Type: Fast Food/Restaurant
Location: Canberra City
Food et: Turkey Burger and Buffalo Wings
Apparently this is the post everyone’s been waiting for. 10’s of people have asked me when I would be blogging about Smoque. And here it is, fine readers – Canberra’s newest and coolest place to eat: Smoque
I’ve actually had the fortune of eating at Smoque a few times, and had been so happy with each visit that I’ve actually not known how to blog about it. A rare conundrum. I’ve been there for birthdays mainly, but I never feel like going out for someone’s birthday is a true representation of a typical meal. Staff are
always usually awesome for birthdays, because they know you’ll “tell your friends”. So, I’ve decided to blog about my last dinner there, which is more of a typical “Smoquesque” meal.
A friend and I hit up Smoque on a Friday evening, before an early movie. We turned up at 5:30pm and were shocked to see that there weren’t many people in there – but that changed soon after, as the “after work crowd” started to rock up.
I do recommend you go early. Smoque only takes reservations for groups of six or more – so if you’re under the limit, you’re considered a walk-in and, in busier times, may be left waiting quite some time for a table (usually at the bar – which isn’t so bad). The last time I had come on a Friday evening (around 6pm) it was packed to the rafters. Literally. They have a couple of tables upstairs…
Smoque is the brain child of Grant Kells, famous around the Canberra scene for his now-burnt-down, Flint (formerly housed in the Diamont Hotel). It is in the spot where Antigo’s used to live (RIP), or at least when I say that to people it seems to be the only way they can grasp the location. The new restaurant is lively and decorated in sporadic splashes of Americana. A long bar takes up most of the space, surrounded by tables. It has a really welcoming atmosphere and when full of people, a lively feel.
Customer’s order around the corner, get a table number and before you know it, you’re surrounded by food (because you can’t just order one thing – it’s statistically impossible). It’s like fast food, only it’s decent fast food that you don’t feel (as) guilty about consuming. And eating with your hands is a must – it’s how you do barbeque, fool! The food is American inspired smoqued meats and southern fair. A smoquer works all day, preparing the meats – so the food is served quick, but made with time.
I ordered the Original Burger with Turkey and Coleslaw.
The meat was slow cooked and smoked to perfect, and really tender – blissful. The coleslaw was not over dressed and it still nice and crunchy. And the bun was toasted and buttered. All in all – a tasty mouthful.
I also decided to order some Buffalo wings – cos you know, when in (an Italian themed restaurant in Canberra) Rome…
The wings were spicy and well cooked, literally falling off the bone. Yum. Yum. Yum. Sadly, they defeated me – I did eat a whole burger before though. I can’t imagine how the two lonely winners of the Wing Challenge (who have their on the wall) ended up after gobbling down 50 wings in 30 minutes!
My friend, J, ordered the Sloppy Joe with fries.
I’ve had the Sloppy Joe before and I can tell you that it’s a meat lovers dream come true. Chili and brisket, with cheese, literally slopped on to a toasted bun. The meat is slow cooked tender goodness. The fries are crispy and hand made, with a delish seasoning.
We washed it all down by sharing a piece of Pumpkin Pie – which was creamy and spicy and (even though I was extremely full) I wanted to lick the plate.
The service at Smoque is top notch. I honestly couldn’t name a better place in Canberra as far as service goes – which is amazing, considering they’ve only been open two months. They must not have gotten to the bitter “I hate customers” point yet. The staff are attentive, friendly and pretty hilarious. They have looked after us without fault, each time I’ve been.
Verdict: Smoque is exactly what Canberra needed – something to get people excited about food. Food that you can afford and delight in, food that will leave you feeling satisfied and put a smile on your face. I honestly could not not rave about this place – but I’ve been there so much in the last few months that it might be time for a break. For my arteries’ sake.