Cover Photo: Courtesy of Smoke & Barrel

The Wyndham Street restaurant is the second project by chefs Chris Grare and Arron Rhodes of Kinship

Just over a year since they opened Kinship in Central, chefs Chris Grare and Arron Rhodes have put their heads together for another restaurant in the neighbourhood. Smoke & Barrell is their second project and is dedicated to the grand old tradition of Texas-style smokehouse barbecue, cooked over hickory wood—think juicy slabs of brisket and sticky ribs. The restaurant is taking over the space vacated by Björn Frantzen's The Flying Elk, which closed at the end of 2019.

The duo have tapped chef Christopher Tuthill to man the kitchen—the Albuquerque native was previously the chef at Forty Niner, the gastro-bar at The American Club in Hong Kong, for five years. Before that, Tuthill worked in San Francisco for more than 10 years and in San Antonio for nine, where he spent his time exploring the city's rich barbecue scene. To imbue the dishes with that all-important smoky aroma, the team will use an imported wood-fired smoker sourced from a family business in Missouri.

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It’s been a while since Hong Kong has seen an authentic smokehouse barbecue restaurant, with not that many to begin with. Crft Pit in Ap Lei Chau, opened in 2016, is currently the most well known as a retailer of Texas-style barbecue—they also run a tasting room that’s open to advance bookings on weekends. The Roundhouse in Central and Wan Chai also offers Texan-style barbecue dishes, from smoked beef brisket to ribs and pulled pork. Few may also remember the now-closed 85 South on Kau U Fong, which specialised in North Carolina barbecue.

So, the scene has plenty of space for a proper barbecue restaurant, which we're sure many of Hong Kong's 85,000-plus Americans will agree with. Smoke & Barrell will officially open in October.

Smoke & Barrel, 1/F-2/F, Wyndham Mansion, 32 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong