Honky Tonk Restaurant, #6 Hollywood Road, London SW10 9HY
Diners are becoming popular, with more popping up faster than a teenager with acne around London. Ed’s, The Diner, Five Guys… But if we could pick one, it would be Honky Tonk. A rock and roll diner, situated in Chelsea and Clapham. We pulled our leather jackets on and headed down to the Chelsea branch.
In a place populated with bushy haired strutters with jumpers tied around their torso, I debated how rock and roll this place would be. In the area, there was a fair share of people who looked like they had just snorted their own jewelery but as soon as I entered Honky Tonk, I had escaped the Chelsea stereotype.
The menus were mock up vinyl cases of The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and Elvis. The music swang from classic to modern rock while everyone was knocking back their drinks, which were pretty impressive looking. A beer trolley is wheeled out on request consisting of 20 different craft beers which you can try in a “flight of three”. They even accommodate for the Sunday blues with build your own Bloody Mary on Sundays. A pretty impressive selection of cocktails were on offer with some even aged in a barrel for a better taste.
We got heart palpitations as we saw the milkshakes mixed with booze in a vintage bottle. It was so thick that the amaretto floated on top before mixing. As a fan of a White Russian, this was a dream. The Bourbon Negroni was so strong, it will put hairs on my chest! Negroni is usually mixed with gin, so the bourbon seemed to taste a bit too sharp and it knocked me for six. The Strawberry Jelly Margarita was like a fresh breakfast morning with a lingering after taste of strawberry; one for the girls. The Chocolate Bourbon Sour was a good twist for whiskey. It didn’t disguise the whiskey but merely hit you with a hint of chocolate.
The cocktails were all pretty strong, making us quiver with delight, though Chelsea is not a place I want to be caught drunk in. Noses would fly up faster than any penis in the presence of naked Shakira.
Like any diner, there must be enough to feed the food junkie fetish. By jove, did they deliver. Normal diner classics had been improved and updated for the modern eater. The nachos were smothered in cheese without getting soggy, the Craw Daddy Crab Cakes were crumbly without the pong of fish and the Love Me Tender Ribs fell right of the rack and into a sweet stomachtopia. The vegetarian choice was a halloumi burger, that was layered with flat mushroom, gherkin and mustard seed dressing, making a tower of veggie Babylon. Fries were served in a mini cage, making it impossible not to pull them out of their tiny prison and into my mouth.
Apart from the odd Mr Uppety customers roaming in from their natural habitat, you could get lost in the rock n roll vibe and grab a can to the sound of the Stones. But it’s all good fun when you can enjoy your drink with one pinky held high.