The Smokeyard (庭云) (CLOSED)

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Building 6 Sanlitun Nan Lu

This venue has closed.

We push open the heavy metal door beneath The Smokeyard’s proudly emblazoned marquee. The two-storey dining room is filled with an alternating collection of hardwood tables, pressed-steel enamel chairs and high-top tables.


At the outset, everything seems to be in order – cool, modern and an attempt at the painfully hip. We crack open a menu and rattle off a drink order with some starters. A craft beer seems in order, and lucky for us, it’s right there on the menu! What sort of ‘craft beer’ no one seems to know, we’d heard it’s from Lark Brew Pub but our server is insistent that it’s a house concoction (on a separate visit this belief was echoed a second time), but we’re not here to argue and at 18RMB a pint, it’s hard to complain.


We sit back to wait as the content of the brightly painted walls come into focus. A two-storey-high image of a Mercedes G-Class is bursting from one wall, while a black decal of a lorry screams a roadhouse anthem from another. It’s hard to place all of this – somewhere between rich kid’s trucker fantasy and toned-down ‘dad bar’.


Our beers arrive to put a stop to our musing, followed shortly by our starters. The mozzarella sticks (26RMB) are an affront to cheese in stick form everywhere. Dry, devoid of anything resembling cheese and purported to be served inexplicably with ketchup (although our order came with sweet Thai chilli sauce). The Mexi Shrooms (32RMB) fare much better, stuffed with a satisfying combination of cheese and spices. Beer-battered chips (26RMB) are a nice attempt at something more than just plain old chips, but the batter has no flavour, adding a crunch but nothing more. The Green Dip (38RMB) – a sort of guacamole riff with mango – goes down well, but skip the thick greasy bits of toast posing as tortilla chips.


The barbecue standards are eons ahead. The ribs (78RMB) are tender and delicious, even if the sauce is over-seasoned with cumin. Likewise, the steak (98RMB) is on point, delivering great value as well as a satisfying protein fix. Both suffer from disappointing sides, but a carnivore would hardly notice. Service is eager, if clueless, and they have an iPad ordering system that seems to create more confusion than it solves.


In the end, we leave The Smokeyard a bit disappointed. We’d hoped for more, but if you’re looking for a cheap steak, a rack of ribs, and not much else, The Smokeyard has your number.

Venue name: The Smokeyard (庭云) (CLOSED)
Contact:
Opening hours: 10am-2pm, 5pm-10:30pm, daily
Email: yi.ding@the-smokeyard.com
English address: Door 5, Building 6, Sanlitun Nan Lu, Chaoyang district
Chinese address: 朝阳区三里屯南路6号楼5门
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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