Fish, Wings n Tings

address: Brixton Village, 3 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PR

Tel number: 020 7737 4888

Opening Times: 12pm-10pm Sun, Tue-Thurs; 12pm-11pm Friday-Sat

Website: https://www.fishwingsandtings.com/

Restaurants are now beginning to open, so we decided to get out of our comfort zone and celebrate where there’s enough outside space for us to feel relatively safe. So Fish, Wings ‘n’ Tings was a great stop in the sunshine at the Coldharbour Lane end of Brixton Village. They don’t take reservations, so it is pot luck whether there will be space. On a warm Saturday and you are with a lot of people, then go very early. We caught a break as there were only two of us and we arrived just after 6.00 pm and got a table relatively quickly. The staff were helpful and squeezed up a small group to one end of the table, so we were socially distanced. Continue reading

True Flavours – The Takeaway

101 Acre Lane, SW2 5TU

Phone 0207 737 7063 / 0207 924 0421

Opening times MON – SAT: 9-11, SUN: 11-9

Website: http://true-flavours.co.uk/

True Flavours has been around for quite a while and was recommended by a Jamaican friend. They offer a wide variety of dishes – see the pictures in the front windows – although all are subject to availability. It is a small place that usually has people queuing and in these Covid-19 pandemic times, the line is a little longer and mostly physically distanced. Their website warns “In busy periods you may have to wait up until half an hour to be served and and hour for your order”, but our experience wasn’t that bad. Continue reading

New Tings – The takeaway

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Address: 112 Acre Ln, Ferndale, London SW2 5RA

Phone: 020 7095 1517

Opening hours:
Monday              8am–8pm
Tuesday              8am–8pm
Wednesday        8am–9pm
Thursday            8am–9pm
Friday                  8am–9pm
Saturday             10:30am–9pm
Sunday               Closed

We are continuing our takeaways via Black-owned businesses and we came across New Tings on our walks down Acre Lane. It’s relatively new but it’s popularity was clear as the queue is always long. The service is a little slow but that is to your advantage as it leaves longer to consider the menu options, which are manifold. There are main meals with hard food, main meals with boiled food and when inside there are many options including obviously jerk chicken or lamb, ackee and saltfish, callaloo and the list is endless. You can get an idea by looking at uber eats – see here – but don’t rely on getting it from uber eats, just phone if you want to skip the queue and they will have it waiting for you. They are also so popular that they do sell out of some dishes; so ackee and saltfish was running out by the time the queue had moved inside.

The queue is pretty well ordered and, while we waited, a crying child was offered a lollipop to keep her quiet. Most people had face masks but not all and, although it is a bit difficult to space yourselves out, it was an orderly queue.

We ordered jerk chicken, curry goat and as only a little ackee and saltfish was left, they topped it up with callaloo. All came with rice or rice and peas and some plantain or banana. You can get the food heated up or cold so you can put it in the microwave or oven yourself. We chose cold and we had plenty not just for that evening, but also for an extra lunch later in the week. Interestingly, the spicing tasted hotter the second time around.

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We can definitely say we will be returning. The jerk was subtly spiced, so you could taste everything, without having just that big dose of chili. The plantain was nicely caramelized and the rice and peas …. well we have already identified the best, but this one is certainly a close second.

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We didn’t order the meals with food but we would have had a lot more left over, as they include more starchy vegetables. They also have a selection of sweet drinks like Tru Juice. The whole three dishes came to £22.59 and we will certainly be going back to soak up the atmosphere of a slow queue and to provide us with at least two full meals. The pepper prawns looked a must and we might even try the fruitcake next time.

 

 

 

 

Negril – the takeaway

 

 

 

Address: 132 Brixton Hill, Brixton, London, SW2 1RS

Website: https://negrilrestaurant.co.uk/

Online orders: https://negrilonline.co.uk/contactus.php#nav

Phone: 020 8674 8798

Today is #BlackPound day – we will be visiting another black owned business tonight but thought we should let you know of a long-standing favourite – Negril provides authentic Jamaican food in a friendly atmosphere. See our last review here Link. It’s some time since we last visited. It’s always busy and up Brixton Hill so we always book. In lockdown we decided to put it to the takeaway test. Continue reading

Eat of Eden

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Address: Unit 4, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8PR

Phone: 020 7737 7566

Website: https://eatofeden.co.uk/

Opening times:
Monday: 11:00 – 18:00
Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00 – 22:00

Don’t assume because this is a Vegan restaurant we are changing our diet for January. This was a spur of a moment Wednesday evening dinner and we are so glad we made the effort (finally) to visit this place at the front of Brixton Village. There is a relatively large outside but onlya small inside for 6 people; so choose your night if you intend to eat in. Most people seem to come for a takeaway. Continue reading

Refill Caribbean Cuisine

Address: 500A Brixton Road, SW9 7AW
(It’s actually round the corner in Brighton Terrace)

Phone: 020 7274 5559

Website: http://refillfood.co.uk/

Open: 24 hours, 7 days a week

We reviewed Refill some time ago, when we carried out our survey of Jerk Chicken takeaways (see here) – our panel rated it the highest. So having decided we were too hungry to wait 30 minutes at one of Brixton’s new eateries, we decided on our way home to get a takeaway from this long-standing source of genuine Caribbean food. This is a 24 hour takeaway and it seems always full. On a Tuesday evening at 8.45pm it was full. That allowed us to spend a little time working out the long menu with help from other customers. Continue reading

The Rum Kitchen

The Rum Kitchen

443-445 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LN

Mon – Fri: 4pm – Late
Sat & Sun: 11am – Late

In the flurry of openings in Brixton this summer lands the next location for The Rum Kitchen, this time on Coldharbour lane. With sites already in Notting Hill and Carnaby Street, it describes itself as a “Caribbean eatery that bends the rules”. Now when it comes to Caribbean restaurants coming to Brixton there has been some controversy. Turtle Bay was marred with condemnation of its cultural appropriation when it opened last year, with its “RASTAFYME” photo booth and criticism over the restaurant chains unfair tipping service, so there would always be caution in another chain opening. However, it seems there was no need.

Continue reading

CLOSED – Hook

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address: Brixton Pop, 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, SW9 8PQ

Telephone: 020 3808 5112

email: cairene@hookrestaurants.com

website: http://www.hookrestaurants.com/

A damp and cold Friday sees us wondering if we really want to go out to eat. But there was a place getting a bit of a buzz and we wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. Hook is a fish and chip shop in Brixton Pop offering sustainable everything (even the knives and forks) and a menu which includes Afro-Caribbean, Cajun and French influences. The cosmopolitan air was reinforced on our visit as it was provided by an all Italian team.

Small but perfectly formed on the top floor of Brixton Pop, this restaurant can sit about 16 inside and an outside area for when it gets a bit warmer. The menu is written on the wall and consists of about five fried fish dishes covered in panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs) or tempura batter. Cajun spiced or jerk are options as well as a more restrained basil and lemon.

hook04We chose the Jerk Hake and the lemon and basil tempura seabream. Both came with what was described as seaweed salted twice cooked chips and we ordered a couple of sides  (minty peas and celeriac slaw). You can interpret this as our wish to serve our followers or just that we’re greedy. We were worried that the jerk spice would overwhelm the fish but it didn’t – the flavour was there but jerk enthusiasts might even say it was  a bit bland. The accompanying chipotle sauce did came with a kick, however, as well as being very smoky, and was a great for the chips.

hook03The basil and lemon batter was very subtle but the batter was good and not too oily. The truffle sauce was also subtle but that’s what this good white fish needed. Fish can be overcooked so quickly but  both mains were just right. The chips – you could see the relationship to a potato which we both loved but we were not sure why they mentioned seaweed salt. The sides – we really liked  but didn’t finish them nor our portions of chips so beware over-ordering.hook02

So did it live up to the hype … yes. We liked it a lot. Not a place for a long relaxing dinner but it was very pleasant and the food different enough for us to think we would return quite soon. They also do takeaways and Deliveroo if it gets too wet and windy.

hook05Despite the long list of drinks they didn’t have much of a range in stock. We had a bottle of water and a bottle of And Union Unfiltered Lager. The total cost – £36.50 was pricey for fish and chips but we thought for the quality it was worth it.

Etta’s Seafood Kitchen

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Address: Unit 46 Brixton, Village, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9

Phone: 020 7737 1673

Email: info@ettaskitchen.com

Website: http://www.ettasseafoodkitchen.com/

Opening Hours:

12:00pm – 6:00pm (Tues, Weds, Sun)

12:00pm – 11:00pm (Thurs – Sat)

This is an update as we have visited Etta’s a couple of times and our views have gone up and down. See here for our review in 2013 and here for our review in 2011. This is our first time since there was a change of décor and a change of menu.

It’s still in the same double unit in Sixth Avenue in Brixton Village and still painted outside in pastel blue. So what has changed inside. Gone is the kitsch mural of the seaside and now it is all black and white – although the chairs are still multi-coloured. We have the very small napkins but now they are presented in a little black paper sleeve, together with a knife and fork. The menu has also changed with items that imply more finesse and we were assured that it also changes regularly.

Service has not changed. It is cheery, helpful and as laid back as before.

The menu is still focussed on fish but now includes a wider variety of starters including ackee soup (ackee is the Jamaican national fruit although it is eaten as a vegetable in ackee and saltfish) and the menu describes this soup as coming with salt fish flakes, sweet peppers and crispy croutons. Then there is crispy calamari, garlic peppered prawns and marinated tuna. The ackee soup can be ordered without saltfish for the sole veggie option.  There are four salad options and then the mains have spaghetti, risotto, fish soup and confit cod. The veggie option is sweet potato and pumpkin curry. We did miss the superb battered fish in Etta’s tasty batter.

They now serve alcohol – red, white and fizzy wine by the glass or bottle – as well as a few rum based drinks.

We chose the ackee soup, the confit cod and the fish curry. We are sorry to report that we were disappointed with every dish. The soup is an interesting idea but it tasted as if the saltfish had not been adequately soaked and so was too salty. The rice and peas that came with the fish curry was also over-salted and the potato and leek cream under the confit cod was bland and cold. We guess there were lots of interesting flavours in all the dishes we chose but they were simply swamped. We came out desperate for more water, even though we had drunk a whole carafe plus a glass of lemonade. and the salty taste in our mouths lasted for several hours.

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We have to admit to being cowards. The staff are so attentive but we couldn’t tell them our verdict, except to mention rather feebly that the soup was a bit salty. Clearly the chef’s taste buds are not like our own but you can add salt to taste but you can’t take it out. We hope that this was an unfortunate one-off and that others will have more luck, but I am afraid we are unlikely to visit again any time soon.

The bill was modest at less than£30.00 (sorry, we’ve lost the bill) for three dishes and a glass of lemonade (it is dry January!).

Ultimate Caribbean Buffet

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 16 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2 5SG

020 3302 6390

Usually we do not review chains but this is so small – only a couple of outlets – that we decided to make an exception. We also wanted to cover different types and prices of meals. This is a green, white and black Jamaican restaurant which looks like a café with melamine tables and chairs. There is a bar on the left, with a limited selection of drinks, and a line of hot and cold dishes to the left. The line of dishes is important as this is a buffet. All you can eat within 90 minutes.

There is choice but it is hard to discern what each dish is as there is rarely a label and often dishes look alike. So this is a real voyage of discovery. We think there was jerk chicken (several varieties), fried chicken, curry goat, potentially lamb in a sauce, rice and peas, salads, plantain and callaloo (or could have been spinach). There are also some desserts – fruit and a pudding (we weren’t sure what it was).

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We had a bit of several of the dishes and the chicken was hot and spicy – the kind that has your lips tingling for several hours. The rice and peas were my favourite. The plantain my least as it looked really delicious but had only been caramelized and was hard at the centre. We went back a few times and all the food was hot (temperature) and they did keep refilling the containers when it looked too low so there was always enough to choose from.

For a Caribbean cheap fast meal for the very hungry this is a good outlet. We wouldn’t choose it for a night out. It costs £7.50 per person and you can choose a soft drink, water or alcohol and they allow BYO.