Meat Smith: All that Jazz

Meat Smiths on Telok Ayer road is one of a rare breed of diners dedicated to smoking their own meats in Singapore. Opened in February 2015, it is the newest wing of the expansion plan by hotelier-restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, whom together with his investors have a serious heavyweight league of hotels such as Wanderlust, Hotel 1929; and restaurants, Majestic, Ember, Cocotte and the ever trendy, Esquina under his Unlisted Collection. In fact, stationed in plain sight of the diner is his other restaurant, The Market Grill, situated directly across the road.

So, you would think that with so much roaming credentials and experience under his belt, that a meal at the casual joint Meat Smiths would be flawless. Truth be told, my meal was highly delectable and I would gladly endorse a trip here for anyone looking for a fun-filled dinner.

Need some drinks to kick-start the evening, sit at the bar for easy access to grabbing the bartenders attention. If you're lucky, you might even get a free shot of chartreuse sent your way! The Urquell Pilsner ($15/pint) from Czech Republic and on draft, sits well with the full-bodied flavors of the dishes here, whilst the excellent rendition of Gin & Tea ($18) here would titillate the tastebuds for more! Watch out for the wildly exciting action behind the bars, the bartenders sure have a flair for entertaining their guests!

The food entailed a couple of hits and misses. The Pork Ribs (1/2 rack), layered sensually with a heaping layer of spice rub and smoked till it yields with no self restraint at all. As tender as it was, the smoked flavor of the meat quickly dissipated and I yearned for a better balance of fats in there, for contrast to the largely lean meat. Another star attraction in our spread was the 365 day Grain-fed Angus Beef Brisket ($17/100g), despite the many complaints I've heard about it being hard and dry; I suppose if you made the effort to request for the middle sections, you'll be rewarded with a flavoursome slab of protein that practically melts in the mouth. In all honesty, it doesn't even come close to what you can get at Papi Chulo in Sydney (read about my experience here) but it does give the locals a taste of nirvana. 

The Chicken Liver Mousse ($8) is as good as gold, a solid appetizer with the ability to cause a brawl at the table. Avoid the Ham Hock Greens ($5), if you've never heard of it before and are just trying your luck out with sides; very reminiscent of a Chinese dish, I didn't quite take to the flavor of the smoked hock midst the wilted collard greens. 

For desserts, we were told that the kitchen had ran out of their cobbler, so, we were replaced ever so deftly by the winsome service crew with their Buttermilk Chess pie ($7) instead. The pie pastry was spot on, flaky with knobbly edges that had turned a nutty shade of gold in the oven. The filling was a humble custard with the addition of buttermilk from which the acidity resulted in a unique flavor and structure. The end result was somewhat similar to the consistency of a lemon bar (just something for you to visualise), the warm innards pairing perfectly with the scoop of Smoked Ice Cream ($2). A well executed Southern classic dessert befitting as the sweet finale to our dining experience.

I will be back for the pulled pork sandwich soon. Enough said.

Meat Smith
167-169 Telok Ayer

Operating Hours:
Mon - Sat: 11 45am - 2pm; 5 30pm - 11pm

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