Honky Tonk, Chelsea

Honky Tonk Chelsea
Hot dang that's a mighty fine burger
Bling
Rating
Booze
Rating
Sex
Factor

The Vibe

If you haven’t been to Hollywood Road in Chelsea you are in for an absolute revelation. This little road is the understated playground of West London’s twenty- and thirtysomething corporate elite. You will find them binge drinking in sharp suits, pink shirts and Mulberry on a Thursday night, or nursing hangovers in rugby

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apparel and faux-American collegiate wear on a Sunday. Honky Tonk, the new all-American bar and restaurant on the block, welcomes these crowds with open arms and chipper waitresses in Daisy Dukes and cropped plaid shirts. And you know what? It’s goddamn brilliant- just the sort of young and fun date to break up the monotony of classy Peruvian or Japanese dinner dates. The buzz down that street between Thursday and Sunday (especially in the summer) is an up-market take on a club stretch in a Spanish holiday town- the second you hit it, you want to drink up and get some ass. This is the place to take a very specific sort of date. You are both already ‘familiar’ with each other, you both appreciate the inherent fun of American ‘party food’ (burgers, quesadillas, wings), and you’re both up for sticking two fingers to the small plate craze and going BIG. This is for eaters, for drinkers and for people whose first boozy experiences were at The Big Easy. You’ve graduated.

The Order

Don’t even think of taking down three courses on a date, it’s way too much. That said, the starters are too appealing to skip- chicken quesadillas are gratifyingly not overloaded with fillings so remain crisp and tasty. As I said, this place is for eaters so stop messing around and order the delectable “not-fried” chicken or Honky Tonk burger with caramelised onions. The chicken tastes like a gourmet KFC bucket (extremely tender), and the burger is infinitely preferable to Meat Liquor’s pipsqueak- it’s the bigger bolder burger of yore.

The Game

A word to the males of the species- if you doubt your physique and sparky banter even for a second, don’t take a pretty lady here, there’s a positive glut of sporty types having jovial meals. That said, it also seems to be the place for double dates so rather than single yourselves out as a duo, partner up with some best friends and make this a big night out for four. However, do meet your date alone before the meal for an introductory tipple. The Brinkley’s brasserie opposite the restaurant is a perfect spot for this, and somewhere you will likely return to after the meal. Meet the other couple at the bar, order some cocktails to the table and quickly choose your range of heavy starters to combat immediate drunkenness. This is the place where women become girls, flirtatious flattery ping-ponging between them, and boys become men, taking the reigns with the ordering, breaking up the conversation with demands for another round of Dark and Stormys, play fighting each other for the bill and generally contributing to the rising levels of testosterone in the room. Get messy, chat a lot and play punch your date to remind them that this is a date. Then all return to Brinkley’s for bottles of wine and slurry chats à deux- at this point, it is every couple for themselves. First couple to make excuses to leave wins.

The Faults

Big portions for big appetites. A bit of male competition.

Sex Factor

4. Providing you double date, and don’t overdo the food, it is boozy, funny and encourages university behaviour. The fact the food is bloody tasty is just a plus.

 

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