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Saint Smokeys BBQ House: the Sweet Spot in Town

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Cuisine: Caribbean

Price range: £17-18

Location: Canterbury CT1 2DR

One restaurant you can’t miss if you live in, or are visiting, Canterbury is Saint Smokeys located at 17-18 Borough.

The flavour you experience from just one single bite of their chicken is why Smokeys seems to be a favourite with locals. Who knew BBQ chicken could taste so sweet yet so spicy and succulent.

Although I visited the restaurant during the evening, it was still quite packed. On arrival the server welcomed us in with a warm and friendly smile and explained the process of ordering. There is something so authentic and relaxed about the atmosphere in there, it is not overbearing or flamboyant. The walls are sparingly decorated with artwork or plaques with quotes on them.

Due to the amount of people in the restaurant we did have to wait 30 minutes for our food, though the wait was worth it. In general, it would be a 15-minute wait as the food is fresh cooked. When the server graced my friend and me with two large portions, little did we know that we were in for a treat.

With good sized portions, Smokeys reminds me of a cross between Nando’s and the Caribbean restaurants in Brixton, London. The family run restaurant was created by a father and son who took inspiration from over four generations of Caribbean cuisine and handed-down family recipes.

With this knowledge they were able to create the secret recipe for their mouth-watering flame grilled, BBQ chicken. The menu is simple and straight to the point and the prices are reasonable. The dish I ordered of quarter chicken, rice and peas, and salad cost only £7.50.

The plate came with the chicken coated in the secret sauce and with the sauce drizzled over the rice and peas. I ordered extra hot, as I love my food spicy, but you can ask for variable degrees of spice.

The chicken was so juicy and tender, though I was a little disappointed that the proportion of chicken was rather small.

If you do decide to visit this restaurant, I’d recommend the half chicken or wing deal. I would have preferred proper forks and knives, the knife and fork provided were wooden and even the plate was bio gradable. Which is, of course, better for the environment, but not terribly pragmatic.

Overall the experience was very enjoyable. I will be going back soon! If you want something different to Nando’s, but still looking for lots of flavor and spice with a Caribbean twist, be sure to visit Smokeys!

Overall experience: 8/10

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