Restaurant review: Blackfoot, Exmouth Market, EC1

The long smoke - succulent whole pork belly

The long smoke - succulent whole pork belly - Credit: Archant

Blackfoot arrived on the increasingly food-orientated Exmouth Market in December, celebrating all that is tasty about our porcine chums.

Pig-focused restaurants are surprisingly rare and pork chops can sometimes feel a bit of a poor cousin to a steak or rump of lamb.

But Blackfoot proves that with a bit of care and a lot of skill, piggy dishes can hold their own against the best.

Annoyingly, the great food may have made the restaurant a victim of it’s own success, because on our visit the place was packed and the service was, frankly, well below par.

As you’d expect, the menu is dominated by pig belly, ribs, pulled pork as well as a variety of steaks.

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There are bits of fish and salad, but if you don’t like the hog, this probably isn’t the place for you.

The smoked meats we had to start were full of flavour, while the rillettes came alive when eaten with the pickles. But the revelation of the night by a country mile was the Iberico Pressa – a slab of tender, succulent marbled pig served rare.

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Growing up “knowing” as I did that pork needed cooking to within an inch of its life, I was gobsmacked – full of depth, texture and with delicious nutty hints, it was an absolute dream – pity you can’t find it in many places.


But the great shame is all this was let down by poor waiting – everything took an age and at no point was table water forthcoming (and pork can be salty).

Worst of all our food was served to the next door table; they happily tucked in and when the waitress realised she whisked it away from them, plonked one dish in front of us and took the other, ribs, back to the kitchen.

Some ribs reappeared a few minutes later, looking decidedly second-hand and their toughness gave the distinct impression of a of a reheated dish.

Schoolboy errors, but ones that can be fixed easily.

The harder part to get right, the food, is good.

Jon Dean

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