Meat. It’s all about meat. Not life (well, sometimes) but in this unassuming basement on the Piccadilly side of Soho it is most definitely all about meat. I remember when Blacklock launched early this year, to a flurry of social media activity from the most respected food bloggers and Instagram stars. Although the hype has died down (a bit, not completely) they’re still always busy and for good reason. I’ve been a few times and this is a kind of mash-up of the various visits.
The subterranean, somewhat stark dining room is small, with the little bar on one side and kitchen on the other. The staff are welcoming and friendly and really know their stuff when talking about the menu. Also small, the menu concept is chops. That’s pretty much it, it’s very much demonstrative of the current ‘single-concept’ trend, but oh my god they are good. The ‘All-In’ option gives a selection of that day’s ‘skinny chops’, a side each, gorgeous, juice-soaked bread that’s served under the chops and the pre-chop bites to start, for a very reasonable £20 per person.
Sides include beef-dripping chips, BBQ baby gems and charred courgette and chicory. The pre-chop bites consist of blue cheese and pickled veg, dripping and Parma ham (or similar) and the highlight, egg mayo and anchovy, all served on light little crackers. An ideal start. The house Grenache is great, and nettle lemonade refreshing – that’s as far as I’ve got with the drinks menu but there is one other wine choice and a couple of whites, along with a few beers. Short and sweet, true to form.
As well as the skinny chops they also have a board scrawled with the ‘big chops’ – a tantalising selection of monster slabs of meat, of various weights, priced per 100g (I think the one below was about £7 per 100g). They are crossed off as they sell, and once it’s gone it’s gone. I love it when restaurants do this, it cements the feeling that everything is brand spanking fresh, rather than hauled from the deep freeze.
The last time I went we had a 900g prime rib steak which was incedible. Crunchy bits on the outside, rare, juicy, salty, beefy.. I could go on all day, it was incredible.
The bill does rack up if you let it/if you’re super greedy, but it’s certainly possible to eat very well and have a few drinks for a very reasonable price, especially considering the quality. I’m planning on becoming a proper regular at Blacklock. It’s great for date night and groups, and I’m more than happy to take clients there as it’s friendly, unpretentious and always impressive. A definite fave!