That’s pretty much all I could say throughout our night at Joe’s Southern Table.
Located just a stone’s throw from the hub of Covent Garden, Joe’s Southern Table is situated on King’s Road and set across three storeys. OK, the restaurant is two and they have a cool cocktail bar downstairs called Cocktail Baby. Yes, it’s a massive venue.
Joe’s Southern Table
When you walk in, you’re treated to views of cosy red booths, tables and chairs and a rather large bar (oh hello). The décor gives off the hint that you’ve walked into somewhere in New Orleans… and you’re ready to eat. Wafting through the restaurant you can smell fried. You can also smell spice and if you’re really on your sensory A game… a damn good cocktail.
A spiral staircase leads the way upstairs, which is where our table was for the evening. I loved that we were overlooking the Friday night atmosphere.
FYI, Joe’s Southern Table is pretty dimly lit, so be forewarned, these are not elegant photos. They’re real, raw and to be totally honest, don’t do justice to the delicious food we ate.
Louisiana Iced Tea Sharer
Photos aside, the most important thing to do when we sat down was to order cocktails. The Louisiana Iced Tea is beyond delicious. It was the smartest cocktail choice by far and to be fair, we could have had drank this all night long. It’s one of Joe’s Southern Table sharers and includes Jim Beam Rye bourbon along with peach liqueur amongst a few other ingredients. Oh and the cocktail comes in a teapot and served in cute little mugs. If anything, order it because of the teapot. Then continue to order it because it will make your taste buds extremely happy.
Following the cocktails, we ordered ALL the food. At least I thought we did, but I’m still not sure we made much of a dent in the menu. They seriously have a crazy volume of dishes to choose from.
Small plates featuring Frickles and Jalapeño Poppers
My eyes were immediately drawn to the Frickles. Because the name is fun and the taste even better. Ah, the concept of fried pickles. I’ve actually never had fried pickles like these before. Typically I’ve had the rounded versions that use a saltier pickle, but these sweet pickles were a nice change of pace. I ate a lot of these dipped into the chipotle mayo sauce. I’m not sorry. The chipotle sauce is excellent and I may have continued to keep it firmly at my side throughout the evening using it on absolutely everything.
We also ordered the Jalapeño Poppers. These were YUM and stuffed with cream cheese in tempura batter. There’s basically a lot of fried food to contend with at Joe’s Southern Table. Accept it, embrace it and eat like there’s no tomorrow.
Then we moved onto the chicken – the heart and soul of the restaurant. My dining partner for the evening JPW was firmly set on wings, so we decided to see what their Buffalo style wings were all about. We ordered twelve. Probably should have only gotten six because our eyes are much bigger than our stomachs. These were lovely, the sauce just spicy enough without being too overwhelming. I’d go back for these again without a doubt.
We then had to get the classic option, Joe’s Birds, Southern Fried style. The free-range chicken is flavoured for 24 hours with sweet tea brined with a coating of secret lemon dust. We ordered ¼ Bird as we were trying to be sensible and not order too much for the table.
While the wings had bold flavours, this one is a simple dish. The flavours aren’t overwhelming and seemed much ‘lighter’ in comparison to everything we’d been gorging on. PS. Aren’t these plates cute? Really need to get some like this for my flat.
The best kinds of sides
Like any good southern style meal, we added sides: Mac’n’cheese and Cornbread.
I’m a big cornbread fan and I actually really enjoyed the style of Joe’s Southern Table. It’s a little different, perhaps saltier than I was expecting but in a nice way. It worked. I’d order this again.
The mac’n’cheese was gooey, warm and kind of seems like a comforting hug in a cup. Think this would be a real winner to come back for in the wintertime. Weirdly, I prefer mac’n’cheese in the cold. I know, what’s wrong with me?
And despite being totally tempted by dessert, we couldn’t do it. I don’t think we possibly could have eaten another bite. Although, I admit that I will 100% be back for a Skillet Baked Triple Chocolate Cookie. Because I saw one of these go floating by me and might have drooled a little bit. So I’ve added that to my ‘next time’ list.
The cocktails baby
Instead, we opted for liquid dessert and revisited their cocktail menu.
While Joe chose a Red Rain cocktail, priced at £9 and including Plymouth Sloe gin, lemon juice, gomme syrup, creme de mure and fresh raspberries shaken and served short over crushed ice. I went a little bit rogue, tempted by tequila and ordered an Always Sunny in Joe’s. Made up of Hacienda Reposado tequila, Passoa, a combination of fruit and a hint of chilli, shaken and served straight up, this hit the spot.
Joe’s was good but mine was BETTER. The chilli gave it a kick and after all, I’m a sucker for a good tequila cocktail. PS. Joe’s Southern Table has Happy Hour on from Sunday to Friday 4-6pm where selections of their cocktails are only a fiver.
We eventually left for the night, bellies completely full and satisfied.
Joe’s Southern Table definitely hits the spot if you’re looking for an all-American style joint in London that won’t break the bank. The cocktails are dreamy and actually, I can see why they have their very own cocktail bar downstairs. They have excellent bartenders who know what they’re doing. The menu encompasses everything that you’d be looking for. Joe’s Southern Table wins with fried and home style dishes, plus the portion sizes match what you’d find in the good old USA.
Most of all, it makes me feel like I need to book a trip to the deep south. So in the meantime, I think I’ll make the easier trip to Covent Garden to fulfill all my fried chicken cravings.
I was invited to review Joe’s Southern Kitchen, but all opinions, thoughts, drinking and eating too much is all my own.