18th May 2016 12.30pm
I was invited by Craig and Felicity at Reekie’s Smokehouse to see what they were all about. I had no hesitation saying yes as this place had been on my ‘must try’ list for a while. Situated on Holyrood Road, a stone’s throw from the Royal Mile, this place is easy to get to from the centre and has been open for about 18 months. Craig and Felicity were welcoming but you could see that wasn’t just for my benefit. It was clear they had an enthusiasm both with regulars and tourist alike.
Firstly, I should say they offer more than just meat (but meat is the star and smoked on the premises). Reekie’s also offers milkshakes; booze; boozy milkshakes! Felicity also makes cakes (including many gluten free options – which also can be catered for across the menu). As I love most food, they kindly provided me with mini portions of a variety of options – therefore please note that the photos do not show full portions. You pay at the counter and get a buzzer which will let you know when the food is ready for you to collect. The venue itself is unassuming and on sunny days can have seating outside. Anyway, I digress. Let’s get to the good stuff – the food.
The menu has options of meat tubs and sides in multiple combos. Sandwiches are also available. There is one veggie sandwich option of veggie haggis, so non-meat eaters are not left out entirely. I first tucked into the BBQ beans which were phenomenal. This ended up being my favourite of the lot. There was a sweetness to the barbecue sauce and the little pieces of meat scattered through made it a heftier option than just beans on their own. The burnt ends of beef brisket were so juicy and had a nice warmth emanating from the sauce.
I was worried that the pulled pork might be dry but it was not at all. You can still add a variety of sauces (all made by the Smokehouse themselves and hopefully able to buy to use at home soon). I tried both the whiskey jerk sauce and the Irn Bru BBQ sauce. Both were great although I would recommend the jerk if you like a bit of heat as this hits a sweet spot that made it quite moreish. The slices of beef brisket were succulent and easy to eat without much use of a knife.
The non-meat sides I tried includes a coleslaw which crunchy and refreshing. It wasn’t too creamy which can be the downfall of supermarket bought stuff. Pickled cucumber surprisingly works for my usual cucumber hating palate. The rosemary chips were full of flavour but a word of advice, share a bag between two if you are having a few meat tubs as the portion is very generous.
Reekie’s encourage no waste. When I asked if I could take my leftovers away I was pleasantly surprised to see they were already set up for this. Lids for tubs are already provided at the side. It is also a self-clear place, tidying up after yourself but with clear recycling bins this is a doddle.
Reekie’s slowly started to fill up as I had sat eating. The crowd was mixed, with workers, tourists and families all sitting side by side chowing down on some BBQ goodness. Before I left, I got two pieces of cake to take away to try later (I was too stuffed to eat them there and then!). I chose a malteaser blondie and a gluten free coconut chocolate brownie. Both were a gooey triumph!
I really should have come to Reekie’s sooner. This stuff is delicious. Now get me some BBQ beans and a boozy milkshake.
Food – 10/10
Service – 10/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8/10
Overall – 36/40
Would I eat here again? Without hesitationCost – complimentary but a meat tub and a side is around the £9.50 mark
Please note that whilst this was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Craig and Felicity.