Honky Tonk opened up on Hollywood Road in Chelsea last September. The man behind the place is Mark Cutler, also responsible for bringing the quirky Dutch concept of ‘dining on a bed’ to Notting Hill back in late 2009. Honky Tonk is a completely different theme again. This time Mark has drawn upon New York as his inspiration for this bar and restaurant.
Honky Tonk is not like any other place in Chelsea, it’s got the type of vibe that you get when you walk into a trendy place in Soho or Shoreditch. Busy, up-beat, loud music, brick walls, low lighting, that type of thing. It’s discreet from the outside with a completely black frontage and only one window so not much natural light is let in.
There is a big long bar to the left as you walk in with space to stand and drink if you aren’t staying for a meal. The restaurant is past this and opens up at the back of the room. It’s relatively small and has about 12-14 tables.
Single light bulbs hang low on extended cables, the tables and chairs are reclaimed and mismatched and old vinyls decorate the walls. This place seems to be one of the Made in Chelsea local hang outs having seen various members on both occasions that I have visited.
The menu is pretty large with seven starters ranging from Potato Skins £5.95 to Smashing Nachos with mince £12.95. Nine mains from the veggie option of Mac n Cheese £9.95 to Rib Eye Steak £21.95. There are various sides and then desserts if you still feel like you can fit any in…on both occasions this has been a negative!
The drinks menu is of a good size with various wines and a cocktail menu which is whisky and gin themed so great news if you are a fan, but not so good if you are not. I had two different cocktails which were beautifully presented but sadly neither quite hit the spot!
Served on vinyls!
We ordered the Smashing Nachos with mince to share as a starter. These were not your typical nachos and you really do have to smash them. They are about the size of a saucer and you get three on the plate with the filling sandwiched in-between. They were really good but I am not sure whether the mince was really necessary. It could have been a bit richer in flavour, it was lacking some saucy goodness.
The last time I came to Honky Tonk I had the beef ribs which I thought were pretty incredible. This time I went for the starter sized rib. One rib on a plate with some coleslaw. The sauce didn’t disappoint, they are pretty smothered and have a lovely smokey bbq flavour. The rib was really good, though, ever so slightly less tender than the time before. More of a pull off the bone than a fall off the bone on this occasion!
The full size rib meal
I tried the chicken wings which were definitely American style as the sauce was pretty sweet. That is about as far as they went though, definitely not as good as the ones at Patty & Bun.
I am told the Honky Tonk burger was very good though unfortunately I didn’t get to grab a sneaky bite.
Bill came to just over £90 with a bottle of wine. Cocktails were paid for separately. Just over £30 each which is a pretty average price for Chelsea. The food was good but you can definitely get better elsewhere.
It’s definitely in a good location being opposite Brinkley’s and the Hollywood Arms which is a great place to go for a drink, as is the Kings Arms, the Goat and the Anglesea Arms which are all within a short walking distance. The ‘secret’ bar Barts is close by if you are looking to go somewhere after your meal for more drinks and music or for an 80’s themed night you have Maggies around the corner on the Fulham Road.