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New Swansea restaurant The Smoke Haus based on Man v. Food set to open in Wind Street

By V_Jones  |  Posted: November 06, 2012

  • Smoke Haus

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You may have seen Man vs Food and fancied giving it a go.

A new Swansea restaurant based on the popular show means that now you can.

From Tuesday, November 13, The Smoke Haus on Wind Street will be offering their customers dishes including pulled pork sandwiches, steaks, brisket and – wait for it – metre long hot-dogs, set in an American diner.

Not forgetting the all-important food challenge. Eat six spicy wings in ten minutes and you’ll get a t-shirt and your picture will take pride of place on the wall.

In the show, food enthusiast Adam Richman scours the USA for big food offerings and competes in the all important challenges.

Mark Power, from Swansea, and Jane Myall, originally from Newport, had the idea for the new “dining experience” months ago, but have been waiting for the right venue. Less than 24 hours after La Tasca announced they were pulling out of Wind Street, they managed to secure the site.

Mark admits it’s a big venue for a start-up but believes the brand can go far.

“I hope I can take this to Cardiff and further afield eventually,” he says.

The pair, along with assistant manager Owen Thomas, wanted to bring something diverse to Swansea, and The Smoke Haus fit the bill.

Mark says it’s not just a Swansea first – but says there’s nothing like it in the UK.

And even before the restaurant has opened, Mark says people have been getting in touch from around the country wanting to find out more.

Other restaurants have “cherry picked” the best bits, but it’s the first time a restaurant has based its menu on the show, according to Mark.

He even went through a list of places that Adam Richman visited and based the name on a Kentucky eatery.

But it’s not just a gimmick, the former Pump House manager says. It’s all about creating “terrific food” in a fun environment.

"I love Adam Richman's passion for food and I wanted to bring something similar to Swansea," Mark said.

“The food will stand up on its own,” he adds.

"We're taking the unfashionable cuts of meat, just like they do on the show, and slow-cooking them.”

Even Mark admits he had to stop to eat three times while he was writing the menu, which he says will be reasonably priced food including T-bone steaks, pastrami, stuffed sandwiches, and five-stack beef patties.

But the former Ffynone pupil is the first to admit it’s a big task, but says he “loving every minute of it.”

“I think we can do this,” he says.

“We’re giving something back to Swansea, and it’s nice that we’re local people, having a go, doing something for ourselves.”

Mark, 42, says he’ll be in the kitchen for a few months before relinquishing the reigns to his trained chefs.

“It’s food that our chefs have been really enthusiastic about cooking – and eating.”

And there was stiff competition for waiting, bar and kitchen staff, with 300 applicants for just 20 posts.

“There is a real buzz about it. Lots of people are stopping to check out the posters in the window,” he says.

The team say they want to emulate the atmosphere that many of the American diners have.

“I want people to feel welcome. In America, people are sitting by the bar, chatting, picking at food. I want to encourage that.

“We’ll have high tables in the bar area which will be perfect for that,” Mark says.

In another Swansea first, The Smoke Haus will be offering Blue Moon beer – traditionally served with a slice of orange – as well as Coors and American bourbons.

It’s all part of the “traditional” feel the team are hoping for.

“It’s been difficult to find the right venue, but we didn’t give up. I refused to be beaten.

“But it’s nice to wake up and every day is different – the challenges are changing daily,” Mark says.

The only challenge left to face is in the form of six super-spicy wings – will you be trying it? Be sure to review The Smoke Haus . In the meantime, let’s remind ourselves of Richman’s own spicy wing challenge.

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  • hywel79  |  December 09 2012, 11:06AM

    went there last night and waited an hour and a half for what i can only describe as the worst burger i've ever had, ordered the new orleans waited all that time for a cold burger in a cheap tesco value bun, the burger was dry and horrible and could hardly be found underneatch the lettuce, although it did come with a basket of cold oven chips all of which was sent straight back. I wouold be embarressed to serve that stuff myself, do not bother with this place

    |   5
  • gingeboxerdog  |  November 26 2012, 11:09PM

    I've experienced negative and extremely bad service from the staff at The Smoke Haus. Taking into consideration we were a party of 12 people, including a 7 year old child…It took more than 20 minutes for 3 drinks to arrive, over an hour for our food order to be taken, starters were brought out the same time as the main courses and food was not hot when served (especially the chips). After looking at the receipt a few days later I realised that the *** Chicken Wing Challenge (which I completed) was not removed from the final food bill...and I'm still waiting for the t-shirt. On the night, we tried to raise our concerns but it felt like staff would not take the complaint seriously and were very rude, non-cooperative and dismissive. I have other friends who have also experienced this level of juvenile service. I am currently in communication with the Manager (Jane Myall) via email in hope that these issues can be resolved professionally and quickly. I will update this column in future and say whether these issues have been resolved, how long it has taken for them to reply and what resolution has been offered to hopefully make up for this unprofessional extremely bad service. Watch this space….

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  • Shmoo  |  November 12 2012, 1:40PM

    Not really the first of it's kind in the UK. There's loads of similar places every where. Just down the road in Bridgend there is Pitch Diner (https://http://tinyurl.com/bnb77f3) and in Cardiff there is the Sizzle and Grill (http://tinyurl.com/bu6zrls). The guy needs to do his market research.

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  • Julesbreadbox  |  November 09 2012, 3:12PM

    Have they paid EP to keep this story going or is there really nothing better going on in this city?

    |   -2
  • jess104  |  November 07 2012, 5:02PM

    I can't wåit for it to open, clearly the only people having a go are people that need to get out a bit more and enjoy life, yes there's binge drinkers on the weekend as in ANY city and if you dont like the concept of the place, dont go or waste your time writing about it on here, as it states in the interview they want a friendly athmosphere, not full of hypocritical idiots who think they speak for the majority, when the last time they went out was probably to stalk someone!! Bring on the brisket I say :)

    |   10
  • JasonSCFC  |  November 07 2012, 11:04AM

    I have been looking forward to this opening for weeks. A group of us are looking forward to trying the Spicy Wings challenge. In the words of Adam Richman, the Spicy Wings are going down. MVF.

    |   4
  • Julesbreadbox  |  November 07 2012, 9:21AM

    Wind Street, the center of the culinary world, renowned for binge drinking and binge eating. Lovely, and so inviting for tourists.....not?

    |   -16
  • HaroldMonk  |  November 06 2012, 7:09PM

    If the food is good quality then its a welcome place to eat....BUT if it's going to be full of idiots and cheaply sourced ingredients then it will die a death like so many outlets on Wind St have done in the past.

    |   26
  • Jiffy  |  November 06 2012, 6:09PM

    How long until Georgia from Aberdare becomes their best customer? Anyone who's seen Man v Food, will know how revolting a programme it is. The sight of the America tub of lard filling his face with pounds of meat is enough to turn a viewer into a vegan.

    |   -30
  • vikkiswanz  |  November 06 2012, 5:23PM

    Can't wait, huge gap in the market for this kind of thing, just wish I could have afforded to get in there first!!

    |   14