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Smoque. Restaurant Review

By 11 February 2013 58

platter

Smoque (Pronounced Smoke) is a relatively new player in the restaurant game. It’s on Petrie Plaza just next to Ted’s Cameras off London Circuit.

They’ve gone to the trouble of making a sexy video which gives a feel for the place:

I had a dinner meeting for three to organise so foolishly thought booking a table a few days beforehand would be a simple affair.

No. Smoque only takes bookings for groups of six or more. Smaller groups must take their chances eating at the bar and hoping a table is available.

Turning up at 6 on Friday night I went through four different staff members, was seated at a table barely large enough to hold the hot sauce bottles, and then offered a decent size table on condition I could be out of the place by 7.30.

Or as they put it on their website:

Smoque welcomes reservations for groups of 6 or more, leaving our tables of less than 6 free for walk-ins. Once the restaurant is full, we take a waiting list and most parties choose to wait at a nearby bar until their table is available.

With orders placed over the counter there’s not a lot of guidance for the quite unusual menu.

To save confusion with ordering the three of us ordered the $79 Hi-Five Platter (pictured above) and washed it down with Budweiser.

They’re serious about wanting you to eat with your hands (yes, half a chicken, with your hands). Fortunately copious amounts of kitchen roll are available.

There are no plates either, just the platter shared. Which is novel, but I’d suggest you all decide in common where to deposit your chewed bones.

For all that it can be jarringly unfamiliar the food is seriously delicious.

It had been described to me as “Dude food” and it seriously delivered.

Three big healthy men did not come close to finishing the platter, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

They do have a big selection of salads for the weirdos, and even a smoked vegetables plate, but who would know?

While we were there it was platters all the way.

Also a word of warning. I’d had their Hot Wings at “Suicidal strength” as take away a few weeks before.

They’re not joking.

The things are delicious going down, will make you feel decidedly odd for hours afterwards, and (to put it delicately) will forcibly remind you of the meal for days to come.

So it’s something very different, it’s relatively cheap, and it’s extremely tasty.

You just have to be ready to do things differently.

For the right group it’s a good night out.


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58 Responses to Smoque. Restaurant Review
#1
JessP12:56 pm, 11 Feb 13

Love the food – its seriously wonderful – but the lack of seating is a problem. Also not the spot for a quiet chat as its pretty loud.

Pulled pork is divine as are the ribs…….

#2
JonahBologna1:06 pm, 11 Feb 13

I was excited to visit this restaurant, since I am American and I like American-style BBQ.

I was sorely disappointed. It wasn’t that the food was ill-prepared; it was the delivery.

I had a BBQ Trifecta with corn and cole slaw to share with the missus.

As the OP mentions, it is difficult to get a table and when you do it is ludicrusly small and they are all jammed in together.

More disappointing, all of the food was brought out cold. Not just slightly cooled from waiting to be delivered, but COLD.

I was also not impressed with the prices. I was shocked to find that $3.90 buys 1/2 a corn cob and $40.00 buys 3 small servings of pork.

The beauty of American soul food is that it is off-cuts of meat that are cooked for hours so that they become much more palatable. I have trouble imaginging how these inflated prices were reached.

I’m looking forward to this restaurant following in the footsteps of its predecessors in that location and closing its doors after a few months; maybe something better will come along.

#3
dpm1:18 pm, 11 Feb 13

I have to say, that photo looks pretty awful, with the messy cardboard boxes! Was it takeaway?
Also, it looks like tea cake on the left?! Hahahaha!

#4
johnboy1:19 pm, 11 Feb 13

Corn bread. If you don’t like chewing on big hunks of meat it might not be the place for you.

#5
dpm1:26 pm, 11 Feb 13

johnboy said :

Corn bread. If you don’t like chewing on big hunks of meat it might not be the place for you.

Ah. They should sell it as tea cake. The juxtaposition of slabs of meat and tea cake would be awesome!
Well, if you have to eat the stuff in those cardboard trays with your hands, i’ll probably pass. Looks a bit sloppy to me! Am I too precious?!? Did my love of tea cake give it away? :-)

#6
poetix2:06 pm, 11 Feb 13

dpm said :

johnboy said :

Corn bread. If you don’t like chewing on big hunks of meat it might not be the place for you.

Ah. They should sell it as tea cake. The juxtaposition of slabs of meat and tea cake would be awesome!
Well, if you have to eat the stuff in those cardboard trays with your hands, i’ll probably pass. Looks a bit sloppy to me! Am I too precious?!? Did my love of tea cake give it away? :-)

Sounds as if the Hyatt high tea is more your cup of tea, madeira.

This place seems a little too honest for me. The review was confronting enough!

#7
CoffinRX22:11 pm, 11 Feb 13

Have been there twice before, … the way the food is served like that picture is disappointing, and not the best value for money

#8
dpm2:14 pm, 11 Feb 13

poetix said :

dpm said :

johnboy said :

Corn bread. If you don’t like chewing on big hunks of meat it might not be the place for you.

Ah. They should sell it as tea cake. The juxtaposition of slabs of meat and tea cake would be awesome!
Well, if you have to eat the stuff in those cardboard trays with your hands, i’ll probably pass. Looks a bit sloppy to me! Am I too precious?!? Did my love of tea cake give it away? :-)

Sounds as if the Hyatt high tea is more your cup of tea, madeira.

This place seems a little too honest for me. The review was confronting enough!

Hahaha!
At least I didn’t cop the ‘..big selection of salads for the weirdos’ dig! :-)
BTW, what was the purple looking stuff. Was that some kind of coleslaw?

#9
johnboy2:19 pm, 11 Feb 13

The purple stuff was indeed slaw.

#10
chewy142:49 pm, 11 Feb 13

JonahBologna said :

The beauty of American soul food is that it is off-cuts of meat that are cooked for hours so that they become much more palatable. I have trouble imaginging how these inflated prices were reached.

I think it’s the trend. Look at all the Mexican places popping up, charging ridiculous prices for what is really peasant food.

In saying that, I really want to try this place simply because I love hot wings, ribs and pulled pork.

#11
frg19783:14 pm, 11 Feb 13

What has not been mentioned yet is just how fast the meals come out when you order. I ordered my meal (a platter) and drinks from the bar at the counter and before my drink had been made the waitress had bought the platter to me. It was a bit annoying to then have to stand at the bar for 5 minutes while my meal got cold (or possibly was already cold according to other reports) as the person taking orders did not warn me. You also have to collect your own cutlery and napkins which detracts from the whole experience when your meal has already been sitting waiting for 5 minutes.
So overall the staff could be a lot more helpful about the whole dining experience for people who are not familiar with the process.
The ribs ARE great though, and some of the salads sounded very interesting (Waldorf type salad with brisket and gorgonzola cheese for example).

#12
rosscoact3:21 pm, 11 Feb 13

JB is the meat smoked on-site?

#13
johnboy3:27 pm, 11 Feb 13

rosscoact said :

JB is the meat smoked on-site?

I’ve not inspected the kitchen, but according to their video they smoke on site.

#14
Ben_Dover3:29 pm, 11 Feb 13

dpm said :

I have to say, that photo looks pretty awful, with the messy cardboard boxes! Was it takeaway?

I thought American food was traditionally served in buckets?

#15
Russ3:45 pm, 11 Feb 13

Ben_Dover said :

I thought American food was traditionally served in buckets?

Actually, wearable feedbags:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw_1CIwwEIA

#16
Grimm3:47 pm, 11 Feb 13

JonahBologna said :

I was excited to visit this restaurant, since I am American and I like American-style BBQ.

I was sorely disappointed. It wasn’t that the food was ill-prepared; it was the delivery.

I dunno, I’ve had a fair bit of REAL southern BBQ on my numerous trips to the US. I went to Smoque with some friends and was horribly disappointed at the food. It doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing. The stuff I smoke in my yard turns out better.

And suicidal wings? hah! My 5 year old son doesn’t even class that as suicidal.

#17
johnboy3:52 pm, 11 Feb 13

Grimm said :

I dunno, I’ve had a fair bit of REAL southern BBQ on my numerous trips to the US. I went to Smoque with some friends and was horribly disappointed at the food. It doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing. The stuff I smoke in my yard turns out better.

And suicidal wings? hah! My 5 year old son doesn’t even class that as suicidal.

Yes I’m sure everything you do is more awesome than everyone else.

Now open your restaurant making it available to the rest of the public and maybe someone will care.

#18
Jivrashia3:53 pm, 11 Feb 13

The things (Suicidal strength Hot Wings) are delicious going down, will make you feel decidedly odd for hours afterwards, and (to put it delicately) will forciblypainfully remind you of the meal for days to come.

FIFY.

#19
zorro294:06 pm, 11 Feb 13

i went here not long after it opened and was really disappointed.

the decor is awful and everything seems messy and haphazard – no one seems to know what’s going on, you need to order at the bar (but only one side of the bar), and cutlery etc isn’t a standard (despite the food being messy and smelly)

the pulled pork was tender but the flavours were wrong. the buffalo wings were excessively sauced. the fries were pretty much inedible (dry and sharp)…and the biggest let down was the corn bread (tiny portion and excessively dry)

i wouldn’t say we got a big meal (but spent a fair bit for 2 people) – but we didn’t finish it (mainly cos it wasn’t enjoyable eating)

i wouldn’t go back again

#20
inside_info5:04 pm, 11 Feb 13

rosscoact said :

JB is the meat smoked on-site?

With Cube being just a few doors away, I’d say there’s a fair chance.

#21
poetix5:05 pm, 11 Feb 13

chewy14 said :

JonahBologna said :

The beauty of American soul food is that it is off-cuts of meat that are cooked for hours so that they become much more palatable. I have trouble imaginging how these inflated prices were reached.

I think it’s the trend. Look at all the Mexican places popping up, charging ridiculous prices for what is really peasant food.

In saying that, I really want to try this place simply because I love hot wings, ribs and pulled pork.

So much good food originated as ‘peasant’ food. Italian food. Even (and here she crosses herself) French bistro food. So the fact that it is peasant food is irrelevant in my opinion.

One wouldn’t make that same criticism of Italian and Sons, though, admittedly, they have proper service. And a great wine list.

And plates.

#22
nsn5:31 pm, 11 Feb 13

That photo looks quite unappetising. I think it’s the combination of the paper ‘plates’ and the extreme fattiness of the food.

#23
chewy145:34 pm, 11 Feb 13

poetix said :

chewy14 said :

JonahBologna said :

The beauty of American soul food is that it is off-cuts of meat that are cooked for hours so that they become much more palatable. I have trouble imaginging how these inflated prices were reached.

I think it’s the trend. Look at all the Mexican places popping up, charging ridiculous prices for what is really peasant food.

In saying that, I really want to try this place simply because I love hot wings, ribs and pulled pork.

So much good food originated as ‘peasant’ food. Italian food. Even (and here she crosses herself) French bistro food. So the fact that it is peasant food is irrelevant in my opinion.

One wouldn’t make that same criticism of Italian and Sons, though, admittedly, they have proper service. And a great wine list.

And plates.

well that’s the point. there’s a difference between a full service restaurant and what is really an upper class takeaway.

if you’re not offering anything other than food, its a bit hard to justify high prices for things like corn, pulled pork or in the case of the Mexican restaurants I was talking about, rice and black beans.

but hey if people are willing to pay for it, go nuts I say.

#24
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd6:44 pm, 11 Feb 13

It’s really easy to make food like this yourself if you have the time and experiment with rubs and mops a bit.
Certainly costs you nothing like the prices here.

#25
rosscoact6:57 pm, 11 Feb 13

slightly off topic but you have to love the way they do many of the Tex Mex restaurants in the states. Sit down, wham salsa and corn chips on the table, ice water, black beans and yellow rice with everything, $5 pints of beer

Love it

#26
poetix8:53 pm, 11 Feb 13

Slaw and Ordure:

In the culinary justice system, the diners are divided into two categories. The meat-heads, who wonder where to put their platter bones, and the weirdos, who eat salad.

These are their stories.

#27
rosscoact8:56 pm, 11 Feb 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

It’s really easy to make food like this yourself if you have the time and experiment with rubs and mops a bit.
Certainly costs you nothing like the prices here.

a shoulder of pulled pork less than $8kg by memory, cook it low and slow in the smoker for 18 hours or so and there you have all the meaty goodness you could ask for

#28
LSWCHP9:30 pm, 11 Feb 13

chewy14 said :

JonahBologna said :

The beauty of American soul food is that it is off-cuts of meat that are cooked for hours so that they become much more palatable. I have trouble imaginging how these inflated prices were reached.

I think it’s the trend. Look at all the Mexican places popping up, charging ridiculous prices for what is really peasant food.

You got that right. I’ve always wondered how Mexican “restaurants” get away with it. Mince, beans and flat bread folded in various ways with a lot if Chilli. It’s food for peasant farmers, and I know this because I come from a family of peasant farmers.

#29
LSWCHP9:36 pm, 11 Feb 13

And while I’m here, what’s with this “pulled pork” business. I thought pork pulling was something that mainly happened at Fyshwick.

#30
dpm9:38 pm, 11 Feb 13

poetix said :

Slaw and Ordure:

In the culinary justice system, the diners are divided into two categories. The meat-heads, who wonder where to put their platter bones, and the weirdos, who eat salad.

These are their stories.

:-)

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