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January 5, 2020

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Garlic Barbecue’s Texas twist is a hot seller

SINCE restaurateur Emre Gurel launched Garlic Barbecue last month, customers have been literally chomping at the bit to get their teeth into his succulent meats — for fear of missing out. That is because the restaurant is only open for three hours every day and quickly sells out — as it has done since the grill’s establishment.

“Everyone shares a common love for barbecue. What we do here is not a secret, but a challenge,” Gurel said.

Gurel, who also runs the famous Turkish restaurant Garlic, has a particular love for Texas barbecue. He was amazed by the meat during his trip in Austin and decided to try it out in Shanghai.

“I never ate anything else similar to that perfection before,” he said. “I came back and bought a small smoker, just to learn how to smoke the meat at home.

“It took me a year to achieve what I was looking for. The learning process of smoking perfect meat was crazy. It looks simple but it is indeed an art form that requires time, patience and understanding to master. We don’t call ourselves chef or cook, but pitmaster.”

At Garlic Barbecue, Gurel customized and built two 1,000-gallon wood-fire smokers in a room with glass panes and ventilation. They use lychee wood, the hardest wood found in China, and had it transported from Shenzhen, southern Guangdong Province.

An average 100 kilograms of barbecue is served daily and the smoky, slow-cooked goodness is served by the gram or sandwich style. But the fatty tender brisket, which goes through 18 hours of wood-fire smoking, is the golden ticket here.

“Our prime focus is to deliver the best meat on time,” Gurel said. “Different cuts from Australian brisket to Spanish pork ribs and American pulled pork require different timing so the preparation is organized and efficient. This type of cooking produces extremely flavorful meat and it will also tenderize the toughest cuts. Beef brisket is a tough, fatty cut of meat that has a reputation of being difficult to cook. But what happens between brisket and barbecue is almost magical: It’s crusty on the outside, smoky, tender and delicious on the inside.”

Orders are placed over the counter, starting from 11:30am, and one person is in charge of slicing the meats in front of you. You pick your favorite cuts and choose the side dishes.

A single-person BBQ tasting menu costs 128 yuan, which includes three types of meat and two sides.

Beef brisket (48 yuan/100 gram) and pork ribs (48 yuan/100 gram) are definitely must-haves here.

Any die-hard barbecue lover must make their way here. Just be sure you come early over weekends. They serve from 11:30am until they run out.

Opening hours: 11:30am-3pm
Tel: 138-1833-6837
Address: L107-108, 285 Jianguo Rd E.
Average price: 128 yuan


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