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

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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

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.

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The Provincial

Address: 21 Market Row, Brixton SW9

Provincial has been known as the place where you do not know when or if you will get the food you ordered. We decided to test this again after we had a recommendation to try their ceviche. Now we know a little something about ceviche having learnt how to prepare it on the Amazon and eating in the best ceviche restaurant in Peru – showing off I know but we wanted you to know that we have got some expertise in judging this dish and its authenticity.

Provincial opens its doors so that it flows into Market Row. With its colourful orange interior and the wall mural of Peruvian life it does have the feeling of a South American restaurant down to the rickety chairs and tables. They can take larger groups as we saw on the Saturday night that we visited. The waiting staff were all women overlooked by the manager who pops into the restaurant from the kitchen to deliver food directly to the tables.

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Salon – Upstairs at Cannon and Cannon

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address   – 18 Market Row, Brixton, SW98LD

telephone: 020 7501 9152

email:  info@salonbrixton.co.uk

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

We reviewed Salon at Cannon and Cannon last year and decided it was time to give it another go when our original restaurant choice turned out to have no food on a Friday night. We were not that hungry and only wanted a snack, so we chose Salon given its reputation for small interesting dishes. The décor hasn’t changed since our last visit, although the tables were arranged slightly differently. This was a distinct improvement as we remember our anxiety about having our chairs brushed by waiters balancing full plates. However, it is still a bit disconcerting to realise that you have just pressed down the treadle for a sewing machine on some of the smaller tables. You can now see into the kitchen from some of the tables and it is larger and much improved.

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Fishmongers

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For some time I’ve promised myself that I will write about shopping for fish in Brixton. Because one of the most fantastic things about central Brixton is the number of fishmongers. Across the country fishmongers have become an endangered species, largely replaced by supermarkets. But here in Brixton we have more fishmongers than there are in the whole of Hertfordshire. By this I mean proper fishmongers, where they offer a good range of types of fish with knowledgeable staff who will clean and fillet your purchases. This is great, of course, but it does pose a problem when you have to choose which shop to use. So, unlike earlier posts in our series about shopping, I’m not going to focus on a single shop.

I’ve actually lost count of the number of shops in Brixton that sell fish but not all of them, in my mind at least, count as proper fishmongers. Quite a few of the Afro-Caribbean grocers sell some fish and there are others that specialise in fish but just sell it frozen, straight out of the boxes in which it arrived. I rarely use these, apart from the fish section in the Wing Tai Supermarket in Electric Avenue which is often useful, particularly for prawns.

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