Published on February 18th, 2016 | by Gavin0
Low, Slow and Juke, St James
Summary: Great location and they smoke all the meats in-house; once they get over the teething problems, this will be a good BBQ restaurant
To borrow the slogan from a heavily marketed wood varnish, St. James’ newest restaurant Low, Slow and Juke does exactly what it says on the tin. They low and slow cook meat from their basement smokehouse to guests who can also indulge in a spot of juke and jiving while sipping on a variety of cocktails; what more could you ask for?
Low, Slow and Juke is the latest opening from the group that also own The Fire Station in Waterloo, so expectations are high. The underground venue is more spacious than first imagined from the ground floor entrance, as well as the main space, there is an additional mezzanine level creating more room for tables in what would otherwise be a cosy environment.
The atmosphere is typically Tennessee: rocking tunes, heaving bar, and the unmistakable smell of barbequed meat coming from the in-house smoker. I hastily grab one of the speciality smoked cocktails before finding my seat a private booth away from the hustle and bustle (as much as I enjoy lively surroundings, I prefer to eat in peace).
Vegetarians beware, Low, Slow and Juke has next to nothing for you, for this is strictly a carnivore playground. To start we get the chilli chicken wings which come very generously glazed in caramel (£10). The sweetness is the first flavour to hit the tongue, but it’s not an unpleasant taste, it complements the chicken to the point it keeps you coming back for more and more- a second portion was graciously received.
In addition, the waitress brings an array of sauces to the table and I found the Homemade House BBQ sauce to work wonders alongside them.
This comes in extremely handy when a Flintstone style platter of baby back ribs (£7), burnt ends (£7), beef brisket (£14), half chicken (£11) and beef ribs (£14) is delivered to our table. I immediately start on a flavoursome BBQ chicken leg which I devour with a side of pit beans (£3.50) that complement each other well. The Burnt Ends go down a treat too, although a little overcooked than I usually like, when teamed with the South Carolina sauce, they act as the perfect double act. [Tip: order a side of Smoked Couscous & Halloumi salad (£10) to complement the protein overdose]
Overall though, the rest of the platter was a bit of a let down. We have some pretty good, well seasoned BBQ in London nowadays- but this effort lacked serious flavour. The flowing juices, succulent hints of charring, and smoky flavours were all nonexistent- not even a generous helping of chilli vinegar could save the brisket.
As a barbeque experience, Low, Slow and Juke still have a way to go before becoming the finished article, but there are signs of encouragement. As the team get to know their customers, they’ll soon realise what does and doesn’t work and can cater their menu accordingly. They have a great location and the in-house smoker is a big draw, so once the wrinkles are ironed out, I’m sure Low, Slow, and Juke will be a welcome addition to the London BBQ scene.
Low, Slow and Juke, 1 Abbey Orchard St, SW1P 2LUShare This Post