Everyone’s crazy for American BBQ smoked meats, but it’s hard to find good versions of this succulent delicacy outside of its native land. During my six and a half years in Shanghai, I never found a worthy restaurant specializing in American BBQ. The reasons are quite varied: the difficulty in importing quality meat (with a long-standing outright ban on American beef and pork imports), the prohibitive prices of Australian cuts which anyways need to be brought in frozen, the low quality and lack of trust in local meats.
In Singapore though there’s no issue with finding quality, never-frozen meats. From local chickens to Australian pork and beef, the cuts are quickly shipped in fresh and flavorful, perfect for passing through Meatsmith’s authentic southern American smokers. With a name like David Pynt of Michelin-starred and 50 Best famed Burnt Ends backing up the venture, Meatsmith sets itself to deliver all the joys of “the real thing”.
The menu at Meatsmith allows for quite a degree of customization, with their starters, sides and meats, so one can mix and match their favorite items. Nevertheless if you’ve never been to this restaurant before or you just can’t bother the effort of choosing, go straight for their platters.
The platter for two is banging value if you ask me. For S$90++ you get to sample heaps of different meats and a side of fries, pickles and cornbread. I was concerned our huge Italian stomachs would need more than the sharing platter to get full so I was going to order extra sides, but the waitress kindly suggested to only order the platter first and then see if we were still hungry later… bless her.
Each coming with its own sauce, the items on the sharing platter for two are: the juiciest, fork-tender, 14-hour smoked beef brisket; perfect 3-hour smoked pork ribs, charred on the outside but falling off the bone and drenched in apple cider glaze; the Burnt Ends pork belly and pastrami two incredibly buttery pieces of heaven; the buffalo hot wings, covered in (maybe slightly too much) incredible hot and sour sauce; finally the brisket spring rolls, which resemble the “Beef Marmelade” served at Burnt Ends, pushing a bit too far on the sweetness for my taste.
As for the sides, the fries are ok, nothing to write home about. The pickles and cornbread instead are stunning; both my boyfriend and I don’t usually like either, but in this case we devoured the whole plate.
My only disappointment at Meatsmith was actually the Smoked Negroni. Having had many a few smoked negronis in bars and even street festivals, I was expecting a smokehouse’s version of this drink to be truly banging. Instead the smokiness was so subdued that it could have passed for a regular negroni. Also I think that the S$20++ price is a bit high for a casual restaurant drink, especially there’s no premium ice or garnish. I’ll definitely order wine next time.
As for the ambiance, we really loved being seated at the quieter outside tables. Indoor instead, the southern rockabilly atmosphere conveyed by a great music playlist and long wooden communal tables can get very noisy with the loud chatters of the many patrons enjoying their convivial meals. It’s a #mood though, so it really depends who you go with and what you feel like.
Address: 167-169 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068620
(They also have another outlet in Little India)