By Jessica Goldstein
Joe’s Southern Kitchen, Kentish Town
North London’s Kentish Town is home to great pubs, delis and the odd bargain store. Loved by many (avoided by some), this long high street between urban Camden town and the suburbs of Highgate, has long been in need of something fun, fresh and new.
For Kentish Town locals and office workers, the call of Pizza East, Dirty Burger and Chicken Shop has all too soon turned into a faint whisper, and Joe’s Southern Kitchen has fast become the new go-to spot for those looking for something a bit more novel on a lunchtime or after work. This is the second restaurant of the group, with the first opening in Covent Garden just a year or two ago.
For those who love a theme, this is the place for you. Think Deep-South meets Brixton warehouse. Texan-rock-folk-country music plays loudly in the background as very chirpy waitresses bound eagerly towards you to have you seated and comfortable as soon as possible.
Eager and excited about the new venue and the brilliantly fun theme, the entire menu seemed all too enticing. ‘Shrimp ‘n’ Grits’, ‘Blackened Cod Fish’, ‘8 Hour Slow Roast Beef Short Rib’, had everyone discussing what they thought grits were and that they’d seen them in that movie one time.
After much deliberation, we ordered the ‘Fried Southern Bird’ (£13.95) accompanied by the most heavenly creamed corn (£1.95) to ever grace this side of the Atlantic and Chicken Salt Fries (£3.95); and the all too intriguing ‘Joe’s Prison Plate’ (£13.95).
The fried chicken (bird) comes in a metal basket of sheer delight. The chicken is poached in buttermilk before frying which makes for a tender center and perfectly crisp skin. Sprinkled with lemon dust, the crispy coating is not for the faint hearted, but only the greediest of the group. Eye-rollingly yummy.
Joe’s Prison Plate is likely more fun to order and take photos of rather than eat. Taking inspiration from the dinner plates served to those old-school Southern jailbirds, this dish is aesthetically genius but all a bit too wet when it gets down to the eatin’. Beans, slaw, pulled pork, grits, someone hand me a spoon!
Bring on the desserts! These are not to be missed, no matter how full you feel. Everything’s bigger in Texas! We went for the Peanut Butter Fudge Pie with very American Chantilly Cream (£4.00)… You can’t go far wrong with chocolate and peanut butter but JSK have got it very, very right. Crispy, buttery, chocolately, peanutty – just indulgent dessert heaven.
For a marginally lighter option, go for the Iced Honeycomb & Chocolate Parfait Sandwich (£4.00). With crunchy nuggets of honeycomb and cream in every mouthful, it makes for a really quite scrumptious ending to a really quite scrumptious meal.
For those making the journey to Kentish Town, JSK also serve great cocktails that can be enjoyed on their front terrace when the sun is shining! A real winner, and a welcome addition to these North London streets.
Joe’s Southern Kitchen
300 Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2TG
020 7485 7331
Nearest Station Kentish Town
Reservations taken online or over the phone. Walk-ins welcome.