Monday, 18 January 2010

Easy Does It

Hardly in keeping to the levels of gastronomic excellence I treat myself to each week, today's instalment brings you something of a messier variety. To celebrate a friend's birthday, we revisited a haunt on the old strip of the "kinger" between Old Church Street and World's End, where so many of the defining moments of my teenagehood occurred. And my, how it's grown. The Cadogan Arms, which used to be inexplicably cool and quite hard to get served in has now been made over, is explicably uncool and I hear quite tricky to get a drink (only for different reasons this time round). The Pitcher & Piano, once the beginning of so many great Saturday nights between the ages of 14 and 16 (ok, 16 and 18) is now Sushinho, a Brazilian Japanese fusion joint, a place for whom the name does a far better job of slating it than I ever could. The Dome has gone (sob) and to round it off as a centre of all things bastard and fusion, Eight Over Eight has replaced the disgusting but memorable Man in the Moon. My old smoking ground is practically unrecognisable. I wouldn't last ten minutes on the scene of today's youth, what with all their sushi and smart gastropubs. Yet despite all this apparent progress, two things pop up at me (and it's not the collars of every boy aged 15 - 20 hanging around there - apologies - couldn't resist). First, that they can keep their fusion - the range of "upmarketness" from Man in the Moon to Pitcher & Piano was spot on, and second, they couldn't get rid of Big Easy.

Big Easy is a barbeque and crabshack restaurant that has been around for over 15 years, which is shamefully close to the time that my underage friends and I used to hang out at the cramped bar, drinking Coronas and eyeing up generic blondes. This time, my eyes were only for sticky ribs, loaded potato skins, bumper steaks, and of course, my beautiful girlfriend. Despite being sat in a slightly grotty corner, the place still had the same atmosphere. And to be fair to them, they manage to recreate (what I guess is…) an authentic American crabshack, with only a few minor bungles (I would mention the provenance of some of the staff but for the twitchiness of some of my readership). So we sat down, bibbed up (love a restaurant where they put a bib on you) and ordered enough ribs, fajitas, chips, potato skins and coleslaw to cover the table. Not too long later, food started arriving. If it wasn't for the band, all the other people in the restaurant, the breaking and chewing of pig ribs and the sizzling fajitas, you could have heard a chip drop. So how did it all taste? I thought it was pretty damn good. The sauce on the ribs , to borrow a phrase from that place that sells fried chicken heads, was finger lickin' good and the actual ribs themselves were meaty and succulent. The potato skins were a bit soggy but by that stage, I was just shovelling to do justice to my surroundings. If I went back, or rather when I go back, I will go heavier on the ribs and lighter on the dry fajitas. I also remember eating some sweet juicy skewered shrimp which will definitely feature on my next roster.

The bill came to about 35 quid each, including a couple of jugs of margherita and some buckets of beer. Bargain.

The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that this is not a review of places in Marrakech, as mentioned in my previous post. Given that 2010 is now underway, I think this will forever be lost to my readers. So as a condensed version, the food is great here (, here ( is meant to be great but is actually a bit like Café Rouge, never eat here ( and if you go here (, you will eat the nicest tagine in one of the most incredible settings in the world. Over and out.

Big Easy
332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea
020 7352 4071

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dan,

    Love reading your blog, but may I ask what is with your apparent hatred for sushinho? I have eaten there on several occasions and have to say I love it. The food is excellent and the staff very informative and friendly. I'm just very curious as to why one would dislike it as much as you seem to?