As I sat with my fellow diners on Tuesday, sampling the delights of Bodean’s menu, conversation topics ranged wildly, from Michael Hutchence’s living arrangements to Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear posturing. From this point, talk then turned to what we would choose as our last supper. After Tuesday’s dinner at Bodean’s, I think their unique brand of slow-cooked, smoked high quality meat could well be in with a chance of being my last meal, were North Korea to unleash Armageddon. If you are reading this, then we are probably safe for now, in which case my advice to you is to get yourself down to the nearest Bodean’s branch and tuck in.

My introduction to Bodean’s experience was a holistic one, as we were first taken to their smokehouse, where every week 7 tonnes of meat is smoked, ready for hungry customers in four different restaurants across London. Five top-secret smokers are in operation 24/7, smoking the various cuts of meat for anything between twelve and twenty-four hours. Secret recipes for the various seasonings were stuck to the walls all around the smokehouse (no spoilers here, dear reader), but having seen and smelled it all being prepared, we were all very keen to head back to the restaurant to taste it.

I ordered pulled pork and burnt ends, a spectacularly tender preparation of beef brisket, which arrived with fries and coleslaw. Bodean’s approach is very much a no-nonsense one, with food delivered up as if at a backyard barbeque or a laidback cookout, albeit the best barbeque you’ve ever attended. The waitresses were very helpful, suggesting various sauces specifically tailored for the various meats ordered from around the table. One pair from our party took on the mammoth Boss Hog Platter, which looked a mammoth task. Another chose Jacob’s Ladder, a unique dish of beef ribs. All in all, a spectacular array of slow-cooked deliciousness greeted us, and we were only too happy to polish it off.

To accompany the culinary delights, Bodean’s head mixologist Dave served us up some classic American drinks. The first was the intriguing Nevada Bellini, comprised of Jim Beam Black Label bourbon, mango purée, angostura bitters, agave syrup, and topped up with Sierra Nevada craft beer. On paper this represents an eclectic mix, that is unlikely to deliver a successful cocktail, but the resulting beverage was light, refreshing and delicious. This was followed by a cocktail made with interesting smoked vodka, served with creole bitters which gave the drink an aniseed flavour, finishing sweetly through the agave syrup. Dave saved the best for last, bringing us the “Devil’s Cut” after we had finished our mains. In the distillation process of whiskies, a stage of evaporation called “the angel’s share” means some of the whisky is lost, absorbed by the oak barrels. A new technique, which recaptures this liquid and re-blends it with the rest of the whisky, has given us “The Devil’s Cut”, and the results are remarkable. The added vanilla flavour from the reclaimed whisky was delicious, and despite having quite a kick to it, the Devil’s Cut was very smooth drinking. Several more were ordered.

So if you can find your way out of your nuclear bunker, and make your way through the post-apocalyptic fallout, tucking into a hearty portion of Bodean’s finest offerings will be well worth it.

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Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, James Bomford.

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