Big. Massive. Huge.
Brighton Food Reviewer, Lydia Majic, June 2015
‘Welcome to Smokeys, a slice of American heaven by the British seaside.’
It does exactly what it says on the tin.
Tonight was my first experience at Smokeys. I had heard of it, not sure where it was, but a number of friends had been there for large group meals. All I knew was, the portions are massive.
‘Oh my god, the burger was as big as his face!’
I was excited, then again I am always excited about eating.
Smokeys will be directly opposite the 360 tower being constructed on Brighton sea front. If you’re coming by car, parking at the nearby Regency Square car park is ideal.
The actual restaurant is just below street level below the Granville Hotel– it is well lit with adequate signage to find your way there.
The terrace is very nicely arranged with modern seating, exotic flowers and great views across the traffic to the West Pier.
On a warm summers night, it really did look inviting.
The entrance to the restaurant was through the bar area. Into the bar area, then immediately right through a series of archways.
As it was a Tuesday night I wasn’t expecting a bustling restaurant however I was quite surprised to see quite a few tables already here.
Smokeys has a relaxed atmosphere, posters from classic American films and had an exposed brick work theme throughout which adds appeal.
You certainly had no real feeling you were below ground which was nice and I was quite excited to try their version of the American classics on their varied menu.
For starters we had The Potato Bomb, loaded potato skin with Monterey Jack cheese with sour cream and chive dip, and the soup, served in a bread roll or china bowl with garlic bread, I opted for the bread roll, although it should really be renamed the bread bowl as its about the size of one.
When I travelled to Prague many years ago I had seen lots of locals eating stews out of these bread bowls and I really was excited about eating one even if it wasn’t the season or soup.
It was delicious. Really thoughtfully prepared, tasted fresh.
The juices obviously soaking up the bread, so it is more like eating a stew than a soup but it really was fantastic. Perhaps a large portion for a starter for me, next time I’ll have it just as a main.
Already we were seeing, this restaurant is all about BIG.
We opted for the classic American Burger – one chicken and one beef.
Both served with a choice of two sides and the choice of a brioche bun or rustic roll.
The butterfly chicken burger came with a super fresh and colourful side salad. This was accompanied with a variety of green leaves, which I love, and the biggest portion of sweet potato chips I have ever seen. Honestly!
The chicken itself was packed full of flavour and was a beast of a burger. My small hands only just managed to get a good grip of it.
The brioche bun was coted in poppy and sesame seeds and was not as sweat as most brioche buns which I liked.
The beef burger came with a regular fries and coleslaw.
The sweet potatoes were so moreish. I am not sure if they were coated in something, possibly a little flour, they were addictive, both burgers were juicy and full of flavour, it was all very tasty and definitely up there with some of the best burgers I have had for a while.
Had I not been a reviewer I don’t think I would have found space for dessert, but I did find it.
We decided on the sharing platter in the end so we could have a taste of everything sweet and what a treat!
Waffles with maple syrup, chocolate brownies, marshmallows, and the classic trio of ice- cream, chocolate vanilla and strawberry.
What was nice about it too was that you could share it with someone else and get a little bit of everything.
It was time for a sugar high.
It was then when I tasted the ice-cream it just sent me back to my childhood and the ice-cream we used to get at our birthday parties.
It was an absolute treat, extremely devouring – and yes it was BIG.
At the end of our meal we had some time to chat to our very genuine and friendly waitress, Karolina, who had given us advice about what to order and what we should expect.
It was also great to here some of the events that had been held especially the #pankcake #foodchallenge which saw dinners eating a pancake mountain.
Part of the attraction of coming to Smokey’s with your friends is going to be the sheer challenge of eating the biggest meal along with a buzzy environment. This is the dining experience of Smokeys, along with a menu packed full of flavour..
When coming for dinner here, and especially if you plan on eating the full 3 courses be sure to dig out your Christmas trousers.
Burger Scores on the Doors – The Verdict
Presentation – visual appearance, structure/build, segmentation: 8.5/10
Toppings – flavours, uniqueness, chemistry with meat and bun: 9/10
Bun – toasting, density, freshness, durability: 9.5/10
Quality of meat – flavour, seasoning, juiciness, consistency, quality of meat used: 9/10
Accessories: presentation, taste, seasoning condiments: 8.5/10