Given the wide choice of world cuisine we have in London, it is always a delicate question of whether we are actually getting a true representation of a nation or region’s cuisine, or whether we are simply being served up an ersatz version. I have had so many impassioned discussions about whether I am getting a proper account of a particular cuisine. I have been told that the only true Indian food can be found in Stanmore, that the only place to get authentic Greek pastries is on Green Lanes in Harringey and that there is nowhere that does Southern Italian cooking the way it should be done.
The same goes for authentic Southern American cuisine. There is many a time that I have taken a visiting friend from that part of America to a restaurant that claims it is transporting a taste of the South to London. Whilst there have been a few successes, the main feeling overall is that it just doesn’t match up to the standard back home. It seems that Southerners are very particular about their food and how it travels, mainly because the cuisine is such a big part of the culture in that part of the world.
The people who are overseeing the latest venture to try and bring Southern cuisine to this part of the world seem to stand a much better chance of translating it given their provenances. The head chef and manager of the restaurant originate from Georgia and are committed to cooking food from their part of the world in the most authentic way.
The test for any restaurant offering Southern American cuisine is the quality of their fried chicken. The offering from Stagolee’s certainly matched up to any I have had and exceeded it. The meat was juicy, tender and the crust really packed a barrage of spice. Fortunately, there was a much needed carrot salad on the side to help deal with the capsaicin fiesta that was going on in my mouth. Other sides included a delightful mac n’ cheese and cornbread that was just sweet enough without being overbearing.
It is a restaurant that boasts a very welcoming atmosphere and there is plenty for those who just want to stop in for a drink. They have some very compelling moonshine cocktails and an impressive array of craft beers. It may be exactly the kind of place to explore Southern cuisine if you’re unfamiliar with it, or exactly the place to take some who is overly familiar with it.
453 North End Road