As an American I have some pretty high standards when reviewing an American diner like Stax. This new restaurant situated in Kingly Court got its name from the 1960s Memphis based record lable, Stax Records. Located on the first story, it's hard to miss the red and white, front-porch style of this Southern-inspired joint.
We were greeted by a friendly staff and the ‘Beyoncé of Kingly Court,’ who sang and danced as she brought us some refreshing Mint Juleps – an iconic Southern drink composed of Bourbon, mint and brown sugar. Whisky Lemonade, and Bourbon Sweet Tea are a few of the other drinks offered on the cocktail menu as well as a steady selection of beers and wines.
Next we shared the Graceland, a creamy milkshake fixed with peanut butter, banana and Rum then topped with whipped cream, Oreo crumbles, caramel drizzle and a cherry on top. Stax also creates some other crazy-good shakes and floats made with homemade ice creams, available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
For starters we snacked on crunchy Cajun popcorn shrimp and battered pickle spears served with Ranch dressing. The portions were perfect to share between 2-3 people, and came out piping hot. In short time, our entrées arrived. Even though their burgers are supposed to be some of the best in town, I was craving an American favorite so I ordered the chicken and waffles. Placed before us was a crispy serving of lightly seasoned fried chicken placed on top of a fluffy waffle with a side of thick sweet syrup. It was simple, but well executed and would even put some U.S. recipes of this signature dish to shame.
As if we weren't already full, ‘Beyoncé of Kingly Court’ then brought us The Duffin Sundae, a delicious buttermilk and nutmeg duffin (doughnut and muffin hybrid) with French vanilla ice cream, butterscotch and fudge sauce with whipped cream and The Dough-bro, a dense fudge brownie doughnut with butterscotch sauce and French vanilla ice cream. It was certainly a sweet ending to a very satisfying meal.
Next time around I'll be sure to sample the Onion Blossom – an onion that's cut into the shape of a flower then battered, deep-fried and sprinkled in a variety of spices. Keep in mind this cosy space is more suitable for smaller parties and is a perfect place for a casual date night or even takeaway. Stax Diner also serves brunch on weekends with an impressive menu that includes buttermilk pancakes, French toast, coconut honey granola with yogurt and poached eggs on muffins with hollandaise.
It's definitely safe to say that Stax satisfied my craving for some classic American comfort food, and I highly recommend it.
1.7 Kingly Court, Carnaby, W1B 5PW
Opening times are Sunday to Thursday, 8am – 11pm; Friday and Saturday, 8am – 1am.