Shotgun BBQ Soho
26 Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5QD
www.shotgunbbq.com/0203 137 7252I’m a fan of chef Brad McDonald. He hails from Louisiana and combines American Southern authenticity with some serious foodie credentials. With a CV that includes Noma and Per Se, Brad came to London a few years back to rescue The Lockhart, a characterless room in Fitzrovia that he set ablaze with his intense flavours and homestyle textures. Brad has now moved to Soho to Shotgun- a pared down atmospherically distressed joint where you can probably find Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday discussing gambling, shotguns and troublesome women. It has a long sweeping marble topped bar with bar-side dining as well as leather banquettes with wood panelling and with the low lighting it makes a great place for a secret assignation or hiding from the sheriff…Alongside some of The Lockhart’s greatest hits such as freshly baked-to-order Cornbread with Honey Butter and Shrimp and Anson Mills Cheddar Grits, Brad is offering one lucky pre-booked table per evening an authentic Fried Chicken Dinner with “all the fixins, served family-style” at a very reasonable £20 per head. The chicken boasts a buttermilk brine, and comes either ‘Original Lock’ or ‘Nashville Hot’ for those who like to pack some heat. The good news is that I’ve been invited to review this finger lickin combo.So what did we get in this Southern selection? Pimento cheese and crackers were spiky.Devilled eggs were soft, spicy and piquant. Cornish Crab Dirty Rice is a traditional Cajun rice dish made dirty (in a good way) from small chunks of chicken liver, garlic, Andouille sausage and brown crab. It had a deep, rich smoky flavour.The famous Cornbread came sizzling from the kitchen pass in a cast-iron skillet, topped with bubbling honey butter. This salt sweet polenta based combo is one of the best dishes in London. Mac and cheese was Monterey Jack heaven, lashings of cheese with a hint of chilli.The signature Fried Chicken was tender and succulent coming in a deliciously light batter.Shrimp’n grits had a sublime depth of cheesy flavour with the smoked bacon, button mushrooms and heritage grains from South Carolina’s Anson Mills giving texture. Delicious! The perfect winter’s dish I could eat this every day.Sides of coleslaw and creamed corn Despite being full we finished with Banana Pudding. It was an über-creamy banana, honeycomb, chocolate crunchy kind of thing.The picture tells the story!With other dishes including Shotgun’s American BBQ staples such as slow-smoked Carolina Pulled Pork, Iberico Baby Back Ribs and USDA Beef Brisket you won’t be short of choice at Shotgun. I don’t think there’s a better deal in London at the moment than the Shotgun chicken dinner and the restaurant is a fab addition to the Soho dining scene.