London is an unbelievable city to live in for a 'foodie'. It may not be as economically competitive as, say, New York City and it may not always have the Wabi-sabi conceptualised sheen of Tokyo, but there's still numerous options all over the city. A large number of these are 'ethnic' restaurants, showcasing the food of migrants living in London, usually in suburban areas. Despite this, there are some holes that need to be filled: 'American' food. In particular, food from the South. Sure, there's Bodean's, but where's the cornbread? The chicken and waffles? Well, they're at The Spot in Kilburn, apparently.
Southern fried chicken with waffles and collard greens (£6). Seriously good fried chicken. Crispy, tender and full of flavour - paprika and cayenne mainly. The fresh-made waffles are also very good. At the right level of sweetness, made even better when topped with a knob of butter and some maple syrup, provided. Goes surprisingly well with the chicken. The collard greens are perhaps my favourite item though. From the same family as the cabbage, these are traditionally cooked down with 'hog jowl', but considering The Spot is fully Halal, the pork is overlooked. Instead, they use coconut oil, which gives it a distinct flavour. It's absolutely delicious though: creamy, salty and moreish.
Crispy catfish, biscuits and coleslaw. The coleslaw tasted homemade...in a good way, of course. The biscuits were also very good: salty and buttery, but perhaps a touch too dry. The catfish was fantastic. Well seasoned, crispy and moist fleshed fish. Generous portion, too.
Seafood gumbo, fries and waffles. Probably the strangest combination of the three, but still very good. The seafood gumbo hid a pleasant spiciness in the liquid, whilst the bits of various seafood (prawns, squid, not sure what else) were well cooked and good tasting. The fries were great for frozen, perhaps because they were seasoned with chilli as well as salt.
There are a couple of problems with The Spot: the place only has about ten seats, while the food takes ages to come out (which suggests it's freshly cooked, but twenty minute wait for some fried chicken is a bit much when you're hungry). I'm a fan of the place though. They're passionate about the food they're cooking after various staff trips to Amy Ruth's and Sylvia's in NYC. It's also great fun trying to create the strangest 'combo' thinkable. I just wish I lived a little closer to Kilburn so I could take the food away when all the seats are taken...
See also: Matthew's post on The Spot, on the excellent It Ends With Dovi blog.