Like Trap Kitchen? Now try The Korean Cowgirl

New fusion soulfood spot joins Chalk Farm Rd’s line-up

There’s a definite thing going on right now for eye-popping, dangerously delicious heaped platters in Chalk Farm.

The opening of Instagram sensation Trap Kitchen set the bar with their bold ‘slabs’ heaving with crunchy fried prawns, decadent lobster and crab, all slathered with inexplicably tasty sauces, dips and sides. And now another soulfood fusion destination has opened a few doors down, where The Korean Cowgirl Camden is doing a similar thing for meats, their particular trays groaning with hot/sweet Asian-inspired wings alongside slow-cooked Texan BBQ brisket, ribs and punchy Korean sausage.

At Friday’s busy official opening night, a live band and some even livelier punters ensured the atmosphere was jumping. The décor is dark with a touch of nightclub, which may make quieter midweek dining a wholly different vibe, but the Cowgirl hails from Kent, where a Canterbury branch has been a popular social spot for seven years, so the formula is tried and tested. Occasional somewhat incongruous mentions of the Cave Hotel in Faversham emerge from BBQ flames on the various screens dotted around – there’s another branch there, too, but we’re unsure how many diners can fathom that bit, or retain it.

The owners are clearly hoping to draw a full-throttle Camden Big Night Out crowd here at the weekends, and the menu certainly lends itself to a no holds barred kinda occasion.

Korean Cowgirl Camden soulfood

Bamboozled with the variety of slow ‘n low-cooked meats, we plumped for the safely broad selection of a sharing platter, which is dispatched to your table from the large open kitchen in a variety of increasingly outlandish sizes. Be warned, the ‘mini’ was more than enough for two to share with sides.

As with Trap Kitchen’s seafood, it’s all about the devilishly tasty sauces and marinades here, as deeply rich smoky BBQ flavours mix alongside equally bold Korean spices. In fact, for anyone whose local memory goes back as far as 2014’s original acclaimed opening in this building, Q Grill, today’s smokehouse menu feels like a welcome return to those carnivorous roots on this strip.

Definitely opt for some Padron peppers, miso pak choi or crispy prawns for a lighter fusion foil to the dominant BBQ flavours. We even managed to tackle a decadent chocolate doughnut dessert, although the flaming sharing pudding platter being whisked to tables nearby was a step too far.

As the country-pop soundtrack cranked fully up, we left the party crowd to it, happily dancing off some of that indulgence. Despite the challenging conditions, its good to see ambitious new places still opening apace in the neighbourhood, catering to a wide range of different crowds. Check out The Korean Cowgirl Camden if you seek bold flavours and an equally bombastic atmosphere, and love a big weekend.

The Korean Cowgirl is now open at 34 Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, London NW1 8AJ

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