Honky Tonk Sundown Terrace launches in Clapham
If Honky Tonk’s aim was to be eye catching, then it has certainly succeeded. With its jet black exterior and oversized neon lettering, the bar-restaurant hybrid sticks out like a sore thumb, nestled as it is in the leafy streets of Clapham Common. The interior, clad in bare bricks, thick wood and sumptuous dark leather, is equally impressive. Compared to these bold benchmarks, the terrace always felt a little underwhelming, consisting as it did a handful of chairs and tables facing out on to the street.
Thankfully, it’s undergone something of a transformation, just in time for the summer. From the thick carpet of fake grass to the custom built Honky hotdog cart, every part of the the new setup is characteristically irreverent and playful. There are few other places in the capital that so capture the self assured spirit of the American south with quite as much gusto as Honky Tonk’s Sundown Terrace.
The same can be said for the food. The house hotdog, the Blum Dog Billionaire, is a perfect mix of onion marmalade, soft white bun and deliciously tender sausage that will no doubt prove a popular choice, although they do lay on the condiments rather heavily. A plate of the Not Fried Chicken is a particular treat, offering deliciously moreish chicken thighs in a spiced batter that’s free from the usual greasiness. Their pulled pork, a staple of any Southern menu, is meltingly soft and served a bun that soaks up the perfect amount of juice without ever veering towards being floppy. Sadly the apple coleslaw that accompanies it lacks the required tang to cut through the dense sweetness of BBQ sauce, but it does add a pleasing and much needed crunch to the mix.
With a wide variety of excellent cocktails and craft beers on offer to wash it all down, including a superb elderflower martini, it would be easy to overlook one of the more interesting drinks on the menu. An alcoholic ice tea made here in London, Harry Brompton’s refreshingly citrus taste is the perfect tonic for the fattiness of pork ribs and plump hot dogs.
Bold, brash and bursting with Southern soul, there are few better places to enjoy a summer sunset than Honky Tonk’s Sundown Terrace.
Verdict: 3 stars
To book a table at Honky Tonk, 16a Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AB, call 020 7627 6257 or for further information visit here.