With its original venues in Camden and Shoreditch, The Blues Kitchen has already made a name for itself; boasting classic Barbecue dishes, New Orleans inspired soul food, an unrivalled Bourbon selection and regular live music.
As locals to Brixton and fans of anything residing ‘south of the river’ – we decided to try out its newest establishment on Acre Lane.
Brixton’s Blues Kitchen seems smaller than the others, but the décor follows suit, with ambient lighting, maroon coloured booths, wooden fittings and tiled flooring; you could quite easily be sat in a bar in the southern states of America, rather than deep in the hustle and bustle of Central Lambeth. Within a few minutes of arriving, we were ushered to our table and served drinks by our very friendly and attentive waiter, Max.
The menu offers your usual burgers and salads, but it’s the main courses and Barbecue options that you should really be looking at. The main courses section features Catfish Jambalaya, Beef Brisket Chilli, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, New Orleans Gumbo, and if you’re feeling fancy, Whole Canadian Lobster, whilst the Barbecue options include Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Smoked Chicken, Burnt Ends and Short Beef Rib.
We originally decided against ordering an appetiser, but after seeing several other diners with them, we decided to order the Crab Donuts out of food envy. Donuts can often be a bit of a gamble, as they can turn out to be greasy, stodgy and far too sweet to contain a savoury filling – but these were light, fresh and crispy – filled with delicious Cajun spiced crab meat and a zesty chipotle mayonnaise. Although thoroughly enjoyable, they were quite big, so I would recommend sharing if you want to avoid a good old fashioned food coma.
For the main course, I went for the Catfish Jambalaya, which contained plenty of succulent catfish fillets, juicy prawns, soft brown rice and fresh peas, in a tasty crayfish sauce. It was a hearty, beautifully flavoursome and the ultimate in comfort food. I wouldn’t mind eating this in front of the fireplace on a winters day, or in front of the bonfire on Guy Fawkes night… I’d basically like to eat this in front of a fire. Any fire.
My colleague went for the traditional style, New Orleans Gumbo; a soul warming stew of chicken, smoked sausage, sweet potato, fresh tomatoes and peppers, topped with white rice. Again, it was a very hearty dish with just the right amount of spice, and came with a generous piece of homemade Cornbread – which tasted sort of like a savoury cake. We got through the majority of it before working out what it actually was.
A slave to our trade, we also ordered a Barbecue plate with three meats, as let’s be honest, it would be rude not too! We chose Burnt Ends, Pulled Pork and Smoked Chicken; each exceptionally tender and infused with a different marinade. The Burnt Ends, smothered in a sticky BBQ sauce were a particular highlight for me – in fact – I probably inhaled most of them.
We finished the evening with cocktails, each recommended by our waiter. These included Hurricane’s, Zombies and Lychee Martini’s, a small selection of the vast menu, but after consuming several large courses, I was just about ready to roll home.
For more information on The Blues Kitchen in Brixton, including a full run down of what’s on, please visit: http://theblueskitchen.com/brixton