With London seemingly saturated with American style restaurants these days, you need to be top of your game to thrive. Porky's Chelsea, specialising in Memphis-style barbecued meats, does exactly that. So what makes it Memphis style? Well, it's cooked low and slow and as the name suggests, the menu should be pork heavy from ribs to tips.
Porky's Chelsea on King's Road has a stripped back, industrial feel, but was warm and welcoming. Continuing their retro American theme from their previous venues, the walls are filled with rock'n'roll posters on exposed brick walls. Wooden chairs and benches with steel legs, sit on a beautiful tiled floor (I have this thing with floors). My stomach was now rumbling from the smell of smokey barbecued meat, and with B.B King setting the mood, 'Let the good times roll'.
We arrived fairly early on a Saturday and were amongst the first in to settle in to try and fulfill our meat cravings. By the time we left the place was bustling and lively, but retained its relaxed and intimate feel. There was a broad crowd, from couples on dates to mixed groups having just entered after a few in the pub.
Industrial and Southern are the themes that make up the bones of new Chelsea eatery, Porky's.
The Food and Drink
This is where it gets serious. The menu, as previously mentioned is pork heavy and with great reason; numerous variations of ribs, burger and hound dogs and sandwiches. The 'Mac Porky' sandwich (pulled pork, mac 'n' cheese & bacon with fries £11.05) nearly swayed me, but with the pulled pork (£12) being smoked for no less that 18 hours, it's difficult to go for anything else. To save room for the main event, me and my friend decided to skip starters. Inevitably food envy instantly struck after seeing a group behind us being served the 'warm up platter' (£24) consisting of house chilli, calamari, bbq wings, cheesy jalapeno, cornbread, pulled pork croquettes & garlic toast. But we weren't left disappointed for long.
My 18 hour smoked pulled pork arrived in its customary tin dish served with beans, slaw and pickles, with a bun thrown in for good measure. My friend went for 'The Memphis Meaty' (£14) which is belly rib with extra sticky ends. To go with this we added the compulsory (in my opinion) side of mac 'n' cheese. The pulled pork, was tender and melted in your mouth, while the ribs (obviously I nicked a bite) were beautiful, thick, dark, sweet and smokey. To help wash the meat down, we opted for a couple of their American craft beers. If you didn't fancy a beer there is also a wide choice of cocktails to choose from, particularly if you like one with a bourbon base.
Heaving with hunks of meat, it seems as though Porky's Chelsea is a force to be reckoned with.
does the main things well; it is exactly what you want when you are looking for meaty fuss-free food, set in a fun relaxed atmosphere. My only gripe is that I wasn't there to try the Man V Ribs Challenge (every Wednesday). Double ribs, double fries and a free t-shirt!