My parents live in Cambridge so I also try and visit a new food place whenever I’m back. P, a friend and me were planning a daytime of drinking at the annual beer festival over the bank holiday (okay so I’m a bit slow with getting this post up…) so needed somewhere to soak up the booze, cue Smokeworks – the perfect solution!
It’s been open a few years now and is a little tucked out the way on Free School Lane. Inside it’s fairly similar to other BBQ joints; industrial with lots of metal and neon & exposed lighting. We arrived around 4pmish on a Saturday afternoon. There were a few other tables but not that busy. I’ve read that you can sometimes have to queue for a table but they tweeted me to say that they have a cool app that does the queuing so you’re able to take advantage of one of the nearby pubs for a drink whilst you wait.
We’d had our fill of beer for the day so decided on a bottle of Prosecco to share. I *think* it was around £25 but who knows after a day of beer festivaling – go figure.
To eat my friend had the Pulled Chicken, Smoked Bacon & Bacon Jam Bun with Sweet Potato Fries (£9.90). She seemed pretty happy with her choice, I managed to nick a few sweet potato fries and they were very good. Crispy and a decent portion size.
P and I decided on lots of the smaller plates to share, BBQ tapas – what’s not to like? We had the Buttermilk & Jalapeno Wings (£6.50), 3 Lamb Scrumpets & Aubergine Dip (£6), Mac ‘n’ Cheese Fritters with Truffle Oil (£6), Buttermilk Potato Salad (£2) and Sweet & Hot Pickled Chillies (£2.50).
The mac n cheese fritters were a particular highlight, made to feel a bit more special with truffle oil. Surprisingly light for such a carb/cheese heavy plate. I was also really into the lamb scrumpets (I’ve never heard of them before). They’re slow cooked lamb shredded, breaded and then deep fried. Really nice with the aubergine dip. The potato salad was also tasty with a good hit of mustard to stop it being too rich. The chicken wings were okay, not the best I’ve ever had but by no means the worst. Again the chillies were okay but tasted to me like the ones you just get out of a jar so nothing special.
I really like that Smokeworks are trying something a bit different; not just different for Cambridge but also experimenting with different influences aside from the traditional BBQ (a few of the dishes had Middle Eastern flavours). It’s most definitely not your average BBQ joint and I’ll be visiting again when I’m back to try one of the bigger plates.