I had reservations for Pitt Cue Co. opening at London’s most commercially bustling quarter (arguably) Carnaby Street/ Soho. Not the kind of ‘reservations’ that involved sitting down (as the place does not take bookings) but those regarding the transformation of ‘street food’ into a roofed eatery. Last summer (I’m sure you all know) Tom of Pitt Cue Co. was instrumental in boosting London’s street food scene with an unobtrusive metallic wagon stationed under Hungerford Bridge on Southbank. His pulled pork and ribs were things of barbecue brilliance. But what I also loved was the rain that dripped, the wind that gushed, and the act of eating supreme food out of a paper box in an unlikely location. And all that unglorious fantasticness was all squeezed into a little corner shop off Carnaby Street..
Little room of naughtiness..
Squeezed I was at the new Pitt Cue Co. There were a bar on street level where you might be able to stand and eat, while the downstairs dining room surely wouldn’t have enough air for more than 20 people to breathe. Look-wise, it was reclaimed retro, a kind of Russell Norman without cracks on the wall. No trace of PCC’s former metallic truck glory. All seats were taken after the first 15 minutes of its opening by predominantly suited men. The menu read ribs, brisket and ribs as mains (around £9), a good number of sides (£3-4) and buns (£6.50) to walk. The mains were British-American in portion and arrived with pickles and a choice of side each. Two of the St Louis pork ribs were more meaty than the lower part of my arm. Succulent and very tender (the ribs, not the arm). The glaze was lightly sweet but you could make it liberally hefty with the BBQ sauce and the chilli sauce at the table. The pulled pork had more water content than I remembered from Southbank but would be a sacrilege to dislike. The mash came with smokey and intense burnt end, though I wish the former was less heavy in texture. Smoked Hot Wings with Pickled Celery was finger-licking good and very smokey as labelled. Great depth of acidity coming from tomato and vinegar; genteel tingling heat sensation; and the expertly done wings. I didn’t feel I needed the pickled celery, but that’s probably because I had a jar of magnificent assorted pickles by my side. That jar contained some bloody good pickled kohlrabi (which I ate up and didn’t mention it to The Other Bib). But, the winner of my lunch went straight to the crumbed and deep fried pickled shiitakes with the light vinegary juice flowing from the crispy skin and spongy mushroom slivers (which I also did not tell The Other Bib until there was only one slice left). The bill with two root beers and water was around £43. Try not to order everything on the menu as the table wouldn’t be big enough to enshrine all dishes..
Walking out, I couldn’t help thinking there was something naughty about the PCC downstairs dining room. A secretive space, men gently squished together, exchanging words and jostling big, juicy meat(s).. the rest? I’ll keep it to myself
Oh and if you fancy studying the menu below before you swing by..
…and I really wish there would be more takeaway options!! X
GO FOR: Everything I ate.
PITT CUE CO.
1 Newburgh Street