The Handbook
The Handbook

What? Speakeasy, Evans & Peel Detective Agency has recently launched a new Smokehouse menu. Making use of their own in-house smoker, ‘The Flapper’ each day they’re serving up southern American dishes to accompany their innovative cocktail list.

New? Whilst Evans & Peel Detective Agency has been staying secret for the last six years, the smokehouse only launched at the end of the last month.

Where? Not ones to broadcast their whereabouts, you’ll find them hidden behind a very unassuming door in Earls Court at 310c Earls Court Road, Earls Court, SW5 9BA, www.evansandpeel.com

The Look: From the outside Evans & Peel is just a black door, ring the buzzer, once, twice or in our case three times (we were at the point of thinking that the bar was so secret it was in fact somewhere else completely or they were closed) and you’ll be asked if you have an appointment. Head down the stairs and you’ll find yourself in a detective’s office, being asked what your case is, being the Agatha Christie fan that I am, I went into a long story about losing a very expensive earring that had been stolen from a jeweller in the 1920s (apparently most people say they’ve just lose their cat). The bookshelf then reveals itself to be a door and you’re let into the bar. It’s all low ceilings, brick floors and stone walls. There’s a long L shaped bar on one side and through an alcove there are plenty of mix matched chairs and tables, including a long table running almost the length of the room with cinema style folded seats. Exposed bulbs and candles give the room a glow, but the shadows bounce off the walls and make it all rather romantic and secretive.

On the Menu: On the usual bar menu you’ll find Buffalo wings, chicken tenders and mac n cheese but on the smokehouse menu, you’ll find Carolina style pulled pork, St Louise cut pork spare ribs, Texas style brisket and for vegetarians there’s pulled eggplant with mushroom brisket. If you’ve still got space, then finish off with deep-fried apple pie and vanilla ice-cream.

What We Ate: If you want to pretend at being healthy then you can do as we did and order padron peppers and then top them with smoked goats cheese or go for the cauliflower, which is actually Buffalo cauliflower and is deep fried and served with a strong blue cheese sauce.

The brisket had that wonderfully smoky, dark outer crust giving way to moist, tender meat. Accompanying it were pickles, mashed buttermilk potatoes and BBQ beans with slaw and a hot sauce. For £16 its excellent value, with a couple of starters added in, you’ll need to be extra hungry if you want to attempt the deep-fried apple pie.

What We Drank: Visiting on a Monday my day had already been a blur of coffee, so rather than thinking about how I wouldn’t sleep with my blood 90% caffeine, I decided to switch to the night time edition of coffee, the espresso martini. Made from Buffalo Trace Bourbon, coffee liqueur and tonka bean, Benedictine and cold brew Coffee the Not Your Joe Average Martini is smooth without being overly sweet, it’s got a grown -up edge to it. We were also told that (Insert Pun Here) was proving to be the most popular cocktail of the night, a tingly, fruity mix of basil infused vodka, forest fruits and foam.

Go With: If you like cocktails, if you like brisket and you like feeling like you’re in the know when it comes to hidden London spots, then Evans & Peel Detective Agency is for you. With its low lighting and snug corners, it also makes for an ideal date night.

Final Word: Can’t make it to Earls Court? Then you’ll find a smaller menu of smokehouse dishes at Evans & Peel Pharmacy in Chiswick.

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Evans & Peel Detective Agency: 310c Earls Court Road, Earls Court, SW5 9BA, www.evansandpeel.com