Expectations are slightly higher than usual when preparing for a brunch at a restaurant labelled “Dubai’s first real smoke house”, especially with the amount of hearty meat feasts the city has to offer. And having being wowed on our previous visit at dinner time (we’re still reminiscing about that brisket sandwich) we can’t wait.

So it’s with a spring in our step that we make our way inside the venue, tucked away at the far end of Dubai Marina. We’re greeted by lively waiters who want to get us started ASAP. And we’re happy to oblige.

A lively setting though? Hardly, as its drab interiors don’t do much for atmosphere. In fact, the only object that makes it look like a smokehouse is the custom-built smoker on the balcony, which, admittedly, is an impressive piece of equipment. Visually it’s underwhelming. Our other senses, however, are enthralled. The rich, smoky scents of meat reaching us are a joy.

The smell seems to catch the noses of others walking by, too, as seats at The Blacksmith start rapidly filling up.

Drinks are inventive, and arrive quickly and regularly throughout brunch. But we’re here for the food. Specifically that smoked meat.

The Blacksmith will certainly give customers their fill, as a single plate is brimming with as assortment of bites to chow down on. For starters, we eye up the “armadillo eggs” suspiciously. Essentially a spicy meatball, they’re surprisingly good. As are the succulent chicken wings dripping in homemade barbecue sauce, carby hushpuppies with a side of tasty cheese dip, along with chunky chicken tenders and some shrimp po boys.

And we haven’t even started on mains.

From the buttery brisket to huge pieces of chicken, we wish our bellies could hold a little more so we could fit another bite in. The stars of the show are undoubtedly the barbecue ribs, the beautifully cooked meat bursting with flavour.

Every cut is prepared long before sunrise, of which the tenderness is telling.

Elsewhere on the table, the southern deep-fried catfish is tasty enough, but can’t compete with its land-dwelling comrades.

Side dishes aren’t really necessary at this stage, but a small bucket of mac ’n’ cheese and sweet potato mash are also devoured.

The room is buzzing and we’re certainly not the only ones with meat sweats.

We’re not sure if we can manage dessert, but after a small breather, we give it a go. A surprisingly (and luckily) small slice of pecan cake along with a banana pudding rounds us off.

At Dhs295, it’s a corker of a price, too. Veggies, stay at home, but we’ll be back – in our stretchy trousers.
Dhs299 per person (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Wyndham Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina (04 407 8873).

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A meat feast to trump all others.

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