Exposed brick, bare wood, wall art, refectory tables and festoon lighting – perfectly average day in Hackney, but then you realise you’re in Marylebone.
The doors into the new Joint just a few minutes away from Bond Street operate like a kind of wormhole into east London or Brixton Village, uncannily – The Joint is a fantastic addition to west London’s repertoire. Turns out, the Joint *was* a pop up in the Brixton Village Market, specialising in American BBQ and mastering the slow-cooked pulled pork burger, now with more than one permanent site in London with good reason.
On the note of Brixton, one of the most fascinating aspects of the Joint is the buns, the signature fig and vanilla sourdough buns are prepared by the Bad Boys Bakery of Brixton Prison – where co-founder Daniel Fiteni runs a rehabilitation program to employ former-inmates as apprentices once released.
Thanks to the benches and messy meals, you want to come here with a group of friends; it’s the best way to make the most of the fun atmosphere. A smallish venue it may be, but if you possess an entire table (of 8, normally), it feels surprisingly private.
Grabbing myself a beef brisket with smoked aioli, bacon relish and salad in a potato bun, I find myself not thinking straight for a good hour – prepared fantastically, with sides of spiced-just-right hot wings, cob, fries, onion rings and the tenderest of ribs. The Hoodooist is in love.
But let’s get onto what we’re here for: the cocktails.
The Joint offers a short, well-priced list of drinks, with a tendency to long drinks, served casually, often colour coded with straws.
The Figgy Old Fashioned was a guaranteed choice for first drink: Bourbon (Bulleit, I suspect) and Angostura bitters, naturally with figs and vanilla, and interesting combo. The vanilla itself is more aromatic, and comes into play late in the game. The fig is subtle, yet unmistakable. It hadn’t crossed my mind that it would go so incredibly well as an Old Fashioned, but was pleasantly surprised. Highly recommended.
The White Sangria, not here is an intriguing combo: Chenin Blanc, Crème de Peche, mint, berries and sprite. Crème de Peche is a great choice to complement the Chenin Blanc’s peach flavours. After the initial intense punch of peach, the berries and mint enter for a brief moment to eventually make way for the dry acidity of the Chenin Blanc. A light cocktail perfect for the early afternoon, it is also a sneaky one, getting you tipsier faster than you thought.
Chilli and Margaritas have always been a good combo, and so is the Scotch Tommy’s. A Tommy’s Margarita (tequila, agave, lime) with lemongrass and scotch bonnet pepper, you get a bright, zesty drink with some serious kick! The initial savoury, yet innocuous, lemongrass suddenly bursts into a fun spice from the scotch bonnet before subsiding again to enjoy the tequila. Love it.
I look forward to return and try out the Peppertown: Rum, pink grapefruit juice and black peppercorn syrup.
Unfortunately, there was a hiccup with the Soft Punch, which is ill-conceived from the outset really: vanilla infused vodka, absinthe, honey and lemon. A lemsipesque drink that is an unpalatable mish-mash of flavours. The confusion of flavours was a similar problem faced by the Bloody Bacon, a shot of bacon-infused vodka with slat rim followed by a spicy tomato juice chaser. Sounding like a deconstructed Bloody Mary, it doesn’t quite work in shot form.
But who cares, with the Figgy Old Fashioned, Scotch Tommy’s and White Sangria being excellent, it’s easy to give the above a miss.
Service was smooth, polite, but could do with another server, especially if ever as full as they were that night. Nonetheless, no worries about the orders.
In short? The Joint is a wonderful new space for Marylebone, uncharacteristic as it is for the area. They might not be the most complex of drinks; simplicity is on their side, being effective and with excellent value for money. Devilishly delicious barbeque, it’s great to have a place to escape to from crowded Bond Street.
The Joint Marylebone
19 New Cavendish Street,
London, W1G 9TZ.