Joe’s Southern Kitchen – Beer Can Chicken!
Joe’s Southern Kitchen reopened last month on King’s Street, Covent Garden after getting a massive revamp from their previous Tex-Mex joint, Navajo Joe. New look, new name and most importantly new menu - and we were amongst the first to try it out.
Taking influences from the forever-popular taste of the Deep South and BBQ, don’t mistake Joe’s Southern Kitchen as just another faddy “All American” restaurant in Central London. We were a bit skeptical about how good the food was going to be at first because of its touristy location. With so many of London’s new and popular restaurant tucked away in Soho or hidden in isolated areas of East London, it’s a nice change to actually be able to have a good, hearty and tasty meal in a central location where we don’t have to queue for hours nor spend half an hour trying to find.
The boom in London’s food scene has created a massive foodie culture with some of the very best street food vendors popping up every week; many of whom are food fanatics taking that chance and venturing into the industry as a pop-up van and after a year or so, turning their dreams into a small restaurant with a large following. With this culture also comes the food snobs and I know many ‘serious foodies’ will stick their noses up at Southern restaurant in Convent Garden, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Based right round the corner from three of London’s ‘hot’ burger spots – Five Guys, Shake Shack and Meat Market – Joe’s brings something a little more unique to the table, in the form of a Beer Can Chicken as their signature dish…which is exactly that…a whole chicken, upright, with a beer can stuff up it’s…erm…bits. It’s going to be a talking point at the dinner table, as is the whole menu, which is full of coq puns. I bet the waiter’s are so tired of hearing people laugh when they order “Coq of the week” LOL.
Coq’s aside, let’s talk food!
Everything on the menu tastes as good as it sounds, and with so much choice, it is going to be very tempting to want to order everything. Let us put it out there and warn you the dishes are generous, and if you want to walk out of the restaurant rather than being rolled out, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach (which gets me every time). Order snacks and starters to share like we did so you get to sample a bit of everything.
Stand out ‘Joe’s Snacks’ for us was the Coq ‘n’ Balls which are fried chicken and cheese balls with a hot sauce dip! The Japapeno poppers were also full of flavour and something we would definitely order again.
For starter’s I had Slow Braised Beef Brisket Chilli Cup with a side of tortillas…this was massive! I was basically half way to stuffed by this round. The meat was cooked to perfection; there is nothing better than that melt-in-your-mouth texture of slowed cooked meat, and being Miss Greedy Guts, I guess I deserved having a burnt tongue after trying to hoover up this dish. Most of the Snacks and Starters had a bit of spicy kick, but what’s Southern food without the spice and smoky flavour?
Obviouuslllyyy had to order the signature dish as my main.
I was a bit torn between their Southern Fried Chicken and their Beer Can Chicken. I really wanted the Southern Fried Chicken for these reasons:
- I LOVE ME SOME FRIED CHICKEN
- It’s cooked in a pressure fryer which means LESS FAT
But, I also wanted to try the Beer Can Chicken purely for photographic purposes (so Asian, I know) and as it’s their signature dish, it’s practically guaranteed to taste good. I am always a bit reluctant to order any type of roast chicken because I actually fear dry, tasteless chicken…them ones where the skin is nice and tasty, but as soon as you tuck into the meat, it’s so dry no amount of tomato ketchup can save it. I’m glad to say this wasn’t the case with Joe’s Beer Can Chicken! The technique of cooking the chicken on a beer can in an upright position means that the meat retains all the moisture (or something along those lines), which means we get tasty, succulent chicken <3.
I also got to sample The Deep South BBQ Beef Short Ribs, another main which deserves a shout out for it's rich flavour, fall of the bone meat and monstrous size.
To accompany my chicken, being the potato fiend that I am, I got a side of fries with bacon salt (!!!) and some southern fried potatoes. Potato Gods did GOOD. I could cry. They were SO YUMMY. I swear, chips are the make or break of my meal, and boy am I glad I got to try all of Joe’s potato goodness in one sitting.
DESSERT. After potatoes, this is my favourite part of a meal. Between the six of us we ordered ONE Frozen Oreo Overkill (that’s how full we all were!). This is basically an Oreo ice cream cake, with an Oreo cookie base topped with hot chocolate sauce – overkill indeed, but if you can manage it, order it because it’s fucking buff.
We tried about 90% of the menu, and we can honestly say everything tasted amazing. Can’t wait to head back over to Joe’s and try out the few things we missed on the menu. And OD on chips and bacon salt.