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Famous for her teatime treats at Bea's of Bloomsbury and, more recently, her weekend pitch on Maltby Street, Bea Vo has branched out with a new venue just off tourist-clogged Carnaby Street. Taking its name from the Memphis-based record label, Stax trades as an American-style diner, serving breakfasts of buttermilk pancakes, bagels and suchlike before cruising through hand-ground organic burgers, deep-fried ‘chickadee’ sandwiches with apple and poppyseed coleslaw, po’boys loaded with Cajun-spiced popcorn shrimps and the must-have ‘orange blossom’ (a battered, spiced onion sculpted to resemble a flower). Also don’t miss the Duffin sundae (a baked doughnut muffin with French ice cream, butterscotch and fudge sauce, whipped cream and a cherry on top). To drink, expect shakes, floats, Southern quenchers and beers from Wandsworth’s Belleville Brewing Co.
Kingly Court has a newcomer in the form of Stax, a burger joint loosely styled on Southern American soul food. Named after a Memphis record label, the short menu at Stax includes fried green tomatoes, shrimp po’ boys, and a heavy bias toward Cajun spicing. For all my Muslim brethren, it is also fully halal and doesn’t serve pork.As I’m feeling generous, we’ll start with the only really good thing at Stax; the chicken and waffles. Buttermilk and flour are used to glorious effect as a marinade; both the breast and thigh are soaked in it before being tossed into a pool of sizzling oil. Minutes later, they are fished out; golden and full of promise. These paragons of poultry are then paired most skilfully with a whole waffle...
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I was fortunate to be invited to go to Stax Diner last week. Stax has recently opened in Kingly Court off Carnaby Street and was opened by Bea Vo. Bea has opened this place to be an all day place. I went as I was tempted by the Stax Burger.Very interesting take on the onion rings here. The light batter and onion formed like a flower break in your mouth with a gentle crisp. It looks delightful and is recommended for about 2 people which I think is ideal. Works as a side and as a starter...
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Difficult times call for some self indulgence, this time leading to comfort eating at newly opened Stax Diner in Kingly Court, serving up good 'ol American food.With a slightly later opening that day at 6.30pm, we perched ourselves on the stools by the windows to have a drink whilst waiting. WK had the "Black Cow" which was an A&W classic root beer, vanilla ice cream float, whilst I had the "hard" version with the added vodka.I haven't had a root beer float in ages - the best ones I've had were from my childhood visits to A&W back in Malaysia. Oh those were the days, when life seemed so simple and carefree! When it was finally time, we requested to be moved to a proper table inside, with a space much tinier than I was expecting. We were sat just opposite the kitchen, which was so small that the fridge/freezer was located outside of it next to our table - not quite the most convenient location as I tried to avoid from being knocked each time someone came to obtain ingredients from it.Short of time, and feeling rather hungry, we hurriedly placed our orders before the rest of the crowd were seated. | Cajun Onion Blossom | - Cajun spiced battered onion blossoms served with epic garlic dipping sauce - It looked pretty awesome, and the batter was nice and crispy. It was however quite hard to break apart the pieces without the batter falling out, and I feel that the onion itself could have been cooked a little bit longer. My memories of a great onion blossom still go back to the time I had it at Chili's Bar and Grill, a really long time ago... I do think that with a little bit of tweaking, this dish would then definitely be 'A Must Have'. | Cajun Popcorn Shrimp Bucket |A nice little side snack to nibble on. | Apple Poppyseed Coleslaw | The only veggie side dish that we ordered, just so to balance it out...I liked the little bits of poppyseed and it was overall a tasty coleslaw. | Bring Home the Bacon |- Stax burger with your choice of cheese and maple glazed beef bacon -We were tempted to order 'The Chickadee', but thought we would give one of the beef options a go instead, for variety. Not a bad burger, but not that great either (maybe needs slightly more seasoning?)...and could do much better in terms of presentation and a slightly bigger portion of the burger patty. | Chicken and Waffles |- Buttermilk fried chicken breast and thigh with buttermilk crispy waffle with maple syrup - Delicious crispy fried chicken, and nice, light waffles. Anything with buttermilk fried chicken is a winner for me. | The Duffin Sundae |- Famous buttermilk and nutmeg duffin with French vanilla ice cream, butterscotch and fudge sauce, whipped cream and cherry on top -Okay, now that I look back on it and re-read the description, I've just realized that something must have gone wrong with our order...We placed an order for a Duffin Sundae (which took quite a while to arrive, but the waitress kindly apologized and went to look into our order again when she saw us still 'dessert-less'), but what we ate was a deep-fried brownie...? I've never tried a duffin before, but now that I've had a look at a picture and description of it...what we were served definitely was not it.Guess it must have been mixed up with a Dough-Bro...Oh well, we were probably too full by then and weren't quite as alert. Service was a bit slow and not quite as smooth sailing just yet, but then again it was their first official opening day, so things will hopefully improve from then on. It can get quite stuffy and warm inside, especially with the warm(ish) weather lately, so the window seats would probably be a better option next time.Address: 1st floor, 1.7 Kingly Court (Carnaby), London W1B 5PWTel. No.: 0207 734 3190Currently in their soft-launch phase until the 18th of June, they operate a no-reservations policy, so you should know the drill by now...The Cheekster, signing out x
More from Dancing In High Heels »
Stax diner is a new venture from Bea Vo, lauded baker and founder of upmarket bakery Bea's of Bloomsbury.Ostensibly it's a diner-cum-soul food joint, located upstairs in the relatively newly renovated Kingly Market, between Carnaby Street and Kingly street, and the space is quite fun.Window bars, canteen tables, and an open kitchen define the space, but it's a small space, and oddly the kitchen fridge is in the dining room. There's some serious space maximisation going on...
More from Burger Me! A London Burger Blog »
Bea Vo, creator of Bea’s of Bloomsbury & more recently weekend diner at Maltby Street, decided to branch out and open an all American style diner. I’m a massive fan of Bea’s cakes especially her red velvet creation, (a trillion times better than Hummingbird’s, go see for yourself if you haven’t already). Now if Bea makes American grub as well as she makes cakes, then I was in for a treat!A few days before its official opening, I headed on down to see if this diner would stand out amongst the explosion of American style restaurants London is currently experiencing. Just behind Carnaby Street, StaxDiner is located in Kingly Court, a prime spot...
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