Pitt Cue’s humble beginnings commenced during the summer of 2011, along the South Bank, serving US influenced BBQ from their trailer. For 3 months it drew crowds before they officially opened at 1 Newburgh St just off Carnaby Street in Jan 2012. I remember seeing the long queues every time I walked passed, but never made there unfortunately. I got some much needed consolation when I met with co-owner Tom Adam’s at their new Devonshire Square site, which opened in Jan 2016. He brushed off my loss by saying; ‘don’t worry, it was small anyway, it’s much better here!’ The other co-owner Jamie Berger’s mum comes from the deep south of America, hence the penchant for BBQ perhaps? (He has also cooked at The Ledbury and Blueprint Cafe).
I go for this citrusy little number, ideal for cutting through the rich flavours. Grapefruit Highwire £5.5.
The interior is typically industrial chic with air ducted ceilings, bare brick walls, blackboards for the specials and a cocktail bar full of rare whiskies and ryes.
Mangalitza ham & walnuts (£4) with some cured mangalitza too. The mangalitza is an indigenous species of pig from Hungary, the direct translation is “hog with a lot of lard” and boy it is a thing of beauty, super flavourful and the richness was ideal sinful eating. This one was on the house.
Oysters with kimchi (£2.5) – briny and beautiful oysters, the first for me combining these 2 ingredients. It left me scratching my head though, as I couldn’t help thinking that the strong flavour of the kimchi was too robust for the oysters.
Octopus £8. Tender tentacles charred beautifully on their wood fire grill. The flesh meaty and slightly briny working well with the acidic herb infused butter milk.
Dripping bread to share (£6). You can’t help thinking that the sweet/nutty dripping was perfectly married with the that deep malt flavoured bread, there’s no denying that this is bread porn, 3 was a crowd though as that butter wasn’t necessary.
Trotter sausage (£6.50). This little smoky piggy was so juicy, seasoned perfectly & every mouthful made me just go for more. Chase it down with the the salted/soured cabbage and puree’d potato. It was one of my favourites.
Mangalitza Denver £27 for 300g. The Mangalitza is a Hungarian native pig with sheep like hair and the Denver cut is part of the chuck or shoulder area of the animal. The flavour is full with a more complex profile than your normal piggy. Cooked rare and combined with those beer pickled onions it just caresses your tongue!
Mushroom and bone marrow mash £5. This is mash of dreams and for those who didn’t have a penchant before you will now. Creamy mash bathing in rich mushroom reduction and garnished with marrow. Get it in your mouth!
Potato cake £3.5. Layers of crisply fried potato with some sort of whipped roe. They were mighty fine.
Cured and smoked jowl £12.50. Delicately crisp skin, the layer of fat packed full of smoky flavour and the meat was akin to gammon but better. The apple sauce just galvanised the flavour. Just look at that pink smoke ring! This was one of my favourite things to eat of the evening.
Grilled carrot and cow curd £5. Sweet earthy carrots balanced out with the creamy cow curd. There’s not a lot to dislike!
Lardy cake, marmalade and ice cream £5. Delicious marinated spiced dark fruits nestled into a soft centre encased in a crisp pastry shell. Eating another portion would have been easy, there was little else to wish for.
Ice cream and rhubarb £5. stunning vanilla ice cream, tart rhubarb and biscuit crumb. A definite mood lifter.
Crisp and refreshing, a bottle of 1936 lager from Switzerland has never let me down.
Lamb heart £4. Just look at that beautiful pink hue, kissed with the coals – they did well not to overwhelm the delicate flavour. It’s my first time having lamb heart and it was really tender, combined with that subtle iron flavour it was a real treat to eat.
Paté and country loaf £3. That paté just floods your mouth with flavour, it’s the perfect interplay of seasoning, fat and flesh against the malty crunch of country loaf. The bread itself is sublime.
Blood cake £4.5. Cubes of fat nestled tightly against those blood ruby grains, crisped in oil and garnished with tart apple sauce. Textually crumbly and I loved every mouthful.
Octopus £8. Just as good as the first time but please give me a bigger tentacle next time!
Smoked Mangalitza neck 500g £27.50 from the specials. It breaks apart with fork contact, every shred of flesh rich, fatty and working well with the pickled daikon. I’m loving the fact the whole animal is being utilised which is the ultimate respect it deserves and with the fall apart smoky tenderness, it’s Pitt Cue playing to their strengths.
Hispi and wild garlic £5. I seem to seeing this vegetable every where now – massively on curve and quite rightly. It’s sweet cabbage flavour works well caramelised on that wood grill.
Cured & smoked jowl £12.50. How can I not order this again? Slightly smaller than the first time but nonetheless, the flavour remained awesome.
Mangalitza chop £16. Heavily marbled creamy mangalitza flesh with smoke licked fat. Every mouthful unctuous and those beer pickled onions were magnificent.
Best bitter £3.20. Brewed especially for Pitt Cue and it was delicious – a perfect balance of bitter and malty sweet.
Blood cake £.4.5. Hello my lovely piece of pan seared earthy goodness.
Pate & country loaf £3. Just as delectable as the first time.
Chicken and wild mushroom sausage. Topped with broccoli, juicy, well seasoned and generally unctuous. The mash and jus it’s settled was rich and mouth puckering too.
Beef shin on toast £5. It waltzed into my mouth and delivered a mighty slow cooked flavour. The bread not only provided a vehicle for all that flavour but added the textual crunch. This one was on the house but I would of happily parted with the fiver.
Cured and smoked jowl £12.50. Just look at this thing of beauty, it’s more than visceral, it’s like smoked bacon on steroids. Just order it!
Mushroom and bone marrow mash £5. The mash god’s are in full swing.
Lamb neck £14. Cooked with the same smoking technique as the Mangalitza neck from my second visit I can imagine and equally as fork tender, shred it with your fork and taste that salty rich lamb.
Hispi and wild garlic £5. A must have green to balance out all the rich protein.
When did I go? March 2016/April 2016
The damage: Expect to pay £30-£50 per head with drinks.
The good: I didn’t make it to the original cult evoking Pitt Cue which I’ve heard was a bit more dive-esque, a bit more grimier and it’s new guise is more grown up. But seriously I really don’t think I’ve missed out. Overall it was a meaty journey delivered with smoky affection.
The bad: There’s not a lot not to like!
Address: 1 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YP
Phone:020 7324 7770
Closest tube: Liverpool St