Please note, this venue is now closed. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, February 2017.
Comfort Kitchen is a street food stall created by Jayne Arthur and Ellie Vidler, who spent six months researching recipes. Ellie had also travelled extensively in the Deep South. They decided to ‘stick to traditional Southern cooking’, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.
People often equate Southern cooking with big, hearty flavours, but mildness and moderate seasoning are more characteristic. This is the way Comfort Kitchen does its chicken: in a slightly tangy, lightly spicy buttermilk batter that complements the (organic) chicken fillets rather than swamping them. And they keep it juicy even though breast meat so often turns matchstick-dry when fried.
Simplicity rules the sides, too. Many London restaurants subject both coleslaw and baked beans to thrill-seeking pimp-it-up ‘improvements’, needlessly. The beans here are delicate and sweet, the coleslaw minimally seasoned. (The beans are Boston baked beans, by the way, since even Southerners who regard Boston as Satan’s citadel know that the Yankee city's bean recipe is the best in the USA.)
One of our two sweetcorn pancakes was slightly stodgy and could have done with a lighter batter and/or another minute on the griddle. But rough-textured potato fries, an optional side for £2, were flawlessly crunchy.
You have two ordering options. One is a sandwich, for £5.50, which is served with lettuce, tomato and coleslaw. The other is the full meal, with all the sides except the fries, for £6.50.
Comfort Kitchen currently operates only out of Rupert Street market Thursday through Saturday. When we went, a mere two then three weeks after it opened, there were substantial lunchtime queues. British cooks rarely make regional American food that’s this authentic, and this good. People will find out. If you fry it, they will come.
Please note, Comfort Kitchen now operates at various markets in London. Check their Twitter feed for updated info. Eating & Drinking editors, May 2016.