle smoky taste enhanced by the addition of sour cream and plenty of chopped dill. Next up came a trio of sliders: the aforementioned smoked chicken, hand-pulled pork slathered in hickory-wood-smoked barbecue sauce and Montreal-style pastrami. Served Reuben style on buttery grilled bread with that oh-so-important ratio of sauerkraut and melted cheese, the pastrami in particular knocked our socks off with its tender texture and punchy spice mix. Our final contender for CRFT PIT’s top smoked meat goes to the St Louis-style pork spareribs. These hefty bad boys were coated in a peppery dry rub that had us licking our fingers (don’t even try to be dainty and use a fork and knife; you need to get down and dirty for barbecue this good).

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Montreal-style pastrami

The verdict: Even for non-wholesale customers, CRFT PIT has a lot going for it. There’s the opportunity to order their high-quality products online for your next dinner party (did you really spend hours hand-pulling all that pork? Sure we did) or – taking the work out of it altogether – making a booking for a Saturday afternoon BBQ feast to rival the best Texas pits out there.

Unit 2, 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2476 2800, info@crft-pit.com

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