Second outlet opens but are they leading the way or just along for the ride?
Joe’s Southern Kitchen, Kentish Town Review
Leading on from their Covent Garden branch, Joe’s Southern Kitchen, offering punters fried chicken, amongst other Southern classics has opened it’s second venue in Kentish Town.
The London restaurant scene feels like it’s now saturated with ‘authentic’ American eateries so James, Ross and I popped along just before the end of their soft launch for a Sunday feast to see if Joe’s Southern Kitchen is leading the way or just along for the ride.
On the former site of the Kentish Canteen, Joe’s Southern Kitchen features a 90 cover ground floor restaurant and outside 20 cover BBQ and dining space, which wasn’t sadly hadn’t opened in time for our visit. There’s also a downstairs bar – Jailbird, which should be open in the next week or so.
The kitchen is run by Executive Chef, Trevor Tobin previously of Steam & Rye, The Big Easy and Goodman along with Head Chef and creator of the original Joe’s menu, Mark Jeevaratnam.
The drinks menu, which includes a large Bourbon selection also contains a selection of 4 cocktails priced at only £5 including Margaritas and Mojitos (both of which were good) means you can get a bit sloshed without making much of a dent in your wallet.
The decor is well thought out and executed, with plenty of light flooding in from the large windows along the front of this 3,500 sq ft space. Exposed brickwork coupled with American diner style banquette seating and tables all comes together nicely for a comfortable dining experience.
As it was the soft launch with 50% off food, we ordered a bunch of dishes for the table.
There are two types of wings on the menu – Southern Fried and BBQ, both of which are;
£5.95 for 6
£9.95 for 12 or
£34.95 for a whopping 48!
We tried both and while Ross preferred the southern option I didn’t think there was anywhere near enough flavour in the coating, which also lacked some crunch. The BBQ wings on the other had, I thought were delicious. The glaze was sticky and punchy, cracking.
I really liked the Devilled eggs with with chicken skin mayonnaise (£3.95), which were full of flavour and topped with salty, crunchy bacon crumbs.
Joe’s Prison Plate (£13.95) of pulled pork with BBQ butter beans, Joe’s slaw, rice and toasted flat bread was nice enough, but nothing special. The pulled pork was decent but lacked depth and the beans lacked any of the smokiness I’d expect.
Our sides of Mac n’ Cheese (£3.95) and Cheese Grits (£2.95) were a mixed bag. The Mac n’ Cheese was lovely and rich – I wish we’d ordered a proper portion but the grits were all filler, no killer.
The other disappointing dish at Joe’s Southern Kitchen was the Fried Chicken Waffle (£9.95). It’s presentation lacked finesse, with half a bag of undressed rocket hastily tipped over it and while the coating seemed to have more flavour the wings, it still lacked crunch and missed the spot for me.
For me, any chicken and waffle dish in London has to compete with Duck & Waffle‘s trademark dish and sadly, this was nowhere near.
It does feel a bit like Joe’s Southern Kitchen is just here to cash in on the latest craze but there was enough here to make me want to come back and I’m sure there are dishes on the menu that would be writing home about, like the 24 hour sweet tea brined bird Crispy Southern Fried Bird, which is £12.95 for half or £24.95 whole and thanks to another 50% off food offer on the bottom of our bill, Joe’s can expect me back for seconds.
|Southern Fried Wings x 6||£5.95|
|BBQ Wings x 6||£5.95|
|Joe's Prison Plate||£13.95|
|Fried Chicken Waffle||£9.95|
|Pulled Pork (side)||£4.95|
|Mac n' Cheese (side)||£3.95|
300 Kentish Town Road,
London NW5 2TG