Best restaurant in Brixton 2016 – Top 5 Shortlist

Britain’s Favourite Restaurant 2016 – Top 5 Shortlist

So after around a week and a half of voting we have our shortlist. Click on the below to see what we thought of them.

Again we will be giving around seven days for you to pick your next favourite before the big unveiling next Wednesday. Share and get voting!

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

Brixton Flavours Festival

So.Much.Food. From sushi and brownies to chicken and tortillas and crepes I have actually only recently regained my appetite after our gluttonous evening in preparation for the brand new festival Brixton Flavours. With the actual day not until Sunday 26th October we were invited to see what the whole thing was all about this week and also apparently to eat our whole body weight in food.

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Brixton Flavours states that it is a festival to introduce people to the wide variety of cuisines and restaurants that our beloved hometown has to offer. It was clear from the way the organisers spoke that that they were committed to making sure that they didn’t just go to the well-known haunts in town, but to showcase all that Brixton has on offer. This is something that we at Eat in Brixton are always striving to achieve so it’s brilliant to see others with such passion as well. The day ticket holders are invited to sample secret dishes not usually available on the menu from over 22 restaurants around Brixton (full list of those participating can be found here). You will also be given 15 Brixton pounds to spend in any of the participating restaurants, so incorporating the idea of boosting the local economy.

Continue reading

Casa Sibilla

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Address: 67/68 Brixton Village, Coldharbour LaneLondon, SW9 8PS

Telephone number – 077 9249 2112

http://www.casa-sibilla.com/

email: info@casa-sibilla.com

Monday: Closed, Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday: 11am-5pm, Thursday: 11am-11.30pm, Friday: 11am-11.30pm, Saturday: 11am-11.30pm, Sunday: 11am-5pm

Casa Sibilla is an authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Brixton Village. The market used to be full of sharks and fish of varying colours with vegetables that had to be boiled for days and then still seemed uncooked. It now has Italian restaurants – not only Italian but which actually say they serve food from particular areas of Italy. Casa Sibilla serves us food from Puglia and Piedmont. We have visited on and off but had not reviewed it for some time – so here goes. We booked – yes booked – on Opentable. This is certainly more organised than they were – or anyone is – in Brixton Village. Continue reading

Casa Sibilla

Address 67 – 68 Granville Arcade, Coldharbour Lane (Brixton Village) London, SW9 8PS

Telephone number –

http://www.casa-sibilla.com/

Closed Monday, open Tuesday, Wed until 5.00pm, Thursday-Satruday until 10.00 and Sunday until 5.00pm

Casa Sibilla is an Italian restaurant in the buzzy new heart of Brixton in the Granville Arcade. We used to know this enclave of Brixton as a covered market that was full of sharks and fish of varying colours and vegetables that had to be boiled for days and then still seemed uncooked. However now it is a dazzling array of restaurants. The market is open on most nights (except Monday) to people browsing for food in the many different restaurants.

Casa Sibilla is determinedly Italian – short menu, speciality cocktail (ours was pink, raspberries and prosecco I think). It is in the heart of the Village and we highly recommend choosing an outside table in the wide  and lofty passageway lit by bizarre lights (do look as it seems they are different kinds of lampshades all put together to provide a souk-like atmosphere.  I expect they are “vintage” because they look like ones my grandmother had)

I admit I chose badly – everyone knows that gnocchi can never be that great – but my companions chose well with a plate of mixed meats, plenty of bread and the best mixed olives that I have for quite a while. The octopus and mussel stew looked pretty meaty and was demolished. Partly this was because we did wait rather a long time for the food so we were ravenous and a little drunk as seconds of cocktails were called for. But we were warned about the likely slowness – due they said to a lack of staff. This was very surprising as there didn’t seem to be enough room for any more staff in the main restaurant which has an open kitchen smaller than the one in my own house. There was a clear system of movement so that Paola Sibilla (the chef) could manage the large saucepans and sizzling gnocchi so they didn’t collide with soup bowls. On price it was fair but definitely more than the usual Brixton fare but you do get what you pay for and I would recommend this place as long as the short menu changes enough to hold our interest.

P.S there is a deli that sells good olive oil and I hope the olives and you can also buy their ravioli and other sweeter goodies.