Express Cafe/Lobstar pop-up

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15-17 Market Row, Brixton, London SW9 8LB
Telephone:
– Express Cafe 020 7978 8515
– Lobstar Pop-up 079 5843 8441
Opening times:
Express Cafe:
Monday – Saturday 7am–5pm (Wednesday early closing 3pm)
Sunday – Closed
Lobstar pop-up – only until the end of November:
Thursday – Saturday 7pm-11.30pm
Lobstar is a short run pop-up at the premises of the Express Cafe in Market Row. The Express Cafe is a greasy spoon, one of the few left in Brixton, that only opens during the day. So it occasionally rents itself out to pop-ups in the evening. We’ve been a couple of times, for vegan food – see here and for hotdogs – see here , and now, for three days a week in November, there’s a limited menu of lobsters and seafood.

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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!

Bukowski Grill

Address: Unit 10, Market Row, Brixton Market, SW9 8JX, London
Telephone: 020 7733 4646

email:info@bukowski-grill.co.uk

http://www.bukowski-grill.co.uk/

We are hoping that this will be the last burger bar we review for a while, after about six. Although we do know there are others coming to join the list. This is a return visit, due to pressure from one of group and our previous review is here. Despite the elapse of four years it hasn’t changed its décor, so we won’t spend any time on that. Seats though are for parties of four, unless you book when they put them together for larger numbers. This is the last (or maybe just the latest) of a small chain with other locations being in Shoreditch and Soho. It is in the heart of Market Row, which now has almost 50% restaurants. Lighting is dim and music loudish, even at 7.00pm on a Thursday.

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Carioca – for breakfast

Carioca01

address: 25-27 Market Row, Brixton

Tel: 020 7095 0953

http://cariocabrixton.com/

This is becoming a regular thing – out for breakfast or early lunch and we have noticed many people not just wanting toast and coffee but needing something more substantial. So wandering into the Market is not recommended. If you definitely want to eat soon and there are more than two of you, bCarioca02ook in advance (or as we did on the walk down to Brixton.).

Carioca is a Brazilian restaurant and we have previously reviewed it here. You can still order your traditional British but explore a little and have the corn muffin or the carnival breakfast with spicy pineapple, plantain and fried bell peppers as a feast for the eyes. We still haven’t tried all the options and next time when I am not watching the waistline or my 5 a day, I’ll definitely have the “Favela Da Rossa” with ripe plantain sandwiched with mozzarella, then dipped in batter and fried. If that wasn’t enough you also get fresh tomato, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. So vegetarian and meat eaters can blow-out here.

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Salon – Upstairs at Cannon and Cannon

address   – 18 Market Row, Brixton, SW98LD

telephone: 0207 5019152

email:  info@salonbrixton.co.uk

http://www.cannonandcannon.com/restaurant/

Salon won our eatinbrixton annual poll a couple of years ago and so on a slow night with nothing in the fridge and a lack of ingenuity we managed to get an early booking to try it again. See here and here for our previous reviews. Continue reading

Kumasi Market

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3rd Avenue

27-28 Brixton Village

SW9 8PR

020 7737 6277

Kumasi is a city in Ghana and the capital of Ashanti. It gives its name to Kumasi Market in Brixton Village, one of a trio of stores in Third Avenue selling mainly food and goods from West Africa. Together with the African Queen Fabric store, it’s like a little bit of Africa in the heart of Brixton. I have intended for some time to cover one of these stores in our series of posts on food shops in Brixton but I always found them a bit daunting. The dried and smoked fish is particularly exotic. However, I’ve occasionally chatted to the shopkeepers, and found that they are really helpful in explaining what they have on offer.

So, the intention in these posts is to buy the ingredients at a Brixton store and to make a typical meal. As we have reported before, we have been to Ghana and enjoyed the Ghanaian food at May Foods – see the report here – but this has been my first attempt at actually cooking the food. It has been more of a challenge, as many of the key ingredients are less familiar to those of us with a European background. This is particularly true of the key part of any true Ghanaian meal, the carbohydrate.

The dish I’ve gone for is chicken in peanut sauce served with banku and spinach. I’ve used an amalgam of different recipes. All of the main ingredients have come from Kumasi Market, apart from the chicken which came from Jones the Butcher.

The ingredients for the chicken in peanut sauce are: 1 kilo of chicken (legs, thighs and wings are best); 3 tbsp vegetable oil; 1 large onion, chopped; a 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced; 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly; 1 kilo of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks; 1 can of chopped tomatoes; 1 litre chicken stock; 1 cup groundnut paste/peanut butter; 1 cup peanuts, roasted; 1 tbsp ground coriander; 1 teaspoon cayenne; Salt and ground black pepper; and lots of chopped coriander as a garnish. Most of the heat in the dish, and in an authentic version there’s plenty, comes from the ground black pepper. I

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The first step is to brown the chicken and put to one side. Then fry the onions, adding the spices when it has softened. Finally you put everything in the same pot and stew until the chicken and sweet potato is all cooked – check after an hour. After it cooled a bit I removed the bones but this is a matter of taste. The finished article probably benefits from being left to stand for a while, before reheating. You can garnish with lots of coriander.

The accompaniments were banku and spinach. The banku is balls of fermented dough and takes a bit of getting used to, as well as being hard work to make. I did make my own, with a mixture of readymade cassava and corn dough bought from Kumasi and it was an education in itself. However, my tip is to buy it readymade from May Foods in Market Row. It should also be understood that the term spinach applies to almost any green leaves. I just chopped and washed mine and fried it in garlic infused oil.

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Everyone enjoyed the chicken and spinach but views were mixed on the banku. We found a little goes a long way. It would be good with rice of course.

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