Cookhouse Joe

There’s something strangely comforting about roast chicken. It evokes memories of family meals and lazy afternoons. It’s not just a british tradition either – the French know the value of a good rotisserie and so, it turns out, do the Lebanese.

Within spitting difference of Oxford Street there’s a bold newcomer to the Soho restaurant scene. Cookhouse Joe is run by the same people as Soho Joe and it follows a similar vein – great quality, simple dishes, fun atmosphere and excellent value.

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The meal started with some lovely pickles while we looked over the menu before deciding to eat, well, everything. First up was a moutabal – smokey grilled aubergine paste with some lovely warm flatbreads. Sweet, smooth and very more-ish.

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Fresh off the grill – some gorgeous halloumi came next. I’m not normally a fan, but this was really good with a lovely char. Closely followed by some sticky chicken wings and a delicious lamb kofta – I adored the tabbouleh: light, fresh and wonderfully delicate. Perfect.

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Some home-made falafels and tahini followed – well cooked and with a lovely spice. But it was all a build up to the main event. Superb roast chicken (free range from the west country you’ll be happy to hear). Plump, juicy and with a lovely skin it’s everything a roasted chicken should be. It comes with a choice of three sauces – lovely tomatoey chilli, garlic mayo or a cucumber/mint. The chips were fine but could do with more spice, but the coleslaw is great.

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At this point I admit we were struggling – but i’m a complete sucker for anything with apple and I couldn’t turn down the chance for their home-made apple pie. It’s literally made by the owners mother and the dear woman knows what she’s doing. Rich, crumbly pastry generously filled with sweet caramelised apples and just a hint of cinnamon. Heaven.

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The restaurant is new – they’ve only been open five weeks – but the service was excellent, the decor is your classic exposed brick warehouse and vintage wood (they get bonus points for using an old coffee tin as a wine cooler). They’re clearly passionate about their concept and it works – my only criticism would be the volume of flatbreads and the lack of a simple set menu – when the variety is so good having an easy ‘bring me lots’ option is the obvious choice.

The food was delicious and perfect for sharing. I applaud them for making nearly everything themselves – it’s food with real soul. Grab some mates, bag a table and munch on some top grub in a great location without breaking the bank.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Cookhouse Joe and comped the meal.
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