The Smokery has built a name for itself over the years; an exclusive restaurant with a scenic view located in Katameya Heights with a very upscale setting and high-end cuisine. However, keeping up with such high standards can be challenging.
There is an indoor area that seemed to cater a more casual setting, but we chose to be seated outside to enjoy the weather. As we were given the menus, complimentary hors d’oeuvre were set on the table: carrots, cucumbers, and a cheese dip –which was creamy and had a decent tang to it.
We decided to start our meal with a salad as an appetiser, so we agreed upon the Spicy Asian Salad (90LE); an Asian chicken salad with peanuts and a lemongrass dressing. The salad came ten minutes later which was ideal, but at the same time, it had a few minor flaws: there weren’t any peanuts in the salad, the dressing was tasty yet lacked that distinctive lemongrass flavour, and the addition of tortilla strips to the salad seemed more Mexican than Asian to us. On the other hand, the chicken was perfectly cooked, and all the ingredients tasted very garden-fresh.
When opting for main courses, we picked the Beef Teriyaki (260LE); grilled beef tenderloin cubes with teriyaki sauce and a side of white rice. Boasting a heavenly smell, we dived into the dish, which would have been perfect had the beef cubes been consistently cooked. Other than that, the teriyaki sauce was delicious, and the vegetables were cooked to perfection and went really well with the white rice.
For our second choice, we initially asked for the Portobello Ravioli, but unfortunately, it was not available. That’s why the wait staff recommended “their speciality”, which was the salmon. We went for the Saumon Fruite Balsamique (380LE). As per the menu, it’s roasted salmon with a sweet balsamic sauce, broccoli, and mashed potatoes. This dish was plain disappointing – given that it is their specialty, what we expected was far from what we got.
Firstly, the salmon, even though cooked well, lacked seasoning, and the balsamic sauce was scarce and placed on the plate itself, so didn’t help with the flavour. Served skin side-up, we expected the skin to be crispy, which wasn’t the case. Conversely, the mashed potatoes were creamy and tasty.
After finishing off our mains, we felt like trying a couple of things on the dessert menu. Luckily, they had the Mini Gourmandises (80LE), which were three miniatures of individual desserts; Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Mousse, and Fruit salad. The dessert came as soon as we ordered it; three perfectly sizable portions, all fresh and delicious. The Crème Brûlée had the right amount of sweetness, and the sugar topping was perfectly crisp. As for the Chocolate Mousse, it complemented the freshness of the fruit salad very well.
All in all, our experience at The Smokery was rather satisfying despite the flaws. When you have a venue that comprises a beautiful view, a lovely setting, and efficient service, there’s definitely room for improvement.