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|Address:||Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QL|
|Tel:||020 7837 4384|
|Price: £39.00||Wine: £17.00||Champagne: £45.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-10.30pm|
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Blackfoot has some serious competition – neighbours include Moro (and now Morito), the Quality Chop House around the corner and even heavier duty challengers in the centre of Clerkenwell. So how does it shape up?
It isn't a cosy place, but the welcome is warm and it is buzzy when it has a few customers. The concept is great – a small selection of pork dishes, some interesting sides and a short but well chosen wine list. Having had a good lunch we stuck to a main course each, plus sides.
Pulled pork tacos were fine, but packed none of the excitement that the real thing will give you. In the UK we expect our food to have been toned down, made polite to reduce complaints. But Mexican food has punch and flavour. These tacos were, sadly, rather bland, with no chilli, guacamole with no discernible coriander or lime, and beans with no attitude. Unfortunately worse was to come.
The pork belly (at £15 one of the most expensive dishes on the simple and reasonably priced menu) wasn't actually pork belly. It was a slightly thicker-than-average slice of bacon. It's size was, frankly, ridiculous. Pork belly is a cheap cut; if you order it you expect a good portion. To receive a plate that was 50% coleslaw, 15% gherkin, 10% (very dry) beans and only 25% pork was a surprise. When asked, the waiter confirmed it wasn't a mistake, agreed it wasn't a very big portion and walked off. Unfortunately it's depth of flavour was disappointing – all chilli and none of the other ingredients coming through.
I'd really like Blackfoot to do well, and will go back. But they have to think carefully about selling a 1cm slice of pork belly for £15 (and you then have to buy sides to go with it). If they carry on doing that they won't be there the next time I'm in Exmouth Market.