I had read a review that Howards Smokehouse in Golf del Sur was good. I didn’t know how good because I didn´t know the reviewer but as we were meeting our friend Carol for a long overdue get together, I asked if she would like to try it.
I phoned two days before our visit and spoke to Howard the owner, asking could we sit inside (I didn´t know the set up but being residents we are feeling the chill this time of year).
When we arrived just before 8.00pm, we were greeted by Sarah, our waitress and escorted to our table. It was by the window and I am sure if it had been daylight, the view would have been magnificent as we could see the lights across the bay at El Medano.
Because we had not seen Carol since July, we had a lot of catching up to do. Sarah realised this and once she had taken our drinks order was happy to wait while we chatted. She said when you are ready let me know…. We thought this was a great attitude because sometimes restaurants make you feel you have to read the menu as soon as it is given, but we were not the least bit rushed.
We were unaware that there would be entertainment so a nice surprise was to see that Colin Stevens would be spending the evening with us. I last saw him in Palm Mar and knew he had a great voice and sang our kind of music. Once we had placed our order Colin came over for a chat and we realised how animal mad we all were.
Right from the off our initial impressions were to say the least very good. Howards is a palpably personal operation where charming staff with pedigree try very hard to meet the customers’ needs.
So to the food. For some this is the most important part of a restaurant review, (although as you know for me it is only one element – other equally important things make a place memorable).
We ordered our starters, Carol had the prawn fountain, I went for the camembert with red currant jelly that has a small but very tasty side-salad and Jim after thinking he might have the stuffed mushrooms finally decided on the spicy tomato soup, which had a real depth of flavour.
We all went for the fillet steak. The meats are good here – classics done well and the accompaniments were a welcome surprise – really crispy roast potatoes or chips, cauliflower cheese and green beans. Our meals turned out to be spectacular! With all the meat available, you’re unlikely to go hungry. I checked out the burger on the next table it was huge as was the fish (I think the lady said Cod Mornay). But back to our meal…. I was happy with the way they were simply and cleanly served, it suits the low-brow smokehouse decor and is infinitely better than putting everything on chopping boards that these kind of establishments often think is trendy.
Now if you are looking for cheap, then you had better continue walking because Howards is not cheap, however based on the ample portions served, pound for pound it is not expensive either. I would budget approximately €30-35 per person.
Only Jim had room for dessert, the strawberry cheesecake. It looked delicious but I was too stuffed to even try a mouthful.
At the end of the meal Howard who has a discreet presence and Louise, his partner stopped by our table for a chat. Louise is normally the head chef but it was her night off and she was, like our group, enjoying Colin Stevens quiz. It was therefore down to Howard to do what great chefs are supposed to do – cook quality food consistently and this he did with each course and apparently total ease, as everything worked perfectly.
I always used to think the Golf was a pretty deadbeat place to eat, but it’s improved a lot in recent times, in part thanks to businesses like Howards. This is one of those rare establishments to which we’d like to return as it’s hard not to like any restaurant which clearly has a big heart and that’s a test this place passes with flying colours.
I would suggest as Howards Smokehouse is getting more popular by the day to ensure you have a table call 634 300 958 or 922 738 793