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Smokey Tails

Restaurants, Barbecue Hoxton
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Seth Troxler’s ‘BBQ pop-up’ finds a permanent Hoxton setting.

Please note, Smokey Tails is no longer at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Time Out food editors, March 2018.

Back in 2013, Michigan-born Seth Troxler – the wonderfully bonkers techno icon and food enthusiast – took time out from music producing and DJing to set up Smokey Tails, a ‘BBQ pop-up’ in Hackney Wick. A mix of beats, buzz and barbecue, it was a zeitgeisty, floor-filling hit. Three years on and it’s relaunched as a permanent space in Hoxton, as the in-house food and drink offering of the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Trouble is, the magic has faded. On my visit, the dining room, a slightly odd combo of stylish oak furniture and a too-practical-to-be-welcoming tiled floor, lacked ambiance (the fact that you have to go via a nightclubby bar area to access the grungy loos doesn’t help). If it’s a sunny day, pile on to one of the communal tables outside, instead. 

Cooking, likewise, was shaky. The signature smoked pork ribs were nice enough, with tender (though not fall-off-the-bone-soft) meat slathered in sweet, tangy, house-made barbecue sauce, but truthfully, there are better ribs in town. Grilled corn on the cob was better, with its smoky notes and chilli-flecked cheese topping, as was a wholesome salad of puy lentils and soft roast squash with crunchy green beans, pea shoots and peas. But mac ’n’ cheese, despite a good topping, was dry underneath: too much mac, not enough cheese. Cocktails were sweet (not in a good way), but so was the service (this time, in a good way). This new joint may not be as smokin’ as the old one, but it’s pretty affordable, so if it’s post-pub eats you’re after, it’ll do just fine. 


Address: 2-4 Hoxton Sq
N1 6NU
Transport: Tube: Old Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £75.
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