I’ve been to Smokeworks, Cambridge’s first proper barbecue restaurant, 4 times since it opened in July, just to ensure that I fully review the menu before reporting back to you, my lovely readers. It’s been tough, honest.
Seeing the success of burgers, barbecue and other street food in London the founders of Cambs Cuisine (owners of the two Chop Houses and the Tickell Arms) looked to opening a single concept restaurant in Cambridge. Seeing that the burger had been done many times over they turned their thoughts to BBQ, and the idea for Smokeworks was born. (I found this out on one visit, sat next to one of the owners!)
Smokeworks have a small but perfectly formed menu with dishes like smoked pork and beef buns, ribs, wings, fried chicken with sides and dessert like milkshakes to go with them. They also have a good selection of beer and cider and specialise in bourbon to go with your meal. Their motto is “Slow cooked, Fast.” They put great care in at the beginning, brining and slow cooking their meat and once that is completed the food is ready to serve super quick to the diner.
On our first visit we tried the buns on the menu, which pleasingly includes a vegetarian option. The pulled pork bun is excellent with a substantial bun and perfectly cooked smokey pork with crisp pickles and crunchy slaw. The vegetarian halloumi mushroom bun was a bit soggy during our first visit (just after opening) but happily it has improved since then, it’s the only vegetarian main on the menu so this is much appreciated by the Vegetarian Husband.
From subsequent visits I can highly recommend the hot and spicy chicken wings (excellent blue cheese dip), the pork scrumpets (pulled pork fingers), the sweet potato fries and the spicy sausages with chipotle sauce and mash are ridiculously good.
Despite not being the main event, the thing that has kept me coming back is the salted caramel milkshake. I am well known for being a sweet tooth and it definitely satisfies mine. It has a really good whack of well salted caramel and it’s thick enough to be a treat but not so thick you feel like you’re chomping down 16 fl. oz of ice cream. Now I need to go back for one more. We’ve also tried the apple crumble milkshake which is so well thought out , spiced with cinnamon and finished with a scattering of crumble topping.
If you’ve not been to Smokeworks it’s definitely worth checking it out. The service is friendly, the food comes out super quick and there is lots of choice. It’s great to have something different like Smokeworks in Cambridge!
2 Free School Lane