Decatur at Deeney’s: ‘super-tasty soul food’ – review

The awesome Leyton pit stop has excelled with its latest residency

I mean, we liked the last one – the tasty Korean Fried Chicken – very much. But the new September evening pop-up at Deeney’s is next-level.

New Orleans soul food purveyors Decatur (presumably named after the foodie street in the city) have done stints across town from Hackney to King’s Cross and Paddington – and now they’ve got a limited residency at the inimitable Leyton cafe (who also, this week, sadly closed their handy “To Go” shop just down the road).

Counter dining. Photo: SE

What’s on the menu then? Everything from chargrilled oysters to vegan gumbo, all served to share, on granny-style crockery.

On our opening night visit (we weren’t messing around here) we tore into a chunky heirloom tomato salad, juxtaposed with slices of sweet grilled peach, a smooth whorl of cashew cream and punchy shallot thyme vinaigrette. Its plant-based healthiness meant that our other starter could happily be waffled hash browns with creme fraiche, chives and a topping of umami-laden lumpfish caviar.


Shrimp with grits. Photo: SE

This is super-tasty and extremely hearty fare, so our advice is don’t over-order. Having said that, we did, to be honest: the ‘fried chicken biscuit’ that followed proved a whopper of a home-made scone, crammed with juicy breaded thighs, with the fiery lick of jalapeno honey and crunch of pickled cucumber on the side.

Best of all was the other main – plump peeled shrimps with hominy grits (in which the in-house milled corn is treated with lime), studded with bacon and drenched in a savoury mushroom gravy. It was, however, so filling that you should only hog it yourself if you’re swerving starters.

Despite everything, we waddled out and still managed to sink a few post-prandial pints at our mate’s Bingo night at the Coach & Horses. Troopers till the very end.

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Plates £3-£15. Decatur is at Deeneys, 360 High Road Leyton E10, every Thurs-Sat in Sept, 6pm till 10pm. Follow @decaturlondon and @deeneys

Main image: Stephen Emms

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