with high industrial ceilings, neon signs, indoor caravan seating and a tiled feature bar etched with the latest specials, the blues kitchen oozes more cool than bleeding gums murphy playing the silver toned jazz sax. unsurpisingly located in the edgy east london district of shoreditch, the late bar and restaurant serves up all american classics and new orleans soul food with a side of blues.
a little early for our table, we enjoyed a drink at the well stocked bar whilst seeing who we could recognise from the decor. tracks of bluesy chords and soulful singers played in the background, although we still wished the empty stage could have had a live billing that night.
it wasn't long before we were taken to our cool (obviously) high stool table which gave us front row seats of the mixologists muddling their way through the menu of boozy brews. i don't usually like high stools for a meal, however this felt comfortable and plush.
anyway enough about the achingly cool decor, atmosphere and 1000 ft long drinks list, i suppose you want to know how the food was. to start, i went for the deep fried crab balls, whilst my boyfriend opted for the sticky ribs. except i just looked for the exact prices of these on the menu and it appears they have stopped doing starters. correct me if i'm wrong? this is such as a shame as i'm afraid to say they were incredible, you just won't be able to try them.
the crab was a crunchy and light snack with cajun spiced influences. on the other hand, the ribs were sticky, heavy and meaty, with just enough on the plate to leave any carnivore hungry for their next course.
heading downstairs to the loos was just another exploration of how much (or in way, very little) effort had gone into this place. i loved the continuation of poster hall of fame featuring all the greats of blues, rock & roll and jazz. all i could think to myself was - my dad would love this place! back up i went to my cosy booth for my ready and waiting main course.
we had both opted for the burgers, something which i am always jealous of on londoners' instagram feeds. i'd gone for the 7oz cheeseburger with extra halloumi (£11 + £1 for extras), whilst my boyfriend eyed up the 7oz bacon cheeseburger (£12) as it was. both came with fries and slaw, although i greedily picked out some creamed corn (£3.50) and he chose onion rings (£3) on the side.
the bun was squishy, the cheese was gooey and slightly pink brisket meat was succulent and well seasoned. in leicestershire, most staff would mentioned in advance that the burger comes pink so not to worry you. this way of cooking is fine by me with good quality meat, and i guess the burger connoisseurs of the captial have learnt to expect this of the perfect patty. the pinkness of the meat meant it had retained its glorious juicy flavour and was a pleasure to devour. the skin on chips were equally as delicious, with an agreeably crunchy coleslaw to boot.
my gluttony got the better of me on the creamed corn, and looking back at the photographs now i could totally guzzle it all up. this southern inspired side is definitely one for those with a sweet tooth, as the buttery sweetcorn was really enhanced by the heavy cream. the blues kitchen also have their own blend of barbecue sauce, which can be bought and taken home for you to enjoy blues in a bottle on your own kitchen creations.
the one thing i would say is there are just too many staff members. you could easily count up to 30 waiters and waitresses literally waiting around for someone to serve. is this a good thing? i don't know, it's a strange thing to notice and it was sort of unnerving. i can only imagine on the saturday evening we went there, the cocktail demand was about to get serious.
not one to end on a bad note, i actually couldn't fault the place. excellent menus, mood and music. if i'm back in sassy shoreditch, i'll definitely come by to enjoy the live music. just bring back the crab starter, okay?
134 - 146 curtain road
note: we paid in full for our meal. all opinions are honest and my own, as always.