Location: The Smokehouse is situated a mere 30 seconds drive from the huge Tesco in West Bromwich. If coming off at the M5 you are less than 2-3 minutes drive away. The Hawthorns is 5 minutes away in the car and if you are walking, put it this was – If you ate here, you would have walked it off by the time you get to the ground!
Appearance: The first thing you notice is that the Smokehouse has its own car park. Bonus, and if that is too busy an overspill is available across the road. The venue is very clean and polished from the outside, extremely welcoming.
As soon as you walk in you cannot be anything other than impressed, though it does feel more like a restaurant than an actual Desi Pub. The first half of the venue is more of a bar, the rest is more for diners. Good separation though. Booths, private tables and more TV’s than most. First impressions are impressive!
Bar: Great selection of spirits and draught lagers – the Guinness is bang on too. The draught is fresh and crisp, looks like new lines or recently installed lines and the spirits well – Whether it is whiskeys or gins you are covered as the Smokehouse has a great selection.
Food Ordering: We opted to eat in the bar area, we ordered our food and we were informed it would be approx 30-40 mins. Which did seem long as the place did not seem to be that busy? But, I guess because the menu is so varied (English food also) you kind of understand get the delay. After 33 minutes we got our food.
We ordered the large Sizzler priced at £15.95 this included naan bread. The size is suitable for 3 people but no more. Average size, but maybe it is about the quality instead.
King Prawns: Fresh and well cooked, but just failed to ignite any passion, these very much take them or leave them, for us they just failed to really impress.
Chicken Tikka: Cooked well, marinated well, good size chunks, we liked these, the chicken used was impressive too, not the type that just turns to mush, enjoyed these.
Spicy Chicken Wings: If it says spicy then you expect spice, you mentally prepare yourself and that is exactly what we got, good amount of meat on the wings, plenty of spice though not so much as it takes away from the flavour, these were damn impressive.
Lamb Chops: Seasoned well with a taste very unique to this venue, that is not a bad thing. The chops are actually are good to eat. The amount of meat on the chop is the issue.
Lamb Kebab: These like the wings are spicy and full of flavour, usually the poor relation of a grill, not this time, like the wings this really stands out.
We ordered two dishes we had the Lamb Dharu and the Butter chicken, Alas, our search for a great butter chicken outside of the Prince of Wales in Southall continues. It was good but felt more like a chicken tikka masala than a butter chicken. The Lamb Dharu though was spot on. Good amount of meat, and a great sauce. Plenty of spice, this really worked. The highlight of the trip for us.
The Smokehouse in West Bromwich is not as desi as some of the other desi pubs. It has a good vibe to the venue and the atmosphere is welcoming and chilled out. The staff were prompt and on point. We couldn’t fail the staff at all.
The food, we had highlights and no real low points. The Smokehouse did not blow us away but what it did do is serve good honest dishes. The wings, kebab and Lamb dharu were the highlights of the dishes, and they would stand up against many other desi grills in the area.
If you are looking for a chilled out vibe that offers good desi food and English then the Smokehouse in West Bromwich may well be the venue of choice. Great selection of drinks, parking, good food and nice vibe! We will be popping back as that lamb dharu is the one! Really enjoyed our visit!