COMMON GROUNDS: Blacklock
December 04, 2019
Founded in Soho behind the inconspicuous black door of a former brothel, Blacklock has grown into three unmissable restaurants serving up top quality meat and drinks for great prices. We dropped into their Shoreditch spot to chat all things chops and cocktails with drinks guru Sam Dagger, and came away with some must-know insider tips!
Let’s talk meat...
Blacklock is a meat lovers restaurant through and through. In collaboration with Cornish butchers, The Warrens, they’ve used novel techniques and a nose to tail approach to fill their menu with affordable, delicious, and sustainable cuts of meat. The Warrens have been farming and butchering native and rare breeds of animals since 1880. Committed to animal welfare, The Warrens’ livestock thrive in the environment they live in: by championing native breeds they support a regenerative style of agriculture with minimum water waste and no need for grain feed.
Once the meat reaches the restaurants, the Blacklock team take it the extra mile by preparing dishes to celebrate all parts of the animal (you can find a whole lamb on the menu if you look closely enough!). Their latest innovation is the Rump Fillet cut of steak. These medallions of meat mimic the texture and taste of fillet steak, but at £12 for a steak, the value really cuts the mustard (or horseradish!).
What to eat?
For your first visit, it has to be the All In. For £20 per head you can feast on a shared pile of chops, Pre Chops Bites, and sides of your choice. The visual impact is unmissable and perfect for anything from an intimate date for two, to a feast for a party of eight!
For aficionados looking for something unique, we recommend the Rump Fillet. Blacklock’s innovative approach to butchering has to be admired, bringing it back to the old cuts of meat, bypassing trends and focusing on flavour and value, their approach to meat is one to watch.
Want a Sunday kind of love? In 2016, Blacklock won best Sunday roast in the UK. Need we say more? Head there for pork, lamb or beef, book in advance to avoid disappointment, and just know that birds have yet to make it onto the menu.
Blacklock embraces a best for less policy all the way through their restaurant experience. All their wine by the glass is stored on-tap meaning you get the best juice without paying extra for bottling and transport. They’ve developed some amazing ‘cellos’ in house by using extra fruit to create shots for only £2 which are the perfect conclusion to a special meal out. Plus, as the winter months roll in, they've got some unique Irish creams coming so keep your eyes peeled!
What to drink?
Cocktails for a fiver. Yes, you heard us right - a menu of five quid, full-measure cocktails. Our favourite has to be their Seasonal Negroni. At the moment, the Autumn versions on the menu, winner of the annual Soho Negroni Championship 2019.
Want to give back? Order anything off Blacklock’s ‘Cocktails That Give Back’ menu and 25p of the price will be donated to End Youth Homelessness.
From the trolley. Taking the snobbery out of made-at-your-table cocktails, Blacklock’s squeaky trolley is equal parts light-hearted and quirky. Ask for an Old Fashioned mixed at your table and you won’t regret it!
After dinner coffee. Following years of getting after-dinner coffee for their customers from a cafe next door at the OG Soho site, Blacklock developed their own, novel answer to the coffee digestif demand. Their ‘Delaplane Coffee’ mixes Sandows Cold Brew with dark rum and coffee liqueur, sweetened with maraschino cherry and topped with cream. Its a menu stalwart that tells a story of Blacklock through the ages.
You can find Blacklock on Instagram @blacklockchops or visit one of their three sights
Shoreditch: 28-30 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3D2
City: 13 Philpot Lane, City of London, EC3M 8AA
Soho: 24 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London, W1D 7LG
Why the name Sandows?
December 04, 2019
We are called Sandows as a homage to Eugen Sandows' fresh thinking that challenged an established idea. Our crossed olde-time barbells look great on labels ("the one with the blue cross!") and are the perfect metaphor to describe the time and effort we put into making delicious cold brew coffee.