The opening of a second SmokeWorks on Station Road is great news for BBQ lovers and fans of the restaurant. A bigger kitchen means they can offer an expanded menu such as brunch and dessert options. All of the SmokeWorks favourites are still on the menu, with some items only available at this sister restaurant. They take reservations at this location – bonus!
Executive Head Chef Vladimir Hromek is still at the helm with his expertise in the culinary arts. His vast knowledge of traditional and modern BBQ techniques, complemented by extensive travel and research, brings the authentic flavours and textures to SmokeWorks. They have their own smokers and ovens imported from the US and they smoke, pull, brine and season their own classic BBQ food.
There’s no denying SmokeWorks is a meat lover’s paradise but there are some non-meat options such as salads, fish, eggs and vegetable dishes.
The building gives SmokeWorks the room it deserves to thrive. There is ample seating, spread out over two floors, with a nice bar area for drinks, cocktails and nibbles.
As with all restaurants in the Cambscuisine group, the interior design is stunning. The décor features science fantasy, technology and industrial elements. The wheel cogs on the wall not only reflect SmokeWorks’ logo but also the train theme, a nod to the restaurant’s location on Station Road, near Cambridge train station.
“Time to make the donuts!”… anyone know the 80’s TV commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts where Fred the Baker woke up at some ungodly hour in the morning to make fresh doughnuts? (If you don’t, you’ll find it on YouTube). Dunkin’ Donuts no longer make doughnuts on site, but SmokeWorks do. They’re fresh, tasty and definitely NOT factory processed!
Back in August 2014, I posted a review of SmokeWorks (which you can find here) so I was asked to sample Head Chef Vladimir Hromek’s latest culinary adventure… the humble doughnut, with a twist. Vladimir has ‘zhuzhed up’ his doughnuts with a variety of sweet and savoury fillings, which at first may sound like an odd combination but they really work. I sampled all four of them and I can safely say Vladimir is an intrepid adventurer in the world of doughnuts! He has perfected the batter and has put his skills to the test by creating some innovative fillings.
Our summer of the BBQ joint took us to SmokeWorks on Free School Lane in Cambridge. I had been reading rave reviews about the place and it was about time we tried it out. We braved the torrential downpour (hence no outside photos) and walked into a restaurant with industrial décor and functional seating. It was smaller than I expected but then realised there was a whole other floor downstairs. We were greeted warmly and boy, did the place smell delicious. We instantly forgot all about the rain as we were shown to our table by our friendly server.
We knew the portions were big and it was going to be a filling meal so we saved our appetites for this dinner. We had a very early dinner (4:30pm) so the place wasn’t full yet. This gave me the opportunity to take photos without bothering any customers. I explored the basement (and the cool communal loos!) and I admired all of the little decorative touches, the exposed brick, lighting and the seating in the alcoves. They made the most of the limited space they have and it is laid out is a very functional way. The big red button at each table, which you twist when you want service, is an ingenious idea. The table number lights up on a big board, which is very visible to the servers. That way, they don’t have to continuously hover around the tables in the tight spaces and peek around any corners to see if they are needed.