Peter Morrell enjoys some authentic flavours of the Deep South in this New Orleans style bar / restaurant
I was in Kingly Street in London’s West End recently which I always regard as a hidden gem, running between the very busy Regent and Carnaby streets. I was with my daughter, it was around lunchtime so we looked for a place to eat that was a little bit different
Our choice was Shotgun which offered some very tempting Southern style food, The restaurant itself is long and narrow, hence its name, you could fire a shotgun from the front door and hit the back door. The dark wooden furniture and booths gave the dining space a warm and cosy feel and although it was early the restaurant was busy, giving it a lively atmosphere.
The lunch menu is quite simple with the option of snacks like boiled peanut dip and devilled egg, classics featuring mac & cheese and shrimp and grits, a choice of meats from the smoker including pulled pork and pork belly, and finally sandwiches.
It was from this last section that we made our choices. My daughter had the USDA brisket and I had the belly bacon and cheese. These are very reasonably prices at £11 with one side and £12.50 with two sides.
The bun that the meat was served in was soft and chewy, both came with with onions and conichons and my daughter’s beef was also garnished with green tomato jam and red slaw. My side of creamed corn was comforting while her sides of coleslaw and ribboned cucumber salad were fresh and uplifting.
The crux of these sandwiches however was the meat and this really was the highlight. It had been cooking and smoked in the traditional Southern way, ‘Low and Slow’. The low temperature and hours long cooking time brought with it a tenderness and depth of flavour that was unique. The brisket had an umami rich crust with moist centre and my belly bacon was intensely smoky.
To enhance the taste experience even more there were four bottles of sauce – regular sweet BBQ, hot BBQ, American mustard and finally a Tabasco based sauce that had you reaching for the water. The mix of sides, sauces and meat both had us agreeing that they were satisfyingly good sandwiches.
There was a good range of drinks, cocktails for a pre-prandial treat, a selection of bubbles, white, rosé and red wines and beers. The provenance of the wines erred towards the new world with aromatic whites and fruity reds and about half were available by the glass. There were a number of craft beers on offer, my daughter played safe with a lager while I had the pleasingly bitter Sierra Nevada American style IPA. As it was lunchtime and we both had afternoon meetings, so beer was the sensible choice.
Although the desserts of banana pudding and rice pudding looked tempting the sandwiches had been quite filling so we passed on the sweet course.
This had been a good choice for lunch with the décor, the friendly service and the upbeat atmosphere all adding to the dining experience. In the evening there is an extended menu and I will definitely return to try some of the other dishes and sample the cocktails and bourbon whiskies.
26 Kingly Street
Monday – Saturday: 12pm-12am (Kitchen closes 11:30pm)