Donnelly’s at The Shrub and Shutter

Address: 336 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8QH.
Phone: 020 7326 0643

Monday – closed
Tuesday 5pm – midnight
Wednesday 5pm – midnight
Thursday 5pm – midnight
Friday 5pm – 2am
Saturday 5pm – 2am
Sunday – closed

We have reviewed the Shrub and Shutter cocktails before; see here, here and here. But we had heard that a new residency providing the food, so in order to keep our readers up to date we visited on a freezing Friday night. It is an easy menu to work through with five sections containing just two plates. Choose a couple for each guest and then take stock for the puddings.The menu is made up of small plates and contains vegetarian and vegan options but it is February so we chose meat and fish too. So for the nose to tail section we had Pork belly, fermented caraway cabbage and apple sauce and the jerk spiced chicken, kohlrabi and red cabbage slaw. The pork belly was soft with that lovely crunchy skin. The apple sauce cut right through the fat and the cabbage (which I love) made it feel like a rounded plate. I am still tasting it as I write and would certainly recommend including at least one portion. Note that the menu says jerk spiced chicken not jerk chicken and that means it has the spicing on the outside but heat is provided by slim pieces of bright chili. The chicken was still moist …….. The slaw was … well perfect.

Then we had Cornish cod, Jerusalem artichoke puree, grilled lettuce and olives. My companion and I were at odds over this dish. I found it much too salty but he thought it was the dish of the evening. The cod was definitely well cooked, just flaking but not too wet. I felt that it was hard to get the artichoke puree smooth and not too watery. Again we differed on what we thought.

Our vegan venture was miso aubergine, seed and nut granola and roast courgettes. Although the dish was aubergine there was a bit more courgette in it. The granola gave crunch and a little sweetness. We also ordered the shoestring fries which came as a huge crunchy plate, which we didn’t finish.

But we did have some room left over to share a dessert – the buttermilk pudding with Yorkshire rhubarb and honeycomb. We loved every bit except the honeycomb. It was burnt so really bitter and left a bad taste.

We washed all this down with two cocktails – a Manhattan (with a twist rather than the more normal cherry) and a martini, plus most of a bottle of Romanian Pinot Noir.

Together with the drinks and a 12.5% tip, the bill came to – £105.75 which sounds a lot, but this includes nearly £50 on drink. We thought it was reasonable value for the amount and quality of the food. We are definitely going again.

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