Lowcountry in Fulham
Lowcountry is a distinctive style of food originating in Louisiana and the Deep South, USA. Here in the midst of Fulham we find the chefs Michael Kirk and Jennifer Ryan, both hailing from the US and both aiming to cook up American lowcountry cuisine and “send guests on a culinary tour of the American South”.
On the quiet night we visited, there were big screens playing Sky News, which reminded us not so much of being in the Deep South, but in a sports bar. The venue seems ambitiously huge, with an alfresco seating area that could be a big hit with drinkers during the summer months.
The menu proudly declares that the philosophy is to keep it “simple and of course, seasonal and sustainable”. The food is certainly simple, yes, but that may be where this restaurant loses out. The promises of robust food full of the tastes of the south, sadly never seemed to be kept. The menu lists copious amounts of seafood, clams and shrimp, coupled with those traditional grits: cornbread, gumbo, pinot noir burger and a fall-off-the-bone lowcountry rack.
Disappointingly, the 1/2lb BBQ Bourbon Shrimp at £13.95 was more like king prawns served in a watered down tomato-based sauce (we couldn’t really taste the bourbon here) accompanied with biscuits, that were slightly dry and overdone on the underside. The Seafood Gumbo lacked in flavour; we have suspicions that the same tomato sauce may have been used. You could count the amount of seafood in the dish with one hand, including one lonely scallop and a promise of andouille sausage, which we were assured had the same sauce, but no, you couldn’t taste it. The Voodoo Chicken Wings using uncle Vinnie’s recipe suggested something special, but were just okay, but flavourful and they temporarily uplifted us with a spicy kick.
The not-so-fall-off-the-bone Lowcountry Rack of Turkey with a Sweet, Smoky Glaze priced at £17.95 was, unfortunately, cold when it arrived at our table and was served with mediocre chips, slaw and salad. Finally, with all faith in the amazing desserts promised to us, both the carrot cake and the pecan pie were a letdown, unnecessarily garnished with strawberries and berries.
The service was polite throughout, although, when asked, the waitresses were unable to describe the dishes very well. Lowcountry is, sadly, not low-priced for the quality of cooking on offer and unless the menu is substantially revamped, look elsewhere for a taste of the Deep South.