If you've heard anything about Southern food in London, Blues Kitchen will definitely ring a bell. Boasting venues in Shoreditch, Brixton and Camden, these top-notch spots have earned quite a reputation across the city. So, when the opportunity arose to visit this popular joint, I jumped at the chance. Read on to find out if it lived up to the hype... (spoiler alert: it did).
As we stepped inside, we were hit by late-night vibes and the smell of hickory-smoked comfort food. The Thursday early evening atmosphere was also pretty electric, with plenty of people eating in their dimly lit booths or quaffing cocktails at the bar. And the artwork? This New Orleans-inspired haunt was decked out with influential faces, such as Aretha Franklin and Memphis Minnie. Gasping for a drink, we punted for a bourbon-laced burnt pear old fashioned (£10.50) made from apple liqueur and Angostura bitters. This was super smoky, with warming wood notes. We also tried punchy 'n' fruity passionfruit and peach mezcalita (£11.50), touting Cointreau and orange bitters. Both of these drinks really hit the spot.
Working up quite the appetite, we delved into our starters. My beef-loving other half was eager to get his hands on the cheeseburger spring rolls (£7.50), which were stuffed with American cheese, pickles and mustard. The best bit? The perfectly seasoned Big Mac-style sauce. I chose the buffalo chicken wings (£9.50), which were some of the best I've ever had. They had the perfect level of heat and were accompanied by a blue cheese sauce that I could have eaten by the spoon. Don't judge.
After doing the happy food dance, we moved on to our mains. Of course, my date had to try the signature bacon double smashburger (£13.50) smothered in caramelised onions and pickles. This was a little smaller than expected but had great flavour and plenty of chips to accompany it. I got stuck into the hot chicken buffalo sandwich (£13.50), which had the same moreish sauce as my starter, alongside a generous serving of mayo, slaw and pickles - very tasty.
And to wash it all down? I opted for a strawberry and basil bramble (£10.50), made up of agave, lime and cucumber bitters. This was beautifully balanced and went down a treat. We also decided on a ginger mojito (£10.50), with a generous helping of spiced rum, absinthe, lime and mint. I loved how this boozy concoction had a real punch from the fresh ginger - making it a real stand out on the drinks front.
Last, but certainly not least were the desserts. We chose the banoffee sundae (£7.25) that boasted layers upon layers of banana ice cream, salted caramel, popcorn, chocolate and whipped cream. Phew. The flavours paired together perfectly - faultless in my eyes. Followed by a baked white chocolate and ginger cheesecake (£6.80) garnished with caramelised banana. This felt very indulgent, but also had delicate flavours, making it a real star dessert.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Blues Kitchen really lived up to my expectations with its laid-back vibes and after-work antics. I didn't get a chance to catch the live entertainment, but there are some pretty rave reviews across the city on that front. The Southern-inspired menu is perfect if you're in the mood for something hearty and the cocktails are super moreish too.
💰 The damage: £113 including service charge.
📍 The location: 134 -146 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AR.
👌 Perfect for: After-work comfort food and cocktails.
⭐ Need to know: There's also a bar downstairs with live music sets.