BLACKLOCK CITY, LON­DON EC3

Olive - - Eat -

If Blacklock isn’t on your radar yet, as one of Lon­don’s most re­li­ably bril­liant (and good-value) meat restau­rants, now is the time to rec­tify that. The first opened a cou­ple of years ago in Soho (in a for­mer strip club, nat­u­rally), but this spring saw the launch of its sec­ond site in the City. Like its sis­ter, Blacklock City is moody – step down into the base­ment to ex­posed brick, wooden ta­bles and pre-mixed Old Fash­ioned cock­tails in crys­tal de­canters call­ing your name (a bar­gain at £45 for the ta­ble). Regulars will tell you there’s only one thing to or­der from the meat-heavy menu – the ‘all in’. For £20 per per­son (at least two on the ta­ble need to or­der) this in­cludes all of the day’s ‘pre-chop bites’ (lit­tle crisp canapés with punchy top­pings – cheese and pickle, chicken and horse­rad­ish, and egg and an­chovy), and all of the day’s ‘skinny chops’ – on our visit that was a pile of beef sir­loin, lamb cut­lets, lamb t-bones, pork loin, pork ribs and pork belly. All of the meat is sourced from award-win­ning Cor­nish farmer and butcher Phillip War­ren, and is well-cooked – charred and heavy with lip-smack­ing juices that are left to col­lect at the bot­tom of the pile on flat­breads. Starters such as the pig’s head on toast with gravy didn’t dis­ap­point – but don’t leave with­out or­der­ing beef-drip­ping chips (as crisp as a freshly starched Egyp­tian cot­ton pil­low­case), 10-hour ash-roasted sweet potato (you’ll never want it cooked any other way) and gar­lic bone mar­row spread. Blacklock City’s big­ger than Soho, with more choice on the pleas­ingly sim­ple menu, and with­out the crowds. Savvy car­ni­vores, make your way east, now. (Words by Laura Rowe)

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