If you fancy some spice, are itching for Italian or are just in the mood for a great burger, Covent Garden has a range of restaurants to satisfy. Try Clos Maggiore for traditional French fare or Opera Tavern for Spanish. Wherever you go for dinner, get dessert from gelateria Scoop. Check out our guide to the best mid-priced dining options in Covent Garden. Don't forget to read our guides to cheap eats and fine dining in Covent Garden. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.
Venue says: “Weekday lunch special – two plates for £14 and three plates for £21.”
Turning up at a smart destination restaurant with a large suitcase is always going to be awkward. What’s more awkward is not being able to find the front door. I’m not sure who was more surprised, us or the kitchen porters, when we marched, suitcase in tow, through the kitchen door of Central, currently the hottest restaurant in Lima, Peru. Central is so discreet it doesn’t even bother with a sign. But its dishes are the opposite, with plate after plate dazzling its mixed clientele of tourists and wealthy Lima residents. There’s no such problem finding the new London outpost – its sign is clearly visible. And considering the near-impossibility of transposing chef Virgilio Martinez’s uniquely Peruvian style of cooking more than 6,000 miles, they’ve done a pretty good job. This is Martinez’s second London restaurant, following on from the success of Lima in Rathbone Place, an elaborate affair that has already bagged him a Michelin star. Lima Floral, on Covent Garden’s Floral Street, is not a copy but an extension of this gambit, and showcases more Peruvian classics. This time there’s a little less fuss, a more reasonable price tag, and a bar in the basement serving pisco cocktails. Interesting textures and depth of flavour, rather than the high-tech wizardry of Central or Lima, take centre stage here. Sea bream ceviche comes as a sublime starter, teamed with mounds of guacamole-like avocado uchucuta (salsa), speared with dried onion slices and sprinkled with toasted corn. Sea b
Venue says: “Join us for our new flambée menu that includes a mixed leaf salad, classic tarte flambée, a glass of wine or beer, plus tea or coffee.”
The Delaunay was Chris Corbin and Jeremy King’s 2012 follow-up to the Wolseley and, like that handsome behemoth, it looks like it’s been here for decades. Grand European cafés provide the inspiration, and the interior is a treat – a David Collins-designed mix of green leather banquette seating, dark wood, brass rails, antique mirrors and a black and white marble floor. The café and bar area leads through to the main dining room; next door is the Counter (a café serving savouries, cakes and coffee, with takeaway available). The menu runs from breakfast to dinner, taking in afternoon tea (a not-to-be-missed opportunity to try the Austrian-biased cakes, all made in-house). There’s a dish of the day (goulash, say, or chicken curry), soups, salads and egg dishes, plus savouries (welsh and buck rarebits) and crustacea. The sandwich selection runs from croque monsieur to a brioche burger with french fries. Starters include steak tartare and smoked salmon plates; mains take in kedgeree and choucroute à l’Alsacienne. There’s also a good choice of sausages, served with potato salad, sauerkraut and caramelised onions: try the käsekrainer (an Austrian meat and cheese version). In short, there’s something for everyone, at prices that aren’t greedy given the setting, the quality of the service and the assuredness of the menu.
Venue says: “Check out our £5 cocktail list available all day, every day!”
As one door closes, so they say, another opens. As we process the sad news that Neal Street’s Food for Thought, a veggie institution with rock-bottom prices, is closing after more than 40 years, only a couple of streets over, newcomer Jar Kitchen shows how far good café food has come in that time – but also how some things never change. Most of us still need friendly places serving good, imaginative food at fair prices – especially in Covent Garden. Run by Lucy Brown and Jenny Quintero, this smart café sits at the northern end of Drury Lane. The kitchen is open to the ground-floor dining room where Brown, a former model agent, was busy greeting and waiting tables on our visit. So far, so ordinary. What makes Jar Kitchen super is the brief menu, prices midway between caff and restaurant, and delightful dishes. An Ottolenghi-ish mixed-grain salad looked great, with its pomegranate arils and fresh mint leaves, toasted almonds, roasted heirloom carrots and drizzle of coconut yoghurt. A sizeable bowl costs £8; for an extra £3, the kitchen adds shreds of braised lamb shoulder. Another simple but brilliant dish was a green chopped salad, costing a mere £3.50, featuring pert mixed leaves and an attractively tangy dressing. Jar Kitchen does vegetarian dishes well, but it’s not a vegetarian restaurant. Scraps of ‘ceviche style’ sea bass (£6.50) came with creamed avocado, chopped fennel, and a multi-seed dressing. Orther dishes might include roast pork belly, or lemon sole with brown
Venue says: “Heading to the theatre in Covent Garden this month? Our tapas menu of small plates is perfect for a quick pre-theatre or post-theatre meal!”
Despite growing competition, the Opera Tavern remains one of Covent Garden's best dining options and among London’s top tapas restaurants. Formerly a pub, it’s split into a slightly charmless upstairs restaurant and a cosy, mirror-backed bar at street level. The latter has been stylishly updated with chocolate leather bar stools, copper spotlights and an open grill; the main kitchen is in the beer cellar. The Spanish-Italian menu is kept fresh with regular specials. The signature burger of juicy ibérico pork and foie gras remains deservedly popular, though more inventive combinations better showcase the kitchen’s delicate touch and careful sourcing of ingredients. Char-coated venison was enlivened by jerusalem artichoke, pickled walnuts and truffle, while the natural sweetness of scallops (served in the shell) was balanced by a feather-light pea, fennel and mint purée. Watch out, though: portions are dainty and it’s easy to rack up a hefty bill. The Spanish and Italian wine list is well curated; smooth and nutty manzanilla pasada is the ideal aperitif for sherry sceptics. Little touches such as allowing diners a taste before committing to a glass exemplify the sophisticated, amiable service. Opera Tavern is part of the Salt Yard Group, along with Dehesa in Soho and Salt Yard in Fitzrovia.
A swish Bombay brasserie in the style of the old post-colonial 'Irani cafés' of Bombay, Dishoom is filled with retro design features: whirring ceiling fans, low-level lighting and walls adorned with vintage Indian magazine advertising. The look is certainly distinctive, but the effect can be so slick when compared to the real thing that the venue can feel rather soulless and corporate. This doesn’t stop the design-conscious and Indophile thronging here through the day, from breakfast (for sausage nan rolls with chilli jam) to dinner (for the stir-fries and tandoori grills). The main attraction though is the menu, loosely styled on Irani café food with birianis, bhel (crunchy puffed rice with tangy tamarind chutney) and even pau bhaji (toasted white bread rolls with a spicy vegetable stew as a filling). Our black dal was exemplary, and the lamb biriani suitably moist. We particuarly like the endlessly refilled house chai (Indian-style tea), but the other drinks are interesting too – excellent lassi concoctions, good wines by the glass, even the soft drinks Limca and Thums Up in glass bottles imported from Mumbai. Queues are common in the evening (bookings are taken for breakfast and lunch, but only for groups at dinner), though the basement bar helps make the wait more than bearable.
It was a marketing wheeze that really, really worked. This new café/takeaway in Covent Garden sold every dish for a penny on opening day, and when we went a few days later there were huge queues waiting for tables and (mostly) takeaway. It reminded us of the old drug dealer’s trick to get new clients: ‘the first one’s free’. Addiction to Black Penny may become a recognised medical condition, but it won’t be because of cost – low though that is. When you finally reach the counter, you see dishes that look like those at many another coffee place: soup, sandwiches, salad, quiche, a stew, lots of baked sweet things. But when you finally sit down in the small back dining room, you realise this isn’t the stuff of two-for-a-penny cafés. The quality is high in both sweet and savoury dishes. Salads are a particular strength, with confident seasoning in the dressings and excellent assemblies of sprightly ingredients to carry them. The kitchen has a masterful pasty-maker, as we saw in both a savoury tart and a Pennsylvania-Dutch-style apple pie. They also had a good ceviche on the menu when we were there. Portions are enormous and prices eminently reasonable - £7.50 for a salad box that some people would be happy to share between two, sandwiches just under a fiver. In the food, the only downer was inelegant presentation of salad selections. The separate components were piled together so that their flavours blended in some unappealing ways: ceviche on top of couscous is never a good
So you thought you loved the Palomar. You thought you’d be faithful and true. But that was before you met little sis the Barbary. It’ll make you want to quit your job, pack your bags, and run away into the sunset together. The Barbary, you see, takes everything that’s good about the Palomar but ditches the bits that don’t quite work (like the fact that the ‘fun seats’ up at the counter are also the most cramped; or the fact that the raw bar is the weakest link on the otherwise stellar modern Israeli menu). At The Barbary, all the stools are arranged at 24-seat horseshoe shaped counter bar. Down one wall, there’s a standing counter, where they’ll feed you moreish bar snacks (like deep-fried pastry ‘cigars’ filled with cod, lemon & Moroccan spices) while you wait for a seat. And if the queue spills outside, you’ll find yourself in pedestrian-only, full-of-character Neal’s Yard. As places to loiter go, it’s not too shabby. Oh but the food, the food. Where the Palomar is intentionally progressive, looking to push the boundaries of ‘Israeli’ food, the Barbary looks to the past. The team, led by Tel Aviv-born chef Eyal Jagermann (ex-Palomar), have scoured the wider region, travelling down the eponymous Barbary coast (the stretch of north Africa from modern-day Morocco to modern-day Egypt) to revive the dishes that have informed their own culinary heritage. The signature ‘naan e beber’, for instance, is made to an ancient recipe for leavened bread, with just four ingredients (flo
In early 2013, Keith McNally’s much-anticipated NYC import Balthazar finally opened, and London got to see what this Manhattan interpretation of a French brasserie was actually like. The response was positive, and for weeks afterwards it was hard to get a table. Chef Robert Reid has tinkered little with the nostalgic transatlantic menu, and we loved signature dishes such as the onion soup (grilled gruyère lid on thick country bread, immersed in a rich and sweet chicken stock); duck shepherd’s pie was another powerfully flavoured treat. More recently, some of the gloss seems to have worn off (though service remains prompt and friendly). The cheeseburger, no bargain at £17, was a chunky patty but had little flavour, and needed more than the limited, bland trimmings to give it an oomph that might have justified the price tag. A pleasant gruyère and herb omelette tasted as though it had lingered a little too long at the pass. Best was pavlova (one of several delightfully retro desserts) – it may not have looked like a classic version (the meringue sat on the fruit, rather than the other way round), but it tasted good. Bread, from master baker Jon Rolfe, is a must-try. Balthazar London mimics the New York original perfectly, with red awnings, red leather banquettes, giant antiqued mirrored walls and mosaic floors, but to British eyes, the decor can look a little too close to any old chain brasserie.
It was a cold, drizzly Wednesday night. It wasn’t even 7pm. Yet here we were, standing in the doorway of the new branch of Flat Iron, being told the wait for a table would be an hour and 20 minutes. ‘One hour and 20?!’ we squeaked, aghast. Still, there was a silver lining: this Covent Garden outpost of the hip steak hangout – the third one to date – has a long, shiny bar serving long, shiny cocktails, so there we waited. As ways to kill 80 minutes go, it’s not too shabby. Our cocktails, chosen from a short menu of with-a-twist-classics, were rustled up by a cheery bartender who stayed smiling when we nearly forgot to pay him. A blood orange old fashioned saw its bourbon base deliciously spiked with smoked demerara syrup and blood orange oil; of this kind of tinkering with drinks, we approve. Before we knew it, an iPhone was buzzing, the time was up and our table was ready. The beauty of Flat Iron is that while it’s no bookings, it’s also no choice. Which means that even if you do have to wait a while to be seated, the moment you sink your bottom on to a chair, you can go straight ahead and order. Sure, there’s the occasional blackboard special, but essentially the deal is this: one steak (a ‘flat iron’, the US term for a full-flavoured but affordable leg cut) for £10. It comes long and thin, like a deboned rabbit, then sliced into fat little mini-slabs, on a slate, with a dinky pot of lamb’s lettuce that’s more garnish than salad. Proper sides (crispy fries, steamed greens)
Who’s to blame for the no-reservations trend, which leaves us queuing for an hour or more to get into a restaurant? Some might point the finger at places such as Polpo in Soho, Burger & Lobster in Mayfair or Meat Liquor in Marylebone. But the first restaurant that gave a mandatory wait with dinner was Barrafina in Soho, which opened in 2007. And that hour-long queue for proper Spanish tapas is still there. So is this second branch of Barrafina worth the seven-year wait? Taking no chances, we arrived just before the 5pm opening time and were the first customers seated, allowing us to watch the other tables fill up over the next hour. Much like the original Barrafina, it’s a simple room, but beautifully done: a long marble countertop, tall bar stools, plate glass windows letting in lots of light, and smiling Spanish staff in crisp white and maroon uniforms. Barrafina’s menu is studded with Mallorcan and Catalan tapas dishes. Ortiguillas are a type of sea anemone eaten around the Balearic Islands. There, they’re marinated in vinegar, coated in a tempura-like batter and fried. Here they’re served in a paper cone, a crunchy seaside snack with soft centres, like fried oysters. Escalavida con pan de coca combines a firm Mallorcan bread base (the ‘pan de coca’ bit, like a flatter, chewy ciabatta) with a topping of chargrilled aubergine, peppers, onion and garlic, the smoke from the grill permeating the vegetables. The grill is still a core part of the Barrafina formula, for example
Books. Covers.You know what to do. Or, rather what not to. Yet it’s hard not to get a bit judge-y over somewhere that has both a silly name and (ugh) a ‘concept’. The one at Talli Joe, splashed across signage, website and menus, is to offer ‘Indian half plates + full drinks’ (don’t you just mean ‘small plates’ and, er, ‘drinks’?). What’s more, when I walk in, I can’t help but clock the lights are too bright, the air con too cold. Not a great start. But guess what? This new regional Indian ‘small plates and cocktails’ joint (because that’s what Talli Joe actually is) gets two crucial things right: the food and service. This is bright, bold cooking designed to enchant both tastebuds and soul. One of my favourite dishes was the Goan pork and ‘offal’ curry, made mostly with shoulder and belly meat, but also enough heart and liver to give it an exceptional depth of flavour and texture. Also excellent was a crab ‘scotch egg’, the warmly spiced crustacean’s meat wrapped around a soft, almost-runny quail’s egg, its yolk the colour of marigolds. For something more prosaic, try the seafood curry. I loved it that, simmering in the mild, fragrant sauce, were not just prawns, koli and squid, but a handful of drumsticks – no, not the cluck-cluck kind, but the green veg variety traditional in south Indian cooking (picture hard-skinned celery sticks: you scrape out the soft, mild flesh and put the rest aside). It’s this commitment to spot-on sourcing that gives Talli Joe its edge. Ca
If there’s a god of fried chicken, Chick ’n’ Sours is His greatest gift. Born into a city awash with chicken shops in 2015, the first, Dalston-based branch of this restaurant ruffled all the right feathers with their cocktails and game-changing KFC (that’s Korean Fried Chicken, but you knew that). Now, just over a year and a half later and we’ve been blessed with the Second Coming: a new branch of Chick ’n’ Sours has landed near Covent Garden. And trust me, this one’s every bit as barnstorming as the first. Set in a basement off Seven Dials, the vibe is somewhere between house party and Prohibition speakeasy. It works. There’s a liquor bar in the middle, a playlist of absolute bangers (when has jamming to The Human League at lunchtime ever felt this right?), and the chicken comes served on granny’s best china plates. By the time I’d tasted my first sour – fruity, sharp and packing a powerful tequila punch – I was pretty much ready to go out. That was until the speciality K-Pop burger arrived, at which point I realised that no amount of Friday Feeling was tempting me away from this table. Impossibly juicy and over four inches tall, the K-Pop is a burger worth getting your hands dirty for. That batter, for starters. Chef and owner Carl Clarke double-fries his birds in rapeseed oil like the Koreans do, to achieve a properly luxurious crunch without any of the oiliness of a late-night Chicken Cottage binge. What really made this bird sing, though, was its acidity: the bun is dr
Venue says: “Join our next 'Cellar Cinema' on May 15 at 7pm. Screening "Good Tings Await" plus a glass of wine £15. Bookings: terroirs.eventbrite.co.uk”
If you want to find out what the whole natural wine thing is all about, pay a visit to Terroirs. These minimally manipulated wines (most organic and/or biodynamic, made with little intervention from the winemakers) form nearly the whole list, and they keep this rustic-French-looking place jumping. Plenty are on offer by the glass, and while it’s not bargain-basement cheap, it accurately reflects the cost of producing these wines. If you’re more interested in the food than the vino, you won’t be disappointed: a changing list of small plates and plats du jour never falters in its high quality (or fair prices).
Opened in 2013, Café Murano in St James’s is a marble and dark leather affair. This new Covent Garden branch is a more relaxed version, and well suited to the bustle of the ‘Opera Quarter’. Downstairs brims with lively post-work/pre-theatre conversation; upstairs is airy and calm, offering more opportunities to interact with the friendly, professional staff. This is chef Angela Hartnett’s second spin-off of her Michelin-starred Murano in Mayfair. Hartnett’s style of Italian cooking wins hearts for its big flavours and minds for its just-so technique. In her kitchen, peasant classics such as braised lamb shoulder with Tuscan beans and celery reach delicious new heights: the tenderness of the meat a testament to slow-cooking mastery. There are plenty of winning dishes on the menu here, ranging from small cicchetti to large secondi, and prices allowing for a modest meal or an indulgent feast. Broad bean and rosemary arancini are basically little parmesan bombs, while the melt-in-the-mouth veal tartare – rightly the pride of the house – is lightly dressed in a delicate tuna sauce with caper berries. Some other suggestions: firmly textured caponata with aubergine and green olives; delicate, fresh tagliatelle Bolognese with minced lamb and veal; or push the boat out with an intensely tender rabbit leg, summer onions, chilli and pecorino (more of that slow cooking). The wine list has picks from small Italian producers starting at £22, with 500ml carafes for £13. House-made
This former fruit warehouse is now Carnivore Central in Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s confidently expanding empire, and the bar a place of pilgrimage in its own right for cocktail geeks. Winner of Time Out’s Best New Restaurant award in 2011, the discreet-fronted basement location is elevated to a high-end destination with a characterful interior of reclaimed materials and the fan-boys’ zeal for premium meats and other taste sensations. The bad news is, with a similar appreciation of gustatory pleasures (a couple of cocktails, say, followed by crab or lobster, sirloin and side dishes, wine and pudding), dinner here can easily set you back £100 a head. The good news is the express menu (ideal pre-theatre when tables are easy to snare) proffers two courses for £25 and three courses for £28 – and still allows enjoyment of fine Ginger Pig Longhorn ribeye (a more-than-strictly-needed 250g), and bone marrow with onions. Desserts here, in our experience, don’t benefit from the same obsessive attention to detail as the beef dripping chips, kimchi burger, hot dogs or historic anti-fogmatics – still, there’s the post-prandial cocktail list to peruse featuring the likes of Climpson’s espresso martini. See more mouthwatering Sunday roasts in the capital
How did food get quite so rock ’n’ roll? This summer London’s teeming with ‘gourmet’ fast food joints, rooftop pop-up bars, night food markets and street food vendors. This new wave of edgier eateries are changing the game for restaurateurs too – crisp tablecloths and prim service are out, industrial-chic décors and young, liberally pierced and tattooed staff are in. One chef who’s at the fore of the latest trends is Ross Shonhan. His first solo venture, Bone Daddies, is a self-styled ‘rock and roll’ ramen joint that opened just last year. It’s still making a big noise, literally, with New York-style Japanese noodle dishes and the sound system cranked up loud enough to make conversation a challenge. Hidden in a capacious Covent Garden basement, Shonhan’s second venture is no less modish. Once again he’s taken influence from the Big Apple for his East Asian eats, with a side order of loud rock music. As for the décor and staff: see above. This time the focus of the menu is hirata buns. A US interpretation of a Taiwanese street food, the sweet and fluffy dough is folded then steamed before being brought to the table. Diners then stuff these pockets with their choice of ‘flesh’. These are the signature dish, and a must-try. Mustard miso and a few slices of subtly pickled apple were a perfect foil for tender pulled pork. Crisp-skinned grilled sea bass was also skilfully cooked and served with a fresh tomato salsa. Small plates include sushi rolls, contemporary sashimi and tem
Voluptuous folds of colourful gelato undulate across Scoop’s freezer cabinet like rows of love handles. If you can settle on just one, you’re possibly not human. Scoop has been wowing Londoners with first-rate gelato since its first slip of a shop opened in Covent Garden. Expansion has been slow and modest; now there’s also an appealing Soho parlour (with more tables) and another in South Ken. Flavours are classic Italian (biscotto, fiordilatte, malaga, pistachio), but made from brag-worthy ingredients including Tonda Gentile hazelnuts from Piedmont, Sicilian black cherries and a changing range of single-origin chocolates and coffees. It’s always hard to resist the cioccolato extra fondente sorbet, which is super-dark rather than bitter in taste and far smoother than a chocolate bar. Sugar seekers should try the coconut gelato. We like the choice of cones and friendly service too. There are a few sweet pies, cakes and meringues in the window, and you can also order crêpes, waffles and vegan churros.
Venue says: “Lunch - a three-course, Michelin-starred experience. Reserved and ordered entirely online, starting at £29 for a unique seasonal menu.”
I hadn’t expected to be feverishly scooping up pea soup and spoonfuls of mash at a Michelin-starred restaurant, but this French venue from celebrated chef Joël Robuchon delights in doing things differently. In a good way. As you’d expect it’s a stylish spot, but not in the least bit clinical or stuffy. Sure, you can go full-on fancy by ordering one of the wallet-melting tasting menus, but there’s also a £45 set lunch/pre-theatre menu. Okay, that’d buy you a lot of tacos, freakshakes and sourdough pizzas – but for cooking of this standard in central London, it’s pretty damn good. And pretty damn good covers everything here. A starter of beetroot-cured salmon with pickled vegetables and avocado mousseline was hugely enjoyable, but it was blown away by a headliner of smoked confit cod with sorrel cream and pea velouté. The fish was cooked perfectly, with just the right amount of bite, while the velouté (essentially a smooth soup) was rich and velvety, balanced by the occasional note of refreshing sourness from the sorrel. It demanded to be mopped up with that buttery mashed potato – a complimentary ‘signature of the restaurant’. Michelin-star mash? Why the hell not. On to dessert, and the second-best thing about L’Atelier’s rum baba is that you get to pour the rum on the cake yourself. The best thing? The obscene ooze of booze from the sponge. It’s a punchy hit, but vanilla ice cream cools the flames. It’s these light touches that make L’Atelier so enjoyable and free of the
Venue says: “Delicious food. Sustainably sourced. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
For a place that sounds like it sells punnets of strawberries and fresh duck eggs, this eco-friendly salad box joint is surprisingly clean-lined and minimalist. A neat row of tables is obscured by a brightly lit fridge of salad boxes and juices. Fortunately the food, though undeniably health-conscious, is far from clinical. Tender strips of chicken that have been properly committed to a harissa marinade come in a pile so huge you’d think they were trying to get rid of it – and we’re talking the fanciest of free-range varieties here. The standard serving (£7.50) allows you to add two salads (hot or cold) to your protein of choice, all of which are impressively hearty. Squidgy roasted Jerusalem artichokes with capers and parsley are a lovely alternative to the usual potato-heavy sides, and a raw romanesco cauliflower and mustard seed salad provided a good dose of colour to balance the box out. In fact, it wasn’t until I cracked open a suspiciously nutritious-tasting bottle of juice that I realised everything in our box had been wheat-, gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free. Yet still felt like a proper meal. And while it’s not exactly a cheap ‘to-go’ option, if you manage to snag one of the tables and refresh yourself on free filtered tap water (sparkling or still), Farmstand suddenly becomes a great-value, slick spot for a wholesome sit-down meal. Feast on your five-a-day, set the world to rights and go back to the office feeling good inside.
Venue says: “Serving cocktails, wines, steaks, pastas and modern Italian fare all day, every day till late. Join us in the heart of the theatre district!”
Aldwych is a funny old corner of London. I’ve been there hundreds of times, and seem to navigate it differently on each visit. Is this Drury Lane? Oh no, it’s the next one. What’s this one, then? Catherine Street. Never heard of it. Businesses must worry about repeat trade here, in case you never find them again. For restaurants, it’s probably academic: so much of their custom is from tourists and theatregoers in the world of the long-running musical. Four to Eight is on one of the spokes radiating from the gyratory’s north side, as you head up towards Covent Garden. In a handsome, wedge-shaped space, it’s light and glassy: it looks vaguely ‘contemporary’. And maybe that’s its problem. Four to Eight promises ‘beautiful, simple food’, which is a noble pursuit. Most of what we ate managed one or other, but rarely both. A small plate of slow-poached egg with chicken-skin crisp, cod roe and broccoli was mostly successful. It was certainly beautiful, with a delicate rosemary crumb. But the taramsalata consistency of the roe wasn’t that nice. Bottarga would have delivered a bit more punch, or maybe just leave it out altogether? Courgette flower with goat’s cheese was better: both pretty and straightforward. A main of black ink linguine with clams and cuttlefish was over-oily, which made the pasta slovenly. Though there were clamshells aplenty, their former inhabitants proved more elusive, shiftily skulking around the edges and unable to account for the whereabouts of half their n
Joe's Southern Table & Bar
This kitchen and cocktail bar - previously Joe's Southern Kitchen, and before that, Navajo Joe - sits in the heart of Covent Garden in an enormous converted warehouse. The bar sweeps down the length of the double-height building and boasts one of the largest collections of tequilas, mezcals and rums in London. There's a follow up now too, in Kentish Town. The food menu promises classic Southern cooking. Expect, then, dishes such as cajun shrimp with a black bean stew, jalapeno poppers, chilli made with slow-braised beef brisket, mac 'n' cheese and blackened catfish fillet with collard greens. Wings, burgers and Big Apple hot dogs also feature. The bar downstairs, Cocktail Baby, offers house tunes alongside French martinis, mojitos, amaretto sours and cocktails with a Southern slant, like the smokey joe - Jim Beams Devil's Cut bourbon with tobacco liquor and barrel bitters.
Venue says: “Haven't tried one of our avocado buns yet? You don't know what you're missing!”