London Foodie of the Month: The Joint (a.k.a Your Hangover Cure)

When you first walk into Brixton Village, it’s chaotic. Bright colours, the aroma of Thai food mixed with spicy jerk chicken, and people everywhere. But use your nose to guide you and you’ll sniff out a distinctive smell in the air – it’s fried, American, and meaty.

It doesn’t matter if you’re hungover or hanging out, the experience offered at The Joint will blow your mind while barely denting your wallet.

When Warren Dean first started The Joint, he had a Michelin star and a deep love for Southern comfort food. It was in Brixton where he opened his first installation of The Joint, the most accurate taste of America yet to land across the pond.

The environment is what you’d expect from a market: loud and eclectic, but communal. The Joint’s recipe for success is a mix of social media hype (let this cheese video convince you) and genuine talent from the chefs.

As an American myself, it’s been hard to find a worthy contender to home-cooked meals I’m used to in the US. But The Joint’s backyard BBQ made me want to ditch my father’s kitchen – sorry dad!. Upon the recommendation of the venue manager Kessie, we ordered a sample of everything on the menu: pulled pork, brisket, chicken wings, onion rings, deep-fried mac n’ cheese, and several types of fries. The menu has been built around the market environment: a relaxed and friendly place where sharing is key and plate sizes have been designed for several mouths.

A big winner for SINO was “The BJ” burger. The Joint have carefully crafted every part of this burger from the double patties to the homemade sauce to the potato bun. The patties were perfectly grilled with the juice running down our hands as we devoured it. The sauce gave it a much-needed punch of fragrant ecstasy that was only made better by the tender pork belly meat.

All flavours have a home on The Joint’s menu, from the Asian ginger-infused burger to the brioche bun-protected brisket. But enough about the meat – let’s talk about the sides. The key to The Joint’s scrumptious side piece of deep-fried mac n’ cheese was the shape itself, it comes in triangles and balls, carefully encased in gooey mature cheddar. A clear winner

Close runner-up sides included the thickly breaded onion rings and the perfectly crisp sweet potato fries, which went amazingly well with the homemade honey mustard sauce (a rare delicacy in Britain but a staple of the American diet).

Alas, it wasn’t the food that won us over. It was the interactive and personable service. At this market, the tables are quite low, but Kessie happily crouched down with us instead of hovering over our bodies with a pen and paper in hand. She talked us through the menu with great recommendations that proved exceptional. Her superb service added the human touch that all good restaurants should have in a world of phones and human-looking clones.

Whether you fancy bringing your ‘Murica-loving dad or a friend whose denim-dominant style screams Americana, The Joint is the perfect place for friends to grub the morning after a night out.

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