Growing up, my mum wasn’t a keen cook (in fact, she hated cooking, don’t know where I got my love for it from!) and so she had her go-to meals. She did a killer roast and fry-up but our mid-week meals were always filled with variations of chops, and they were nearly always lamb. I love both lamb and pork chops, that salty, crispy fat around the juicy meat. I have never grown tired of them. To me there is something so comforting about them.
As a little payday treat I decided to take the other half to dinner and I thought Blacklock would be the perfect ‘man dinner’. I kept it a surprise and once we arrived I knew I’d got it bang on. There is a nice short menu with snacks to start, stacks of different chops, interesting sides or the ‘All In’ for £20. Basically a bit of everything and a taste of all the chops. We went for the ‘All In’, of course.
You can choose two sides – all of them looked interesting but we went for the whole roasted sweet potato, which I think they roast for 10 hours (!) and the chicory, courgette and stilton. That vegetable combo is always a winner and the sweet potato wonderfully smoky. I’ve since tried my own version at home! There is also a small selection of cocktails, craft beers and wine on tap. We liked the sound of Grandma’s Spiked Lemonade with sherry and vodka and Nettle Gimlet made with homemade cordial. The gimlet was a little sweet for me, but I loved the spiked lemonade and definitely will be recreating that!
As part of the ‘All In’ you can choose two ‘bites’ to start your meal. Various toppings are served on little crispbreads, these were a nice appetiser but our chops came before I’d had my second mouthful so they were a little wasted on me because I just devoured the chops and didn’t look back. D was happy with this and made his way through the rest of my bites.
The wonderful thing about Blacklock – apart from the helpful and friendly staff – is they cook the chops to perfection. The chops are cooked over charcoal to give them such a smokiness and vintage irons are used to get the fat crispy. They are still slightly pink, *gasp*. They are how they should be. They are not dry, over-cooked or tough. They are so juicy. And the flat bread your chops sit on soak all of this goodness up. They were out of beef when we went but we had plenty of pork and lamb to keep us very happy. This place is definitely for meat lovers, of which I am one.
Even though we were stuffed we had seen the cheesecake being brought out to other tables and it looked too good to pass up. We ordered one of the white chocolate cheesecake which came with a delicious rhubarb compote. We had a couple of mouthfuls and very quickly called the waiter back to order another portion! It was bloody good and I decided I wasn’t sharing one portion, no way. It was so light and the compote a nice refreshing accompaniment.
I can’t rave about the food at Blacklock enough. They’ve chosen one dish and they do it brilliantly. It’s very reasonably priced and the staff really are lovely. It’s definitely one of the hottest restaurant openings of February and probably so far this year. Get down there quick – just make sure you’re hungry!