Drink & Dine

Review: Big Easy Chelsea

I’ve been meaning to hit up Big Easy for absolute ages if for no other reason but to tackle their unlimited ribs deal on Mondays. Unfortunately, we ended up going on Tuesday but since it was unlimited shrimp day it wasn’t all that bad. The restaurant is suitably (and tackily albeit lovably so) decorated with various fishing/shrimping gear and nets as well as a number of hilarious posters. The staff are very friendly and helpful and somehow managed to maneuver massive trays of meat through the tightly packed tables without any accidents. The atmosphere is vibrant and the value for money pretty damn impressive. They’ve got a new spot opening up in Covent Garden in a week or so – very much looking forward to a trip there soon!

Food: ★★★★★ Service: ★★★ Atmosphere: ★★★☆☆ Value: ★★★ Overall: ★★★

Meeting friends?

The Beaufort House pub is just down the street but that area of Chelsea is a bit dry on the affordable drinking holes. Check out Bluebird café a few blocks down as well for a chill place to gather.

Is it really all you can eat?

Yes, yes it is. I actually opted for the Big Easy Cut Prime Ribs – but I’ll get to that in a minute. The girls ordered the unlimited shrimp which came on top of a bed of thick cut chips in a wicker basket plus some cocktail and tartar dipping sauces. The shrimp were battered and breaded and fried to a deep golden brown – but perfectly executed with a nice crunch and sweetness. Size-wise, they were the largest shrimp I’ve ever seen in a London restaurant and on par with the smaller tiger prawns I’ve been served recently. Plus when you’ve finished your first serving of 6, just grab any of the passing waiters for another bowl of four. They’ll keep the bowls coming as fast as you finish them – even to the point of taunting you when you can’t eat any more.

Pork scratchings and battered shrimp

Pork scratchings and battered shrimp

My ribs were simply massive. Inspired by the Champions wall in which two separate people chowed down on 9 full racks of ribs in one sitting, I thought I’d upgrade from the regular rack to the Big Easy signature belly ribs. Four massive slabs of meat and well rendered fat graced my plate surrounded by a bowl of ‘slaw, beans with burnt ends, and a gravy boat of bbq sauce. I dug in with gusto but was defeated after a mere two ribs as the richness from the flavourful fat got the better of me. I reckon I could have dug deep and polished off one more but, as the gf wisely suggested, I opted to keep them for lunch the next day.

Big Easy Belly Ribs

Big Easy Belly Ribs

The beans and slaw were decent – not usually my preferred sides – and I managed most of those as well as a couple of sneaky shrimp that I slipped off the gf’s basket. The chips were excellent with a crisp skin and a slightly floury but very fluffy texture.

And despite protests, I ordered the sticky toffee pudding – massive as with all portions here – and a deluxe hot chocolate which is best described as melted dark Belgian chocolate served in an espresso cup with its size again in whipped cream. We may have claimed to be stuffed after the meal, but we all found room for dessert – it’s good!

Big Easy Chelsea

Sticky toffee pudding with ice cream

All that meat needs something to wash it down, right?

Damn straight it does. The unlimited meals come with your choice of a margarita or beer. Get the margarita – it’s a lime flavor and tasty albeit a bit light on the tequila. The beer by comparison is a small Kroneberg – adequate as a liquid but not up to scratch when you look at the rest of the beer menu. Better off starting with the Marg and moving on to a craft beer.

And when it comes to craft beers, they have a few excellent and unusual choices. I went for the Harviestoun Ola Dubh which is a 8% ABV black as night beer aged in oak whiskey barrels previously used to mature Highland Park 12 year old Single Malt Whisky. You get some bittersweet dark chocolate notes finished off with a smooth oaky whiskey –near perfect for pairing with smoky bbq.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh

Harviestoun Ola Dubh

Worth the dosh?

Absolutely. The all you can eat specials run from £16.95 – £19.95 and change daily. All of them from the shrimp (£16.95) to the steak and half lobster (£19.95) seem like stellar value for money. My epic rib feast was £16.95 and easily stretched to two quality meals. Big Easy has managed to bring US portions with something approximating a US price tag – not an easy thing to do anywhere in London let alone in Chelsea.

Plus, there was live music (this was a Tuesday night) from a guitar & keyboard duo who performed covers of some recent hits. They were excellent and managed the right balance between energy and not drowning out the conversation. I can only imagine on weekends this place is going nuts with pitchers of margaritas at £30 and some jumping tunes.

Find Big Easy here

332-334 King’s Road, London, SW3 5UR

020 7352 4071
Big Easy on Urbanspoon
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