Sheffield – Smoke

For our second evening in Sheffield, we went to one of the better reviewed restaurants in the city, Smoke, which specialises in BBQ food. The signs for this chain are perhaps slightly ominous, as they’ve closed two of their three outlets and this is the only one remaining. However, it appeared busy when we entered and there was a relaxed vibe and atmosphere.

Although we had changed the booking size to five, the restaurant still thought we were six and they seated us a high table. We were fortunate that it was five of us, as the table didn’t really hold six comfortably and it seemed a bizarre placement from the manager as it would have verged on being uncomfortable. However, for five, all was well.

The service was attentive and polite throughout, with the staff member being knowledgeable and keen to help. It all contributed to the relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant and other groups seemed to be enjoying their experience.

There’s a nice touch of free glasses of popcorn.

The biggest problem, for me anyway, about the restaurant is that their beer choice seems poorly collated in my view. Byron do this as well, a selection that seems to be disjointed, with a few mediocre options and no dark beers at all. It’s like having a wine menu with two poor white wines, four good white wines, one rose and no red wine. So, I had water. What was marginally more irritating is that they had a decent beer on their on-line menu (which transpired to be from a previous year), but that didn’t appear on the menu in the restaurant.

The chicken was excellent, the exterior was crisp and flavoursome whilst the meat itself came off the bone. The chips were twice cooked and weren’t greasy, whilst the onion strings had a crunch to them but they still maintained the texture of the onion. There was a BBQ sauce available on the table which had been prepared for the restaurant and this was rich and added to the proceedings. The portion size was perfectly reasonable for the £13 that was being charged and the food was well presented.

Overall, the food was well above average and represented decent value for money, so we felt that we had chosen correctly. The downside was the beer as I can think of few US restaurants that would offer such limited options and it’s also lazy to have a different menu on-line to what is in the restaurant. But, the service was friendly, the wait time was minimal, the environment was on-trend and the food exceeded my expectations, so I’ll forgive them the beer.