If you've heard about the amazing ribs they serve at Pitt Cue - smoky barbecue ribs sitting alongside pulled pork burgers, served on a tin tray with a stack of napkins - then you're in the wrong place. Pitt Cue is an upmarket restaurant in Spitalfields that is a far cry from the original food truck, which unfortunately I didn't realise when I decided to go there!
I was meeting a friend for lunch in the area and unusually for me, hadn't spent any time looking up local restaurants as I'd been really busy. I popped onto Google Maps about half an hour before we were due to meet, and spotted Pitt Cue. Remembering what I'd heard about their ribs, I immediately suggested we go there.
When I arrived in Devonshire Square and entered the restaurant, which is somewhat industrial in style but posh-industrial rather than actually-on-an-industrial-estate industrial, I did wonder if it was the same place I'd heard about. The moment I looked at the menu I realised it wasn't!
This restaurant is less ribs and pulled pork and more smoked eel and ox tongue. There were only a few choices on the lunchtime menu, with a couple more options on the specials board, and I was at a bit of a loss as to what to order. I went for the cured and smoked jowl - I'd never had jowl, or pig's cheek, before so didn't know what to expect. It turned out to be a circular piece of meat, that gave me quite a surprise when I cut into it - literally the top half was a kind of jellied fat, with the pork a sort of slow-cooked melt-in-the-mouth layer underneath. That part was very nice, but I hate eating fat - even though this was probably one of the big draws of the dish, I actually found it deeply unpleasant and scraped it off the top!
It came with what I think was apple sauce but by this point I wasn't sure. I had some mashed potato with it and the only option was bone marrow mash - something else I've never had before, and was not particularly keen on.
I think this restaurant is aimed at people who know their cuts of meat and are either very traditional or very adventurous or a bit of both. Located just off Bishopsgate it's got a bit of a 'city boy' vibe -
I can imagine the meals being washed down with whisky. The meat is undoubtedly good quality and the menu speaks of its provenance, but give me some barbecued ribs and a pulled pork burger any day over cured jowl and bone marrow.
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