The original Pitt Cue in Soho was one of my favourite restaurants. I liked it because it wasn’t perfect; it was all higgledy-piggledy, a bit of a squash and their (not mine) main drink of choice was Bourbon. But there was so much good about it that you couldn’t help but love it: that phenomenal bone marrow mash and their unforgettable pulled pork. If it wasn’t for the constant and continued queues, I’d have gone back more often.
And then suddenly it shut and its bigger, brasher and less soulful older sister opened. Don’t get me wrong: I love the new Pitt Cue. But it did lack that special atmosphere mini Pitt Cue had. There are plusses to being bigger: you can book and you no longer have to queue. That said you should aim to book pretty far in advance (third time lucky for me – and the table I got was still at 6:30pm). It’s in a warehouse, and looks good, it that now quite standard East London ‘industrial chic’ way.
I arrived in a bad mood (it was pissing down with rain / umbrella didn’t work / all public transport had ground to a halt). But the service here, or perhaps just the lady serving us, was so exceptional, so friendly, and so unaffected by me behaving like a grumpy toddler, that it changed my mood instantly. That and their Cider Sour – the cocktail ‘special of the day’: it had just enough kick and wasn’t too sweet. It was gone in minutes.
This place is not for vegetarians. There is just simply no point coming here if you’re not really into your meat. Because that’s what it’s all about. One big warning is that they don’t do the original Pitt Cue pulled pork here. I was quite upset about this, but when I asked why, I was told, ‘it’s because everyone does it’. A shame because ‘everyone’ didn’t nail it like Pitt Cue had. I got over that by ordering the last smoked short rib (all 900 grams of it), which I thankfully shared with Rob because by the time we had eaten every morsel of (delicious) meat from the bone, neither of us could move. I liked the kimchi accompaniment too. We also ordered the bone marrow mash (obviously).
To start with we had an odd combination of paté and home made bread, an oyster and the ox tongue. Rob raved about the ox tongue, I tried it and could appreciate where he was coming from, but it’s simply not for me (the texture is just what you would imagine a tongue to feel/taste like).
And obviously despite having over-eaten we also opted for the sticky toffee pudding, which was not too sickly sweet and with a good dose of dates. But just completely unnecessary.
All in all, a success – and I can see it remaining a firm favourite of many a Pitt Cue fan and many a city worker/East Londoner. I just hope they bring the pulled pork back.
1 Devonshire Square,
London EC2M 4YP
Photo credit: Pitt Cue (interiors), me (food)