The best ribs in London – official | BBQ Whisky Beer at the Wargrave Arms, Brendon Street, London W1H 5HE
* PLEASE NOTE, BBQ WHISKY BEER IS CURRENTLY AT THE WHITE HART, WITLEY.*
Petworth Road, GU8 5PH Godalming. www.thewhitehartwitley.co.uk.
Telephone 01428 683695
When you get invited along to try some award-winning ribs, the answer is a no brainer… YES! Head chef Sam Daffin and his team of BBQ experts at BBQ Whisky Beer walked away with the ‘Great British Rib Champion 2013’ trophy at Ribstock 2013. So we had to see if these newly crowned champions were worthy of the accolade. And the best thing? You can reserve a table! No need to stand in a queue for hours (yet).
The name of this pop up does exactly what it says on the tin… Serves up BBQ fare, whisky and beer. I wish every thing was so transparent and obvious. For example Angus Steakhouse would be called ‘steak for tourists’ whilst politicians would be called ‘break promises, claim expenses’.
Taking up residency in The Wargrave Arms pub near Edgware Road, surrounded by dozens of sheesha cafés with men puffing on hubbly bubbly pipes outside. The BWB chefs do an amazing job working out of such a small open kitchen. The pub itself is a pretty, looking boozer – which is a surprise considering about 90% of the clientele were men. The lighting is low, there’s a smattering of polished brass and some Tiffany style glass lampshades and paneling. But what mans the place up is the wall sized blackboard listing a staggeringly long list of whisky from Scotland to Japan and Ireland to America.
Well that explains the whisky, what about the beer? This is a little bit of a let down… As they lease from a Young’s pub all the beers and lagers have to be on their authorised list and come from their mega warehouse in Luton. A small ray of sunshine bursting though this cloud, Sam managed to get a few varieties of Meantime beers behind the bar, so all is not lost.
On to the BBQ part… The menu is a lot longer and more varied than most of its competitors (Pitt Cue Co & Duke’s Brew & Que etc). They have Chicken noodle soup £5, Nachos £6 and Hot wings £6/£10… And these are just the bar snacks!
We bypassed all these and shared a Fryer Trash £5. This is an absolute genius dish of the crispy and crunchy ‘chip bits’ topped with pulled pork and a thick BBQ sauce… A big portion too, easy enough for two to share, three at a push. This is the kind of food Saff’s dreams are made of, and hangovers crave.
These extremely generous portion sizes were a theme. My Beef royal burger £12, was immense. It was their classic burger £8 topped with beef short rib, thick-cut smoked bacon, sweet caramelised onions and whole breaded mushrooms. I must admit that a had to tackle it with a knife and fork and left half of the seeded brioche bun – oh the shame! I was so full that I ready needn’t have ordered my side off coleslaw £3 but I had to eat something healthy(ish).
Saff was tempted by the chicken dishes. But she was here was here for one reason and one reason only… To get down and dirty with the award-winning beef ribs, Jacobs ladder cut £12. As always, the best bit was the crunchy sticky burnt crust, inside was juicy and tender. Since their win at Ribstock a couple of weeks back (date in here), demand has been ridiculously high and they were struggling to keep up with demand. Struggling until they bought their new smoker that is.
After 15 minutes or so we felt that we’d managed to make enough room for a dessert. Saff was defeated by the thick pastry crust on her Strawberry cream pie £5 – the kind she adores. Although she managed to polish off the filling quickly enough! I couldn’t resist the Toasted cornflake sundae £5. A half pint glass jammed full of creamy vanilla, rich dark chocolate and butterscotch ice-cream sat on a crushed cornflake biscuit base and sprinkled with more toasted cornflakes.
By this point we had to undo the top button on our jeans. Not only was this meal a meaty masterpiece, it was also of belly busting proportions… We will be keeping a close eye on BBQ Whisky Beer’s predicted rise. No doubt they’ll soon be moving to a west end location and have their very own queue of carnivores waiting at the door! But until then, we know where our first stop will be at Meatopia…
Brendon Street, London W1H 5HE
Telephone: 07523 268472
Sunday – Monday – 11am-11pm
Nearest tube: Edgware Road