I had such a superb food experience on my last Canberra trip, firstly there are the two venues I have already spoken about, THE MANDALAY BUS and awesome burger venue GREASE MONKEY, yet another enjoyable time was had at SMOQUE, and this was a great lunch because I got a surprise call in the morning and my parents had to come to Canberra from the South Coast for business and could I meet them for a lunch in the city? yes I could ma!!!
I have wanted to eat at SMOQUE for about a year now, and while we feasted on a great burger lunch and the best fries I have ever eaten, the place is loved for their smoking, their BBQ and those ribs, something I shall indulge on and write about on future visits. Suss out their social media sites and suss the pics of the ribs – they are so drool worthy – FB, Twitter, Instagram.
We ate at the Civic, ACT venue but they also have one in Woden, ACT, the Civic venue is large, it is like an American bar/ burger/ rib joint, the only thing missing was peanut shells all over the floor like I experienced at RJs in LA. The place had a U.S. motif with flags and some memorabilia scattered around with basketball playing on the TV and oddly on the wall next to us in the upstairs level were about ten mounted antlers and horns of various animals – I loved them but I can see a lot of people grumbling – but then – why would they be in a place that is all about good meat and beer? :).
Firstly I need to talk about the fries – the CHILLI CHEESE FRIES $12.90. I asked the lady at the counter if I should order the fries or the chicken wings and she asked if I would be sharing and when I said yes she said “fries, for sure.” These were delightful and we actually fought over them, my mum kept stealing them and she would have been happy to skip the burger and just eat all the fries. They were MIND BLOWING and drowning in chilli beef and cheese, I could eat that with a spoon in a huge bowl, easily the best fries I have ever had. These are my fries benchmark from now on – 5/5 spuds on FBAS scoring.
Then the first burger up was mum’s which turned out to be the “MAMMAS” BUTTERMILK CHICKEN PO BOY for $13.90. This comes with their fried buttermilk butter chicken, remoulade sauce, lettuce, tomato on a sesame seed bun. Firstly – their meat is their specialty, in this burger, the chicken, was amazing. Remoulade or rémoulade is a condiment invented in France that is usually aioli or mayo based. Although similar to tartar sauce, it is often more yellowish, often flavored with curry, and sometimes contains chopped pickles. This sauce was superb, we all sampled, and all loved it. But burger pro gripes, iceberg lettuce, just a personal thing, but I can see how it fits with the no frills sports burger/ meat bar style of cooking. Another gripe, sesame seed buns, these weren’t bad but personally I would have preferred it on a brioche or even a milk bun, mum found it too large for this burger and (again personal choice) she is not a huge bread eater so removed the top part of the bun and ate the lower part with all the ingredients. Can’t fault that chicken. On FBAS scoring this would get a 3.9/5 pickles.
Next up was Mike (the stepdad’s) burger, the DOUBLE BACON CHEESEBURGER $14.90. I nearly ordered this one but Mike and I decided to swap bites so we could try more burgers. This one was a HUGE winner, 2 x Angus Beef Patties, Bacon BBQ Sauce, Cheese on a sesame seed bun – salad – for wimps (and people with heart conditions). :). Patties cooked to juicy perfect, drool and ooze of sauce and cheese was sublime. FBAS score 4.3/5. I was slightly confused about the pickle served with each burger, it was weird, a very simple “garnish,” I do love to munch on an ogórki but as a garnish it fails.
– Do you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?
– They don’t call it a quarter pounder with cheese?
– Hell no, they got the metric system. They don’t know what the fuck a quarter pound is. They call it a royale with cheese.
Then out came my baby, the ROYALE WITH CHEESE $15.90 with a nice nod to PULP FICTION. A big burger, single Angus patty, bacon, sublime cheese, fries, sauce on a sesame seed bun (as this is one of their specials I can’t get much information on the ingredients details, have written to Smoque and will update with deets if they write back). The flavours of this were nice but it lost its joy by the time I was half way through. I would have preferred less fries, more sauce and something with kick, or just more sauce to break up the potato and bun. The potatoes when combined with the bread of the bun made it a little bland. It would also work with an extra patty. It was decent but, sadly nothing that slapped me in the face and said “love me bitch.” FBAS scoring this would be a 3.4 pickles for me.
My funniest pic of the meal was mum watching me bewildered at actually getting the burger in my mouth – love this shot :). I loved the experience at SMOQUE and I need to get back there ASAP for ribs and meat-mares from a protein overindulgence.
We paid for all our meals for this burger indulgence.