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!).

Butcher Shops in Brixton

Jones the Butcher,
Address: 1 Dulwich Rd, London SE24 0NT
020 7274 4629
http://jonesthebutcher.wordpress.com/
Opening Hours: Mon: 05:00 – 12:30; Tue: 05:00 – 12:30 Wed: 05:00 – 12:30 Thu: 05:00 – 13:00; Fri: 05:00 – 13:00; Sat: 09:00 – 13:00

Dombey & Son,
19 Market Row, Brixton, London, SW9 8LB
020 7274 1035
Opening Hours:: Tue: 07:30 – 17:30; Wed: 07:30 – 15:30; Thu: 07:30 – 17:30; Fri: 07:30 – 17:45; Sat: 06:30 – 17:45

Michael’s Meat Market
49 Atlantic Rd London SW9 8JL
020 7737 1069

There’s no shortage of places to buy meat in Brixton and we cannot claim to have tried them all. We are also not great meat eaters, at least when eating at home. Nevertheless, it’s time we had a look at butchers in our series of reports on Brixton food shops. The trouble is that while there are lots of shops selling meat, there are not that many I consider proper butchers. Also when you see a secondhand supermarket trolley full of carcasses being wheeled down Atlantic Road it does make you think of being a vegetarian. But there are places I have found that can be relied upon to provide value for money. Continue reading

Etta’s Seafood Kitchen

Etta's Seafood KitchenAddress: Unit 46 Brixton, Village, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9

Contact:  sheryldon1@yahoo.co.uk

We have visited Etta’s several time now. We first visited when it had just opened and things were a bit chaotic, the second time was more orderly but the service was slow. Has time made a difference? The tables and chairs are the same (beware of some chairs as they are a bit rickety). But it is brighter and but the flowers on the tables have seen better days – in fact ours were completely dead. But the staff were as happy, helpful and as laid back as before but now they seem to know what they are doing.

Continue reading

Curry Ono

Curry OnoAddress: 14BC Market Row, London SW9 8LD

Contact: curryono@yahoo.com

Web: www.curryono.com

I really, really like Curry Ono, which describes itself as a “Japanese Kitchen” and as providing “healthy, home-made Japanese food”. So it’s not really clear to me why there always seems to be so few people eating there, particularly compared with other places in the market. Partly, I guess, is that the Japanese food it serves isn’t trendy, i.e. no sushi and few noodle dishes. Instead, as the name suggests, it focuses on Japanese versions of curry, which it describes as being based on the curries that British sailors introduced to Japan in the nineteenth century. I guess that part of the problem is that this is a description that is unlikely to get people excited. The only solution is to go there and actually eat the stuff.

The place itself is a bit like a works canteen but not unwelcoming. As mentioned, there’s always plenty of room and you get personal service. There are non-curry starters, and we enjoyed edamame (green soya beans) and seaweed salad. Other starters include tebasaki (sweet soya sauce marinated fried chicken wings) and niku-jaga (slow cooked pork belly with potatoes in a sweet soya sauce).

But the mains are what it is really about, with nine different sorts of curry. All of them come with steamed rice, pickles and the same deeply flavoured but relatively mild curry sauce that we are told has been made from a mix of up to 20 different natural spices and has been simmered for more than 12 hours to provide “a truly authentic taste of Japan”. We’ve had the katsu (breaded pork escalope), the menchi katsu (breaded minced beef croquette) and the kara-age (Japanese fried chicken) and enjoyed them all. Other choices available include roast vegetable and prawn, with the latter being an exception in that it also comes with yuzo-koshu (Japanese chilli paste). The only real non-curry option is cold udon noodle, which is a favourite of mine, particularly when served with seaweed salad. Desserts are limited to a choice between green tea, red bean and vanilla ice creams.

The prices are reasonable compared with other places in the market. And unlike the places in Brixton Village it is fully licensed. I will keep going back and urge other people to go there, if only to ensure that it stays open.

Etta’s Seafood Kitchen

Etta's Seafood KitchenAddress: Unit 46 Brixton, Village, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9

Contact:  sheryldon1@yahoo.co.uk

We are always glad to give restaurants a second chance and this certainly saved Etta’s. We first visited when it had just opened and things were a bit chaotic and the food wasn’t really that good – lots of bones to work around and the curry sauce was the same on everything. So what has changed? The tables and chairs are the same (beware of some chairs as they are a bit
rickety). But it is all brighter and flowers have appeared on the tables and some are even outside in the middle of the alley. They are as helpful and as laid back as before but now they seem to know what they are doing.

It still looks a like a work in progress but perhaps that is what a pop-up restaurant has to feel like. The interior is bright and cheerful with a new mural of giant fishes. We think the menu has changed a bit and the food has certainly improved. We chose the fish and chips, fish curry and a large crab. The fish was definitely in Etta’s tasty batter (light, squidgy and
with something like chives or cayenne) and all the chips were crispy. The fish curry said it was “mild” – curry isn’t supposed to be bland but it did have a chilli bite to it. The crab choice was not for the faint hearted and probably not for someone with little patience and a lot of hunger but it was tasty and again had curry sauce lingering. Only rice and peas give away that
this is a Caribbean restaurant.

It was all rather jolly – even a large birthday party on the day we went. There is no alcohol but they offer fresh sorrel or fresh ginger beer. There is a one pound cover charge for BYO and they do provide appropriate glasses so wine doesn’t need to come from a tumbler. Again remember to bring it from home.

The price is right about £10 to £20 per person