Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cambridge Smokeworks - review

I'd seen lots of announcements that the Smokeworks was going to open and was delighted that it happened to be while I was briefly back in Cambridge, so on opening night D and I went along to give it a try.

From the outside the Smokeworks looks modern and inviting.  Once inside we were shown downstairs which had a cool industrial feel to it.  With good use of mirrors to make the area feel more spacious and a couple of cute alcoves with seating, the downstairs area was a lovely place to sit and eat.

The exterior of the Smokeworks

The interior of the Smokeworks

And if you don't have time to eat in (although with the speed of the service this really isn't an issue) then almost all of the food is available to take away.

We were quickly seated and presented with a small, yet appetising menu.  With just 12 dishes on the menu to choose from and the promise that anything we ordered would be delivered to the table at the same time it actually took us longer to decide on drinks than food.  Smokeworks has a great range of beer and bourbons to choose from, with milkshakes for those with a sweeter tooth.


D decided to try a 'piston head kustom lager' (a Swedish beer) along with a shot of whiskey, although not being a fan myself I can't remember which one!  I did however try and thoroughly enjoy the beer and would definitely recommend it.

They certainly delivered on their promise of slow cooked food, delivered quickly to your table.  My bbq pork spare ribs and D's smoked pulled pork bun were delivered to our table in under 10 minutes along with the sides of beef dripping mash and herb seasoned fries.  It was all delicious! The smokiness came through nicely, but wasn't overpowering and the meat itself was lovely and juicy.  You also don't have to wait for someone to come round, if you need anything you can simply twist one of the big red switches on the wall to get their attention.  I thought this was a great idea, especially as their seating was divided between the two floors.

bbq pork spare ribs with herb seasoned fries
I also decided to try out their interesting range of condiments. While the BBQ sauce was delicious and the chipotle sauce was good for a bit of spice my favourite by far was the sweet, hot mustard, a great combination which left me wanting more!

The condiments
I should probably add that there is a very tasty sounding vegetarian option on the menu, a halloumi, mushroom, lettuce and tomato bun (as well as the sides of slaw, fries and pickles).

My only criticism was the lack of a side salad option as I felt it would be nice to have something a little greener on the menu.  Otherwise the Smokeworks delivered both on the quality of the food, the speed of the service and the price.  With main dishes ranging from £5 to £14 and the option of a £20 platter at the top end and sides from £2 to £4.50 the meal really was good value for money.  I would highly recommend visiting the Smokeworks as soon as you get the chance!

If you want to find out more about them you can go to their website or follow them on twitter.  You can't book so just pop along to 2 Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3QA if you want to give them a try, they're open from 11:45 - 22:30 from Sunday through to Thursday and 11:45 - 23:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.