Based just a short stroll from Marble Arch and tucked away behind the haze of the hubbly bubbly pipes from the Edgware Road, Lockhart is a restaurant that specialises in food from the Deep South. But this isn’t just another junk food inspired restaurant; this is refined soul food. After a recent change of head chef to Brad McDonald and given the fact that I work round the corner, I decided to pop along for a spot of luncheon.
The restaurant felt bright and airy with exposed brick walls, reclaimed wooden tables and a relaxed atmosphere. Our waitress, complete with a Texan accent, who turned out to be the head chef’s wife, was really lovely and the perfect host, along with a chap called Bunmi who’s worked at Dinner by Heston and Lima to name but a few.
The lunch menu was small, concise and well priced; if you’re looking for something a little more varied however, then dinner would perhaps be your best bet.
The ‘shrimp and grits’ (£14) was so delicious I actually forgot to take a photo of it – sacrilege! Unlike the wallpaper paste-esque gloop I always imagine grits to be; these were rich and creamy with a strong wallop of cheese which was simply divine; proper comfort food. I don’t doubt that those grits topped with plump, juicy prawns and a generous sprinkling of mushrooms, will be the finest I’m ever likely to taste.
The fried chicken (£12) was no Chicken Cottage; the bird was encased in the crispest and most greaseless batter I’ve ever encountered. Our waitress warned us that the chicken, from Fosse Meadows Farm, stays a vibrant pink even when fully cooked and she wasn’t wrong but it was far more flavourful than your standard chicken and it remained superbly moist and juicy. Who’d have thought fried chicken could taste that incredible?
It was served with two sides; collard greens and sea island red peas. I couldn’t eat the latter as I can’t stand peas or beans of any variety but the collard greens, which were a tangy little number, were able to cut through the richness of the fried chick brilliantly.
The cornbread with honey butter (£3.50) was a delightful blend of sweet and savoury which was a moreish (to say the least) snack. The crispy and slightly chewy bits round the edge of the pan were my favourite part. I’ve never had corn bread before but when I see it on a menu in the future I will be sure to order it.
We were kindly treated to the buttermilk wedge salad with bacon and chopped egg (£7), which was a welcome bit of greenery. It was a massive wedge of lettuce which was brought to life by the bacon, egg and a creamy yet punchy Caesar style sauce.
Lockhart has recently received a lot of positive press and I can totally see why. The food was comforting and hearty, yet not at all stodgy which left me feeling totally satisfied. Top that with some super friendly and efficient service and there’s very little not to fall in love with. Y’all gonna love it.