With the ever-changing stream of London restaurants and experimental taste infusions, the endless choices become exhaustively overwhelming. However, when we came across the deliciousness in simplicity at Blacklock in Soho; a new top dining destination was discovered.
It is simple. Walk down the wrought iron staircase into a wooden floored basement dining room, which back in the day was a different kind of 'meat market' (i.e. a gentleman's brothel); then set yourself up at one of the high tables by the bar and take it all in. The buzz and excitement that surrounds you is addictive. Everyone seems to be smiling - which we attributed to the fact that although you can't book - you can wait for a table while you share delight in the most delicious Old Fashioned I've tasted - and for only £5. It's almost unheard of these days. Glasses of Prosecco, Old Fashioneds and Grandma's Spiked Lemonade for only £5 each.
When you are seated at a table and presented the menu by the friendliest staff - you realise your choice of courses is easy. Blacklock is all about chops. And only chops. Everything is cooked over the charcoal and flattened with a vintage flatiron so the taste of the meat is pure and the smokiness of the coals brings back memories of your summer barbecue.
Go for the pre-chop bites. Three delicate servings of light crackers topped with different ingredients. They include pickled vegetables and cheese, sliced Parma ham over a fluffy mousse and anchovies lightened with a not-too-eggy egg. The result? An increase in thirst and craving for the meat.
While some of you are less carnivorous and prefer only one choice of chop; whether it be the lamb, pork or beef in skinny and large variations, I would personally recommend the 'all in' option.
For £20 per person, the 'all in' involves all of the chop specials on offer alongside your choice of side. What can I say except - a barbecue stack of heaven will arrive.
You are presented with perfectly char-grilled chops set upon a flatbread for the moreish temptation. Smother over a little of their béarnaise sauce and add in a side selection of the 10 hour ash roasted sweet potato, kale and parmesan, and char-grilled chicory and Stilton.
The buzz of the surroundings will soften and the only sound will be the chorus of your taste buds cherishing the barbecue feast before you, that you swore could only be the product of your own teachings and doing.
When the meat devouring subsides; energy lifts and conversation reignites; top up those Old Fashioneds and let yourselves sweeten up for the finale.
Blacklock takes pride in their home cooking affair as they offer their one and only option of a white chocolate ricotta cheesecake. Opting in for this - the waitron approaches the table with the cake tin that the cheesecake was set in and cuts out a perfect block before you (take note: always ask for the corner slice!)
The ricotta texture and sweetness of white chocolate shards coaxes you into begging for more and lapping up the biscuit base with your finger.
Perfection in simplicity.
Ar you keen for the perfect homecooked char-grilled meal in the heart of London's Soho? Do yourself a favour and gather up the craving for basement dining, affordable cocktails and a little iron intake.
The Basement, 24 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7LG; 020 3441 6996
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