The summer is drawing to an end but having gotten so attached to the weekly BBQs the discerning gent went in search of a venue that would cater to our needs. Recommended by a number of Londoners in the know, there was only one place to go to for BBQ inspired Beer Can Chicken – Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar.
Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar is located in the heart of tourist London – easy and convenient to find, a simple walk from Covent Garden. You may have visited the restaurant when it was Navajo Joe’s – keen to rebrand the owners saw a market for food from the South and created a food and drink menu that intrigued!
The Look, the Feel
The venue itself has not changed much since the re-branding, it has the American feel to it. The highlight being an illuminated large Coca-Cola sign, which captures your attention, when you enter. The overall theme is that of a busy American diner. The ambience is buzzy and exciting – a very social event with tables available across two floors and a bar basement to enjoy the huge selection of cocktails available. This in itself was a reason to visit Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, the cocktail we were greeted with was one we returned for on a number of occasions!
To start with we tucked into samples including the Crispy Fried Pickled Okra (£3.95) and Fried Soft Shell Crab and Seasonal Vegetables (£6.95). Both dishes were surprisingly tasty – the real southern influence was apparent in the menu, which provided a good variety of dishes. Eager to try more of the menu we made room for the delicious Sothern Chicken wings with Tabasco honey (£5.95) and the Corn and Monterey Jack Rice Balls (£4.95). These were a hit with all who tried them – certainly one of our recommendations when visiting.
The Main Event
The big draw for Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar was certainly the chicken. Any vegetarians should turn away; the discerning gent certainly enjoy his meat and when this is the case, Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar is the venue of choice.
The main selection was easy, the Beer Can Chicken (£24.95 for two) was the biggest draw of the evening. The waiters kept the enthusiasm of the evening going, they were feeding-off the social atmosphere and brought out the whole chicken. To everyone’s delight, cameras were out capturing the main of the evening, despite the heavy selection of starters we ravaged the main – despite the hype, it did not disappoint. The chicken, barn reared in Suffolk, was delicious and full of flavor, infusing with the beer and the BBQ rub.
The menu has other southern classics if you are not in the mood for chicken, we sampled Blackened Catfish Fillet (£14.95) which was gorgeous; beautifully moist but enriched with Cajun mustard served with and collard greens.
Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar is not a venue you visit if you are after a candle-lit evening with your significant other. The atmosphere was very energetic and busy, the venue was full mid-week and entertained tourists and after work parties. Ensure you arrive hungry – the food is remarkably good, Head Chef, Mark Jeevaratnam, has done a fantastic job in developing the traditional dishes which are characteristic to places like Louisiana, North Carolina and Alabama.
If you are not into the burger rush of London, and the 3 hour queues, head to Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar for a great variety of food and cocktails.
Style: American BBQ
Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar
34 King St
London WC2E 8JD
T: 020 7240 4008