Shake Rattle and Roll your Blue Suede Boots Over to the O2
One of the best things about getting to review restaurants, sample menus and attend launch parties is that you get to go to venue’s you might not normally think of or know. And such it was with Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 where I was invited to sample their new Elvis Inspired menu, bursting with dishes fit for the king himself, or anyone with a king sized appetite!
I haven’t been to the O2 since it was the millenium dome, many years ago now and hadn’t realised that along with being an entertainment venue for concerts and tennis matches, it is also home to a variety of eateries. It’s nice to visit somewhere different, where you wouldn’t usually go.
Brooklyn Bowl is an import from the other side of the pond having started in 2009 in Brooklyn, New York before also opening a restaurant in Las Vegas. Each venue combines a real slice of Americana through a bar and restaurant which feels like you have stepped into a slice of New York (the Brooklyn bit) as well as having live music and a bowling alley with several lanes (the bowl part). The NY venue was awarded the best New York music venue by the Zagat guide has hosted everyone from Kanye West to N.E.R.D, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon and Moby, so a pretty eclectic mix of top artists. On the evening we visited London they had a great sounding rock and roll band which, along with the food, really made you feel like you were stateside.
As I said I, and some fellow bloggers, were all there for the evening to sample the newly launched Elvis theme menu with dishes that include southern staples such as biscuits and gravy (surprisingly great), meatloaf, chilli and cornbread a lot more besides – you know there’s a burger in there somewhere don’t you.
The elvis themed menu, full of the king’s favourites, is timed to run alongside the new “Elvis at the O2 Exhibition” – find more info on that here. Something that any Elvis or Rock n’ Roll fan should pop along and see.
So what did I try, and what do I recommend? Disclaimer: whilst I strive to eat a healthy and balanced diet and I hit the gym more than enough times a week I have a serious weakness for this kind of grub and so I was very much predisposed to liking everything on the menu. That said my friend who I brought along for the evening (who once lived in the USA for a year) also liked all the offerings and I can more than vouch for this being well prepared and presented classic American food.
The southern fried chicken is really, really good. Don’t think KFC or anything like that. The spices on this chicken were much more complex and layered. It was like a well layered hair cut, each strand of spiciness artfully placed. Then to make it just that bit more ‘Elvis’ we had to pour a good lashing of honey on before rapidly consuming. Very indulgent, very Elvis.
On to the next treat, sliders. I love mini burgers, they make me feel like a giant when eating them and that’s just great fun! Throw in some coleslaw and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The two meaty dishes, meatloaf squares and super chunky ribs were also both excellent. The meatloaf was moist juicy. It had a good and balanced amount of herbs and spices so as not to be bland but also so as that they did not overpower the beef itself. Similarly with the ribs the sticky sauce enhanced the meat rather than overwhelm it.
Biscuits and gravy. An odd sounding combination I know. The southern biscuits were quite flat, crisp on the outside and then fluffy and doughy on the inside. The sausage and bacon white gravy was really, really nice and I’d have loved to have had more of it!
Both of us were getting a bit full to when it came to the dishes of chilli and cornbread we split one between us. Buttermilk cornbread is something I really love with chilli – again I have to say this is really my type of food!
Lastly, and I’m not sure how there was room for it, was dessert. Pecan pie, oh pecan pie one of my favourite puddings and a real american classic. What a treat to have it along with peach cobbler too.
The Elvis themed menu at Brooklyn Bowl is a new addition to their menu and you can find the menu here. I really think this is a great destination to visit with a bunch of friends, a place for – as Hana calls it- a propper man date with the guys.
Dishes are priced between £2.50 and £8.50.