I’ve watched alot of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to know what a good smokehouse should be like, so when I was invited to review Reekies Smokehouse, Edinburgh’s own Scottish BBQ, I was super excited.
Everything about Reekies was so unexpected. I thought it was more a restaurant, with table service rather than a diner with counter ordering and collection and a place to recycle and clear your plates. Nonetheless it is charming and you can tell that the owners, Felicity and Craig, pour alot of love into this eatery and its food.
The decor is rustic with a mixture of tables and chairs, large sofas, crate seating and high tables and bar stools. It has thoroughly been Scotti-fied with bright ruby tartan.
After a quick introduction and discussion with Felicity on what was best to eat, we took her up on her suggestion to tuck into a Meat Feast which allowed us to taste 4 meats and 4 sides. We grabbed a table and an order alert thing-a-ma-bob (it vibrates and flashes once your order is ready for collection) and waited patiently. Our senses were on high alert as the smells of cooked beef and pork kept wafting across and we could see Felicity filling up tubs with the delights to come.
The buzzer went off and we jumped up to grab our order. The tray was laden with treats.
BBQ Scotch beef brisket using local beef, rubbed in their spicy meat dust, slow smoked for 18-21 hours, then sliced and dipped in their gravy beef stock!
Smoked local haggis, smoked over oak and chopped whisky barrel chips!
BBQ Scotch beef burnt ends from the brisket once its cooked, then more spicy meat dust is rubbed on, chucked back in the smoker for a few more hours then cut it up into chunks!
Smoked local pork, rubbed in their house secret spice mix and BBQ-ed for 18-21 hours!
Smoked baby back pork ribs, rubbed in their house secret mix and dry-smoked!
For sides we had : homemade pickles, coleslaw, BBQ baked beans, jalapenos and Smoked Rosemary Salted chips.
They have 7 homemade sauces including Irn Bru BBQ sauce (tomato based with a spicy kick and laced with Irn Bru); Buckie Broon sauce (a brown sauce made from apples and dates, spiked with Buckfast) and Yellow Mustard sauce (made with Scottish blossom honey).
The meat feast is most certainly that – a feast! Not only for the eyes but for the belly and your tastebuds too! From the meats, I enjoyed the brisket the most. It was juicy, flavourful and extremely moreish! The burnt ends were great too, as I love the little gnarly well cooked bits of meat.
The haggis was nice, quite peppery (just how I like it and they serve up a veggie haggis too!). The pork was my least favourite as it was a little dry but I think we got the last portion as a wee ‘sold out’ sign went up soon after we received our portion. I like the ‘sold out’ sign, I think it’s a true indicator that food is freshly made and when its gone, its gone! (photo taken just as we walked in so everything was still available).
I was a little let down by the ribs, but through no fault of Reekies Smokehouse. It was my tastebuds and expectations that let me down on this one. I love my baby back ribs basted with a BBQ sauce and I love getting a little messy whilst eating them; but because these were dry rubbed there was no sauce (unless you poured some over them but its not the same) and no mess! Plus their spicy rub was just a little too spicy for me. However, my dining partner happily tucked into these and made short work of them!
All the sides were good and complimented the meat dishes. I especially loved the rosemary chips and the Buckie Broon was my chosen sauce.
The one thing I have to commend Reekies Smokehouse on is their DIY clearing up area. The waste recycling bins, the stacking of your plates, cutlery and glassware is simple, easy and effective.
Reekies Smokehouse also serve up gluten free food and even have some of the best gluten free Brownies in Edinburgh. Felicity packed me up some Aero Brownies to take home and they were superbly gooey later on with a cuppa!
They are also Scottish produce champions and only use the best of Scottish beef and pork, they stock Scottish beer, spirits and juices; their coffee is from the West of Scotland and ice-cream from Musselburgh.
Reekies is ideally situated if you are visiting Dynamic Earth or strolling around Arthur’s Seat; an ideal foodie destination for grabbing a delicious bite during the Fringe as it’s less than 5 minutes from the Pleasance and is a 2 minute walk from the Royal Mile.
Lang may yur lum reek!
Reekies Smokehouse, 20 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AF www.reekiessmokehouse.co.uk
My Spoon award : Silver 8/10