The Blues Kitchen Brixton

Address: 40 Acre Ln, London SW2 5SP
Tel: 020 7274 0591

This is a late post as we visited the Blues Kitchen a while ago. When we made our visit it had only been open for a few weeks and it was then been packed so clearly it is already a success. It’s a chain of three (Camden and Shoreditch) but given the interest is likely to expand. There is a bar at the front and a restaurant (booking essential) at the back but you can have bar food – if you fight for a bar table.

This is a huge space all on one floor with a dark interior not helped by the tiffany style lamps. Too dark for photos. It is cosy but without warmth. The pub-like design feels more like a Disneyland version. Green tiles cover the pillars and large mirrors cover the back walls – sort of Ye Olde England”. The US style  is repeated in the drinks menu with a massive list of bourbon to fit every pocket.

But onto the food – a brief list of sharing plates on the bar menu and a starters and mains (and possibly dessert but we didn’t see them) in the restaurant. Again Southern US-style with appetisers of chicken wings, shrimp, dips, padron peppers, goat tacos and crab donouts (wish we had tried these last two but maybe next time). Main courses include barbecue everything with a choice of one two or three different kinds of meat, fish jambalaya, chilli, salads, the inevitable list of burgers and lobster.

We were refugees in the bar as we failed to book early enough and chose only one course so we weren’t perched at the high tables for long. We chose the chilli and the jambalaya. The Beef Brisket Chilli is “a hearty bowl of chilli made with brisket beef” which was covered in some pickled chilli. We mention that because the lighting meant you can’t see it and we don’t want you to be surprised. It was not as hot (in temperature) as we expected and we thought it needed a bit of extra heat other than chilli. The Catfish Jambalaya which comes in one bowl of fish & prawns served with rice & peas & a Cajun spiced crayfish sauce. Again not hot in temperature so you can eat it quickly (perhaps that’s why?). It was alright but not a great plate of food especially at that price (£13.90).

So were we disappointed? – a bit. This may be because we were not in the restaurant and we might have had a more relaxing time and been able to see the food a little better. We intend to return for brunch and try their American pancakes and pig and biscuits.

It is a buzzy place with lots of people arriving in suits straight from work during the working week. The staff are helpful and did their best to fit us in so think ahead if you want to eat. They have music over the weekend (free entry for students on Sunday) and free wings 5-7pm on Friday. The bill for only two mains came to nearly £28.00.

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