Nick, not normally a fan of stereotypical American food, gets kinda converted at a lavish preview

American food is often defined solely by the UK’s rather twisted lens. Watching TV we tend to think that all Americans ever eat is steaks bigger than plates and burgers so enormous you need to dislocate your jaw like an anaconda to fit them in.

Of course that’s not entirely unfair. Americans do things big and that includes food.

SOUND London is a very big space inside the Cumberland Hotel, so large it’s even got a London taxi in reception.

Walking in is like entering a classic bar in Florida, it’s all very colourful and bright and packed with people, and on the stage is a band. This is the kind of place usually called a Sports Bar where giant TV screens beam the big games with state of the art sound sound systems, and have live music at other times. The food is equallyloud and proudly Comfort American,

SOUND London at The Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch now has a brand new Americana menu with lots of small plates, burgers, BBQ meat platters with sharing sides and gravy, and the mighty 20oz Tomahawk steak for sharing served with mash, chilli greens, baked tomato topped with a garlic and herb crumble, as well as salsa verde and red wine gravy.

So I starved myself all day in anticipation.

We skirted around the sweet little robot server trundling cheerfully up and down, and nabbed a table in front of the stage where an acoustic trio were competently playing all the hits and more. Rather oddly the two seat tables are arranged so one of you has his or her back to the stage, it would be better surely to have seats side-on so you both can see?

The menu is not massive ,but it certainly inspires big hunger. We had a cocktail each and were undecided for starters between Stuffed jalapeño poppers, Jumbo prawns with spicy mango salsa, Grilled corn ribs, Buttermilk Chicken Tenders and the ‘Ultimate Onion Ring Tower’.

We had the peppers and the prawns and also succumbed to our server’s insistence to try the onion tower – well, when in the U.SA etc.

The peppers were great, ideal for accompanying drinks, ideally ice cold beers. The prawns fat and juicy, the batter crisp and fresh. And the onion rings? Well these were impressive and certainly towering.

They were also extremely, deadly, hot. We both had serious problems through taking too big a bite, the batter burning us and the onion inside annoyingly reluctant to be bitten through. We decided to let them cool down and concentrated on our other dishes. If your kids order the tower, and this is a kid friendly place, be careful.

We wanted the Tomahawk steak to share, who wouldn’t, but apparently it’s marinaded in red wine and J is allergic to tanins. We agree to share the The Smokehouse Platter instead – BBQ-glazed smoked beef feather blade, pulled pork shoulder, glazed pork ribs, Texas hot link sausage, grilled corn ribs, BBQ ranch beans, red cabbage slaw, pickles and tear ‘n’ share mezzaluna bread.

It’s brilliant, a real feast of America. The ribs fall apart perfectly, the shoulder easily falls to the fork and we devour it all hungrily as the band lurches into an acoustic version of Oasis’ Stand By Me.

Anyone not on the red meat train could go for the Big Bird Platter -BBQ-glazed skin-on chicken breast, slow-roasted chicken wings in a choice of BBQ or Buffalo Hot Sauce, buttermilk chicken tenders, grilled corn ribs, BBQ ranch beans, red cabbage slaw, pickles and tear ‘n’ share mezzaluna bread and it looks good,.

Sounds Big Burger

And if you want a burger well fear not because the Burger Studio has The London Double Decker, crispy buttermilk chicken Clucky and smokey BBQ Pulled Pork. And they are biggggggg!

We watch them go past rather wistfully, as we are now sated, and just about manage a House Apple Cobbler, and a thick Millionaires Brownie. We are stuffed and then some.

Take me home, country roads. Or rather, take me home Northern Line. I did enjoy our visit to America. 

Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7DL 

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