The Blues Kitchen - Brixton - Review
I really enjoyed the atmosphere at The Blues Kitchen in Brixton. The food tasted good with mostly generous portions and a generous bourbon/whiskey list.
I’ve been walking past the building that became The Blues Kitchen in Brixton for a while, wondering what it was going to be. I was pretty excited to find out it was going to be a blues restaurant and bar. I’d never heard of The Blues Kitchen before but they have two other venues, in Camden and Shoreditch.
On the morning of our booking, one of the staff called us to double check we were still going, and let me know we would only have the table for two hours. How busy must they get?
Even though I’ve been eyeing the place up whenever I go past, the dark windows and low lighting left me with little idea of what to expect when I arrived. Walking inside, it has rich decor, with dark colours; reds, golds and greens. Ornate columns run through the middle of the large room, leading up to a stage at the back; on some nights they have live music. Having been to the buildings previous incarnation I hadn’t been sure how they’d fill the large space without making it feel like a canteen, but the dark lighting, a well placed wall and having a slightly raised area broke up the space well enough.
We had a drink in the bar area first sitting at one of the few high tables with very comfy bar stools. There were quite a few people when we arrived, but the bar became busier and filled up practically to bursting as the night went on. I can see why people would come here for an afternoon drink, the bourbon list is long and while the cocktails list is short it also looks good.
After a significant period of indecision (to bourbon or not to bourbon, and if so which one?) I plumped for the Mint Julep served in a metal cup over lots of ice. It was wonderfully cold and strong. A friend had the Wild Turkey Honey Whiskey, great for anyone with a sweet tooth.
When it was coming up to our table booking, we asked to be seated. The table we were taken to had plush comfy bench seats.
I had trouble deciding what to eat the menu is large and full of tasty looking dishes like, Jambalaya, Gumbo and Beef Brisket. However there aren’t many vegetarian options.
In the end I decided to go for the Burnt Ends, I didn’t really know what to expect but they sounded good. And I’m pleased to say they tasted great, in a richly flavoured sauce and came in such a generous portion that I had to take my left overs home for my lunch the next day. My friends had the St Louis Pork Ribs – ‘melt in the mouth’, Beef Brisket Chilli – ‘a good flavour but not a large enough portion’, and Gumbo – ‘would have proffered if it came with more rice’.
There were a variety of house-made sauces at table, my favourites were the House Ketchup which had a nice kick of spice to it and the Mustard BBQ. They also had Backyard BBQ and Chipotle. Although I tried them all I couldn’t really tell the difference.
Rather than dessert we decided to have the hard shakes because ice cream and alcohol is too enticing a combination to pass up. They took a little while to arrive but tasted really good and again were big, we could well have shared one between two of us, especially after that meal.
I had been keeping an eye on the time, aware that we’d gone past 2 hours and getting a little worried that we were going to be kicked out. I needn’t have stressed, the waiter came to let us know that they’d need the table back in 15-20 minutes, plenty of time to pay the bill and be off. It was louder now the bar was busier, which added to the jovial feeling of the venue.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. I’d certainly return, I want to try more of their food, especially chicken and waffles which is on their brunch menu, and I’m looking forward to taking some risks with their whiskey / bourbon list.