While living in London is extraordinary 98% of the time, there are the occasional weeks where I get really homesick and miss the comforts of home – one of those being real, KC-style BBQ. I’ve written about my love BBQ on here before and for those of you who follow along, you’ll know that it’s my favourite comfort food. In light of the nostalgia of home and in need of a date night, Ciaran and I headed to Shotgun BBQ in Soho for a BBQ feast.
Shotgun BBQ hails from the team behind the Lockhart, an iconic American-style restaurant in Marylebone (another of restaurant of which is on my bucket list). Brad McDonald, the head chef and partner is originally from Mississippi and his wife is from Kansas City, so it’s a safe bet that these two know good BBQ.
The interior is quite narrow, which bares resemblance to architecture of Shotgun houses primarily found in the South – hence the name Shotgun BBQ. Legend says that the shotgun houses are so narrow that you could open the front door and shoot straight down the hallway to the backdoor. The interior has Southern charm to boot and I loved the dark wood floors, quirky wallpaper, flower pots and vintage mirrors adorning the walls and the gorgeous bar toward the back. An eclectic mix of hip hop from the noughties played in the background that made for a really fun Friday night vibe.
The dinner menu is ever-changing and consists of a selection of Southern-inspired snacks, the meats, and desserts. We started off with a couple of beers – a Saison for me and a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Pale Ale for Ciaran.
I am normally more of a wine person, but to me, BBQ tastes the best with a really great beer.
To kick our dinner off on a light note, we ordered the boiled peanut hummus with cucumber and radishes. It was our attempt at being somewhat healthy. The hummus was great and had a hint of spice. I liked that it had a crunchier texture, which was a refreshing taste from our usual creamy humous we have at home.
Out came the sauces in all their glory. KC and KC Hot – both of which are fantastic. So fantastic in fact that when we asked if we could buy a bottle to take home, they told us they are actually going to be selling them beginning this week. I can’t wait to add a bottle of Shotgun BBQ to my KC sauce collection!
This was a very special trip to Shotgun as I had been looking through their Instagram earlier that day and saw that they had posted a photo of these incredible KC-burnt ends and commented that I couldn’t wait to try them. They very graciously saved me their last batch, which truly meant so much to me. When I walked in and Ciaran explained I was from KC, they said “Ah, you’re the one Chef said to save the burnt ends for.” It was a really thoughtful gesture and after a week of feeling homesick, this truly made all the difference. Thank you, Shotgun for the warm hospitality and thoughtfulness.
With all of that said, the KC-style burnt ends were simply put, AWESOME. Every state is known for a special type of BBQ delicacy and one of Kansas City’s is burnt ends. These were definitely up there with some of the best I’ve had. They were tender, juicy, smokey and had a black peppercorn crust on the end that melted in your mouth bite after bite. If I could choose one menu item to feast on, these would have been it. I was in BBQ heaven.
A gorgeous order of ribs to share. They were meaty, yet quite lean. There have been so many times I’ve tried ribs in London and there’s either no meat on the bone, or inedible due to the amount of fat on them. These were perfection. Smokey, tangy and fell off the bone. The hallmark of truly great BBQ is when the meat comes out with little to no BBQ sauce on top and the flavours are so good, you don’t even need to add any sauce. That’s how great these ribs were.
We also ordered the Pork Belly, which was sliced thin and had very little fat, which we both liked. Pork Belly can be incredibly fatty, and there was very little trace of any on these slices. The taste of the pork belly was much more subtle than that of the ribs and the burnt ends and tasted absolutely delicious with the KC BBQ sauce. I really liked how all three of the dishes came with a slice of Cornbread on the side instead of fries. It’s a very traditional Southern side dish and was a real treat to have with all three dishes.
My favourite side dish with BBQ, however, is Coleslaw. It pairs well with every.single.BBQ dish. Shotgun’s coleslaw was perfectly seasoned and had just the right amount of dressing so that it wasn’t oversaturated. I’m not a huge fan of creamy coleslaws and really enjoyed Shotgun’s.
The BBQ at Shotgun was excellent – I was actually a bit sad when we had taken our last bites because it was that good. It’s definitely become one of my new favourite restaurants. We can’t wait to come back to try out the brunch we’ve heard so many great things about.
If you’re looking for a real BBQ fest, head to Shotgun in Soho for some impressive Q.
Shotgun BBQ | 26 Kingly St | London | W1B 5QD