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Yes, this is all about Smoke & Barrels – not Smoke & Barrel, which is a sit-down restaurant opening next month on Wyndham Street. Both focus on down-home, American-style barbecue, but Smoke & Barrel is mainly a takeaway spot (with about 10 seats for dining in) alongside a retail space for grabbing their packaged smoked meats to go. It’s a passion project by the team behind Cupping Room and Doubleshot.
If you want authentic, Southern-style comfort food to eat at home or al desko, Smoke &Barrels is where it’s at, in the form of drool-worthy sandwiches and smoked meat platters (these would be perfect for picnics and parties too).
The smoked salmon and cream cheese croissant ($78) has not left our minds since we took our first bite. Absolutely loaded with truly smoky Norwegian salmon – smoked in-house – and a slathering of cream cheese, this croissant (also made in-house, a theme here) makes for a flaky, buttery and an all-round excellent croissanwich.
The signature hot brisket bun ($118) has already taken over the ’gram with its glistening brioche bun and thick, fatty smoked brisket filling. With only yellow mustard to dress it up, this sarnie is deceptively simple, but be warned: this juicy little bun is very rich and indulgent – definitely best shared with a friend.
Those looking to omit the carbs and get straight down to meaty business will love the espresso BBQ Duroc pork baby-back ribs ($138/½ rack; $268/full rack). These succulent ribs literally fell off the bone, and we couldn’t get enough of the slightly sweet, slightly spicy, slightly tangy house-made BBQ sauce (all Smoke & Barrels’ sauces are made in-house).
The mac ‘n’ cheese ($38) needs some tweaking, so we’ll focus on the side star, the choy sum “collard greens” with bacon, ($38). A riff on the Southern way of cooking collard greens with smoked ham hock and bacon, the salty, smoky bacon here is a perfect foil for the earthy choy sum spears, cooked à point.
The French Market–style doughnuts ($38/3) – otherwise known as beignets – arecooked fresh to order. These little balls are dense and doughy, made from deep-fried choux pastry, and come blanketed with heaps of icing sugar.
Other sweet options at Smoke & Barrels include an array of beautifully presented homemade pastries and cookies, plus Basque cheesecake and loaf cakes by their sister brand, newly opened La Viña.
The beverages are inspired by N’awlins – from the smooth and subtly sweet New Orleans–style iced coffee ($34) made with chicory root to the seasonal house slushies ($78). The slushies contain alcohol and are deceptively potent.
We loved Smoke & Barrels so much during our media tasting that we went back a few days later on our own dime to try a few more sarnies (the chicken, avocado and Gouda is another winner and a good option for those wanting something a bit lighter). We’ve been missing out on a good BBQ joint in Hong Kong, and Smoke & Barrels has nicely filled the gap with authentic yet creative smokehouse faves at reasonable prices. We particularly appreciate that each element is made in-house, and we’ll show this appreciation with frequent lunchtime visits.
Shop 3, LG/F, My Central, 23 Graham Street, Central, 9612 0988
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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