Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Food | Joe's Southern Kitchen and Bar | Covent Garden

In recent months, a lot of American joints have found their way across the pond to London from the likes of Shake Shack and Five Guys to name a couple but there's one that we've not heard publicised so much and with offerings like soft shell crab and southern fried chicken with a bar to boot, it was time for a couple of friends and me to see what Joe's Southern Kitchen and Bar had in store...

Baum was smart enough to book a table for us on a Saturday evening, and this comes highly recommended. While there was not a queue of people waiting to get in at the door, when we called, we were either given the option of 5pm or 8pm so I guess reservations are the way forward for this American joint! We found our way to Covent Garden (think it used to be Navajo Joe's?) and were shown to a table and were handed some menus to peruse over. The restaurant itself is a bit like a Tardis - does not seem big from the outside, but it is! Spaced out over two/three floors (one is a mezzanine so whichever way you see it), there's plenty of room for eating and also comes with a massive bar that spans pretty much the length of the restaurant.

Because every American joint needs some sort of retro/vintage sign... 

Check out that candle and all that dripping wax! Oh, the ridiculous amount of alcohol stacked along the wall

We visited shortly after Suarez bit Chiellini in the recent World Cup match of Uruguay vs Italy, and to pay homage to it, there was a special on the menu!

Drinks were ordered... Cue 1 Joe's Creamy Lilt for me, a Virgin Mojito for Pocahontas and a Joe's Lemongrass Lemonade for Baum. The creamy lilt was just well... too creamy and even oily for my liking to be honest. I thought it'd be like a virgin Pina Colada - how wrong was I?? 

You also get a bottle of tap water if you wish on your table - and they come in these cool bottles

After ordering some starters, plates were laid and you know you're in for a treat when they give you hand wipes before the food arrives!

Hello there chicken wings with a sticky BBQ sauce! These were yummyyyy

Let's not forget the whole soft shell crab which comes with "crispy cajun spiced vegetables and cajun mustard" (£6.95). To be honest, the spiced vegetable thing assuming they were the yellow thin things tasted like something you would get out of a Bombay Mix, and the soft shell crab was the tiniest thing ever!!

Okay, so enough of the starters.. onto the mains
I ordered the "Prison Plate" (£13.95) after reading reviews on TripAdvisor. When it came, it was set out on this tray which immediately made me feel like I was in school with a tray and all the divided compartments - anyone else had that type of school tray?? This was really filling and so yummy too. It comes with pulled pork (top right), more pulled pork with BBQ butter beans in a tomato-ey sauce (top left), some toasted flat bread (bottom left), Joe's take on coleslaw - you know how I love my coleslaw! - (bottom middle) and some rice (bottom right).  

Baum and Pocahontas both got the southern fried chicken dish (£12.50) described as "buttermilk marinated for 24 hours then fried in our pressure fryer for a healthier crispy skin". Of course Joe's being an American place, sides came separately and there was one set of a whipped potatoes and chicken gravy (£2.95) and a side of Southern Fried potatoes (£2.95). What is it with these American places and having sides separately??

Pocahontas realised her mistake of wearing a white shirt to an American place so here's her with a bib to catch any spills! Surprised I didn't have to do the same thing haha

Me being the constant hungry person I am, managed to finish my plate of food, clearly was still hungry so divulged into finishing off Baum's and Pocahontas (not painting myself in a good light here am I??). It was halfway through this that all three of us felt a whole bunch of water droplets on us - looked up and found out that one of the servers had accidentally dropped some drinks which poured over us instead (remember what I said about the mezzanine?). As a result, we were treated to a round of drinks on the house - well, why not??

After looking over the drinks menu, I settled on "One Night in Jail" - the most expensive cocktail on the menu. Well if I'm getting it for free after alcohol being spilt on me, it's only right surely? Plus I had a Prison Plate as my main, might as well carry on with the whole prison/jailbird theme we accidentally got going on here! If the description of the cocktail specifies only two per customer, you know it's gonna be something amazing right? Wild turkey 101, Noah’s mill, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, fresh pineapple, grapefruit juice, lime juice, grenadine, gomme and Angostura bitters, shaken & served long is the description and half the things in there did not make sense to me. Meh. Ordered it anyway!

Ohhh yeah - this bad boy of a cocktail came with FLAMES! 
Baum opted for Son of a Peach (£7.50) that had stoli vodka, peach liqueur, blood orange syrup, lemon juice and apple juice, built and served long over crushed ice and it was another virgin mojito for Pocahontas. After dunking the half passion fruit thing into the cocktail, the drink just turned 100000% worse. DON'T DO IT!!
Not sure whether she's deciding she likes the drink or thinking if she likes the drink...

Of course I am ending this post on a couple of selfies. Because that's what we do. 

Address: 34 King Street, London. WC2E 8JD (in Covent Garden)
Telephone: 020 7240 4008
Website: http://joessouthernkitchen.co.uk/
Have you ever been to Joe's Southern Kitchen?
What's your favourite American joint in London?
What's your favourite American thing to eat?

Let me know in the comments below!
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