Wood Fire Roasted Meat & Fish at Stoke House, London

Stoke House describes itself as a ‘contemporary take on the Great British Carvery‘ and specialises in meats roasted in a wood fire smoker. Recently, they’ve rethought their original buffet service approach and switched to waiter service at your table. They’ve also added small plate options to the menu as well as some meaty sandwiches served from noon to six p.m.

We visited to review one recent Friday lunch time for a relaxing feast after what turned out to be an anything-but-relaxing visit to a special exhibition at the British Museum – wonderful content but more crowded than the London Underground in rush hour!

Stoke House is located within the newish Nova complex near Victoria station, so it’s particularly handy for anyone seeking a pit-stop during a train or bus journey through one of London’s transport hubs, or for those who live or work nearby. Nova is a mixed scheme offering residential and office space along with space for several restaurants, and the wide central corridor between the two buildings forms a rather pleasant outdoor space. Most of the restaurants have outdoor tables here, and trees and seating along the middle give locals a place to sit and relax when the weather is decent.

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The drinks list is a bit meagre; Pete found the beer selection very limited (only two lagers and an IPA to choose from) and I wasn’t very excited by the cocktails list. I did enjoy my Skinny Colada (which uses coconut water rather than milk, I think, hence the variation on the usual Pina Colada name).

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We started with two dishes from the Small Plates section, which our waitress told us is essentially Starters by another name.

The secret smokehouse salmon, dill crème fraiche, seeded crackers (£8) was lovely, served in thick slices, it had a perfect silky texture, a nicely balanced and not-at-all overpowering smokiness and worked beautifully with the seed-strewn crackers and dill crème fraiche.

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We were momentarily discombobulated when the Burrata, San Marzano tomato (£8) arrived with no visible sign of the headline ingredient – it seemed odd to hide the burrata under the crisp bread like this! But both the roasted tomato and the burrata were utterly delicious, indeed it was some of the best burrata I’ve had recently I just wish there were a little more of it in the serving.

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Instead of choosing two mains, one of the staff suggested we choose three, since many of them come in small, medium and large portions and we could get a feel for more of the menu. Note that none of the mains come with sides included, so you need to order these separately.

We chose Cornish roast rump of beef, watercress, grated horseradish (£12 / £16), smoked beer can roast chicken (£6.5 / £12) and Scottish wood roasted salmon with fennel and cress (£8) plus sides of garlic and thyme roasted new potatoes with maldon sea salt (£3.5), smoked cauliflower cheese (£4.5) and one of the day’s salads, smashed cucumber and watermelon (£3.50).

Our waitress also suggested we try all four of the available sauces, though we’d usually just pick one or two. Salsa verde, chimichurri, wild lovage pesto and Stoke chilli sauce are all £1 each.

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The rump was a beautiful (and beautifully cooked) piece of beef, though it was cold when served to us, and no that’s not because of a long delay while I took pictures. I’m always so impatient to eat that I spend only a few seconds on photos per dish before we dive in! Though we ordered the smallest portion, it was still very generous.

The salmon was beautifully cooked, though I found the salting on a skin a little too heavy, it was still a good dish. But again, it was served warm rather than hot.

All four sauces were really good, and worked very well with the three mains we tried. We were also given some horseradish for the beef, which had a pleasantly punchy flavour.

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Our favourite of the three mains was, to my surprise, the smoked beer can chicken. I rarely order chicken when eating out, though we cook it a lot at home so it’s not that we don’t like it. It’s just that breast can be so bland, and often dry to boot. Here, the meat was fantastically tender and moist, with a really wonderful kick of smokiness in the flavour. The marinade on the skin was delicious too. We loved this dish!

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The smoked cauliflower cheese was the most disappointing dish of the meal, not only because it was stone cold when served (despite coming in a cast iron pot that we were warned was hot to the touch – it wasn’t) and there wasn’t even a hint of smokiness to the flavour either. It was all a bit mushy and underwhelming.

Luckily, the garlic and thyme roasted new potatoes (pictured only in the overhead photo) were excellent, fairly hot when served, and made up for the cauli cheese.

My favourite side was the cucumber watermelon salad, which I just adored! The sweet sharp pickling liquid was perfectly balanced, giving the sweet watermelon just the right savoury note, and the cucumber, coriander and mint were spot on.

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We didn’t really need dessert, as is so often the case, but were encouraged to try so we could assess the full menu. We chose lemon posset with fennel biscotti (£5.5) and chocolate mousse with honeycomb (£5.5).

The posset came with a layer of raspberry on top, and was smooth and delicious but completely unset. I don’t know whether this was a deliberate choice or someone just didn’t cook the posset mix long enough (I’ve made this many many times and it should set to a wonderful thick texture that the spoon pushes into and leaves a distinct spoon shaped hole behind). It was tasty but more of a lemon cream than a posset.

The chocolate mousse on the other hand, was excellent with a good rich flavour, perfect texture and lovely topping of chocolate-coated honeycomb. Tea and coffee were fine too. Although I’d prefer a few more choices on the tea front, I somehow suspect that not many visitors ask for tea here!

Overall, we enjoyed most of the food very much, marred only by the issue of several dishes arriving lukewarm or cold – discussing with the manager we were told it’s a known issue and one they are working on. Certainly I hope they resolve it soon as it’s really the only let-down in an otherwise appealing venue.

Kavey Eats dined as guests of Stoke House, for review purposes.

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39 Comments to "Wood Fire Roasted Meat & Fish at Stoke House, London"

  1. Mamta Gupta

    Sounds like a good place to eat and not too expensive. Your photos and description are mouthwatering and very well penned as always :)! It looks like a pretty good value meal. I agree with you, well cooked food served lukewarm destroys the meal for me too. It must be frustrating for their chef too. I hope they will be able to resolve the issue soon.


    Yes, it’s a shame. It didn’t matter too much for the beef but it killed the cauliflower cheese completely.

  2. Anna @ shenANNAgans

    What an interesting combination the cucumber watermelon salad would be, I’d be keen to try it, especially after the way you described it.

    Not particularly keen on all that watercress garnish tho. :/

  3. Carrie

    The smoked salmon sounds delicious! Disappointing that so much of the meal was served lukewarm or cold. I’m not much of a meat eater to begin with, and the idea of cold beef seems completely unappetizing.

  4. Eric Gamble

    Dang this all looked awesome. Wish I had heard of The Stoke house while we were there because I would have loved to have tried that beer can chicken or the salmon and even if I was stuffed to the gills I would have had the chocolate mousse because that looks awesome.

  5. Nadia

    I love reading your restaurant reviews because you always give your honest opinion! I like the idea of choosing a few smaller dishes rather than 2 big ones. I’m one of those very indecisive people when it comes to picking what I want so choosing more than ons works very well for me 😀

  6. Claire Jessiman

    The food looks amazing but Iike you I’d be very dissapointed if the temperature was not right. Hopefully just teething troubles and it sounds like there is a lot of potential.

  7. Meagan

    Sounds delicious all the way around, even they are having some growing pains. As an aside, if no one has hired you as a culinary photographer, they 100% should. Between the flat shots, macro looks, and general restaurant snaps, your photos are on point! 🙂

  8. Roxanna Keyes

    I have been told that London is fabulous for dining, and to plan for good eating when we visit. I never considered that Steak would be among the options though.. Putting this in my notes for when we visit!

  9. Michelle W

    Sounds like a good place to go without being too expensive! Your photos are beautiful and appealing as well. That’s unfortunate about your food being cold- I’m sure the staff is frustrated that was the case as well.

  10. sherianne

    I haven’t made the best choice when eating in London and usually give up and eat fish and chips the whole time but this all sounds and looks amazing!

  11. Rhonda Albom

    I remember trying a cucumber watermelon salad somewhere. I can’t remember where but I really enjoyed it. I’m glad you found such a good place to eat.

  12. Kerri

    Wish I had known about this when I was in London 8 weeks ago (although I wasn’t short of great places to eat). Looks pretty good and I would definitely loved the smoked beer can chicken….like you we eat a lot of chicken but I’m always happy to try good chicken when we are out too. Lemon possett would be my choice for dessert…it’s not often you see possett anymore. My m-in-law lives not far from Victoria, I’ll be passing this on to her, thanks.

  13. Indranil Chowdhury

    Your food photos are amazing. love going through them on Instagram too. Those desserts look irresistible! Also, the salmon platter looked killer. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  14. Nina Danielle

    Your food photography is amazing! This place looks pretty good, I love salmon dishes.

  15. Ron Meker

    My my my!
    This place is definitely gonna be visited by me!
    looks like everything I like in one place 😀
    BTW photos really made the food look really appealing!

  16. Candiss

    mmm this is making me quite hungry. The chicken looks quite amazing as does the salmon starter!

  17. Skye

    Well Stoke House looks delicious. The secret smokehouse salmon, dill crème fraiche, seeded crackers is right up my alley. So fresh and clean. This was such a great find and I love that there are some healthy options on the menu, which is hard to find among the comfort food restaurants in London.

  18. Trisha Velarmino

    Everything looks delicious! It seems like the place has a perfect location, too. I hope they will really take an action and improve the serving of the food. It will be nice if it is served hot!


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