The Blues Kitchen, Shoreditch
Oh boy, this place is crazy cool! Just think: chandeliers made of gramophone speakers, a lobster tank behind the bar, 50s caravan at the back (seriously, it’s totally Breaking Bad with the Mexican heat thrown in) and a platform for the blues baby. One word to sum up: FREAKIN’ FUN – OK, two words.
You don’t come to The Blues Kitchen for a quiet candlelit dinner accompanied by the bourgeois soundtrack of cutlery on china plates and chattering businessmen. Oh no, you come here to holler determinedly over the soundtrack, hear mixologists turn ice cubes into maracas and snog each other’s face off in the dark recesses of the dance floor. On opening night, there’ s that brilliant electric atmosphere which comes with the feeling that all the cool people in town are in the same place.
All the Texan BBQ classics are on offer for you to wrap your chops around, with a few more unusual extras: “We’ll have the alligator please, and make it snappy!” (Warning: do NOT crack this joke if you ever want to see the inside of their bedroom). Get involved, embrace the messiness of it all and lick your fingers seductively at your date. Other mouth-watering options include whole Canadian Lobster to get claw-cracking on with (£19.95), mean St Louis Ribs (£14.50), lovingly Pulled Pork sandwiches (£11) and Pan Fried Catfish (£12.90).
Do a Steve McQueen and order your cocktails in twos – when this place gets going you’re looking at a twenty minute wait between drinks. Guys try and avoid going for the classic “Old Fashioned” and branch out with a “Zombie” – 5 Rums, fresh lime, grapefruit juice and absinthe, it packs one hell of a welcome punch. Served in a large plastic pineapple it’s also a real hoot and will bring light-heartedness to a tense first date. Ladies, the Clover Club (Beefeater Gin, fresh lemon, grenadine and egg white) is deliciously elegant and slips down a treat. Grab a booth, work through the cocktail list (reasonable priced from £7-£9.50) and comment to each other on the blues legends adorning the bare brick walls. After dinner has soaked up some of the booze, grab your date and dance your socks off.
This is fast and furious dating – not for those desiring a quiet, restrained and intimate dinner.
4. Go for it, cowboy.