It’s hump day! To celebrate this important time of the week when the countdown to the weekend starts, I’ve got some chicken-y goodies for you. Just when you think we’ve had enough of the fried and rotisserie chicken joints, another one opens up. I put two of the latest branches to test to see whether they really live up to the hype? Read on to find out…
Joe’s Southern Kitchen, Kentish Town:
Two minutes from Kentish Town station is the new branch of Joe’s Southern Kitchen & Bar. Having walked past its Covent Garden branch, I always made a mental note to visit it. But as the London food scene keeps on expanding, so does my list of restaurants/cafes/popups to visit!
To celebrate the opening of Joe’s in Kentish Town and to showcase Executive Chef Trevor Tobin (Steam & Rye, The Big Easy and Goodman) and his team’s culinary finesse in the kitchen, we were invited down for the press night. Whilst we had a large corner table, the place was quite busy for 6:30PM in the evening as it was also open to the general public. Hence, you can tell whether the restaurant is genuinely popular or not…
Once we sat down, we were presented with our own individual menus. My oh my! one look at the menu and I was already salivating. Kentish Town has its own specialty dish i.e. Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken with Lemon Salt & Tabasco Honey so all the more reason to visit this particular branch. Both branches have their own specialities which is a great way to ensure diners are inclined to try food from both.
So while I sipped on my “The Lychee” drink (you can ask for non-alcoholic versions), very quickly the food started making its way to the table and all conversations came to a halt!
Lo and behold, all you lovers of Mac n’ Cheese, this version was ridiculously gooey and lush!
I was having the ultimate comfort food party and wished I’d brought my “Joey” pants for this dinner. Next one was the Gooey Corn Spoon Bread and as the name suggests, it really was gooey. The only thing though, it didn’t have much of a bread texture which I didn’t really mind. It was cheesy and melting in my mouth, just how I like it!
I haven’t come across many menus that do Devilled Eggs and Joe’s has come up with their individual take on the Devilled Eggs that comes with Chicken Skin Mayonnaise and Bacon Crumbs (you can ask if they will do a version without bacon and they will be happy to oblige)
One of my favourite dishes was the…wait for it… DEEP FRIED SHORT RIB MEAT LOAF! Although the presentation was a simple stack of ingredients, it was extremely well executed and when you go, definitely order this dish! The flavours and textures work really well together.
The pièce de résistance was of course Joe’s Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken with Lemon Salt & Tabasco Honey. These weren’t some measly pieces of some baby chicken. It seemed like Chef Trevor had gone and found the biggest and meanest chickens fit for his kitchen. Perfectly crispy skin and exactly like it was described. With any kind of meat there’s always a danger of overcooking the meat which means it’s not as juicy. But not this one! Every bite was succulent and delicious as the first. They also served it with the chicken gravy which didn’t overwhelm the taste at all.
If you were really up for an adventure, there was also the option of Buckwheat waffles with bourbon maple syrup. Chicken and Waffle is quite a popular brunch option at the moment but hadn’t had them with watermelons until now…
I wasn’t sure about this combination with the watermelons. However, watermelons alone after a few bites of the chicken was a combo that worked well for me! It really cooled down the palette after such a heavy meal…
The shrimp and grits was the least favourite of all for me…
Just when I thought the meal was over…I mean have you not seen the photos yourself?! How much more could I fit in my tummy?! Well…I can fit a lot but I was pretty full at this point.
But one look at what was placed in front of me and I quickly forgot about it…It was Iced Honeycomb and Chocolate Parfait Sandwich. Just shut up and take my money! The perfect dessert for me…aah if only I could have more of this. The second favourite was the Peanut Butter Fudge Pie with Chantilly Cream = dead!
While the Pecan pie was made really well, it paled in comparison to the other two desserts. They definitely get my money!
All in all, a fabulous evening spent at Joe’s in Kentish Town. Even had a Masterchef celeb moment when we saw Chef John Torode having dinner right behind us #starstruck
Even though it was a press night for us, it does not mean any part of the experience was made up. I saw people genuinely having a great time with lots of food, drinks and merriment! Kudos to the whole team.
For all things Joe’s Southern Kitchen & Bar, click here. And then choose the branch of your choice.
P.S: They also do weekend brunch!
The Chicken Shop, Holborn:
Sometimes, all you want is a quick and simple meal. Nothing beats a well cooked plate of food. I’m a huge fan of rotisserie chicken and not having been to The Chicken Shop (yeah chill out, I had not been okay!), I suggested to my friend we meet up at their new Holborn branch for dinner. It’s owned by the same guys as Pizza East and Dirty Burger i.e. Soho House who pretty much own most of Soho and all the snazzy parts of London.
I remember when I went to eat at My Old Dutch a few years back and there wasn’t much going on in terms of food other than a Chicken Cottage next to My Old Dutch. Fast forward to 2015, right opposite to it, you have brand spanking new Hoxton Hotel, a fancy shmancy nail bar AND The Chicken Shop. I needed some protein fix after my gym session. (Please refrain from sharing your nutritional knowledge with me at this point… :D)
A simple menu on the blackboard or the cheerful staff would be happy to tell you. Chicken- full, half or quarter and a choice of four sides- crinkle cut fries, butter lettuce and avocado, corn on the cob and coleslaw. All priced at £4 each. We went for the full chicken, crinkle cut fries and the salad.
The food was on our table within 10 minutes or even less. It was just what we needed- efficient service with a smile! A decent and tasty meal that wasn’t too heavy on the pocket either. We couldn’t finish the whole chicken so got a doggy bag to go!
If you’re looking for a quick and delicious meal, give these guys a go! You can also order using the Deliveroo service. They have three other branches in London- Kentish Town, Tooting and Whitechapel and one in Fulton, Chicago.
For all things Chicken Shop, check out their website here.
Special shout out to my blogger friend Connie Law of Connie Consumes for the inspiration behind this blog’s title! 😉