55 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AN (020 7485 8388) Tube: Camden
70 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QP (020 7833 3332) Tube: Farringdon
Cottons Camden is London’s leading and longest standing Caribbean restaurant. They deliver Caribbean staples in sizable portions: the starter ribs are delicious and the mix meat platter, with buffalo wings, pork belly, jerk chicken, sausage and lamb cutlets, will have you lick your fingers. Cottons boasts a nice party atmosphere, fuelled by the fruity (but strong) cocktails mixed by the friendly staff of their Rumshack bar- which contains one of the biggest rum collections in town. The bar is tiny (but the restaurant is on 2 floors) and it’s always a blast to see people crammed there, shaking their stuff to the vibing music played by the DJ.
“Nice venue, atmosphere, traditional menu, attentive staff.”
“ Great food and super atmosphere especially the Islington Branch. Service is usually first class. Some great events and nights like Colourful radio a few Saturdays ago.”
10-12 Kentish Town Road, London NW1 8NH (020 7482 5065) Tube: Camden
This restaurant, also located in Camden serves traditional and modern Caribbean food. The prices are slightly higher than in your regular Caribbean restaurant but one look at the menu and you will understand why. You will find Caribbean staples such as Ackee and Saltfish, Rice & Peas and Roti Bread alongside more refined fare such as Roast Honey & Ginger Duck Breast or Baby Spinach, Okra & Coconut Risotto. Vegans will find enough fish dishes to satisfy the most demanding palate. Mango Room’s colourful décor is reminiscent of an upscale rumshack, with lots of wood and bright paintings on the walls (some of which you can buy). The three dining rooms are versatile and the tables will accommodate a couple on a romantic dinner or larger birthday bookings.
“The food is exquisite, the cocktails delicious. The décor tasteful, very artsy. I wish I could afford to eat there more often”
“The food is out of this world, the music – soft reggae, the fabulous service which is just heaven and the cocktails at the bar. The art decor describes it all.”
12 Acre Lane, London SW5 5SG (020 7737 6633) Tube: Brixton
Bamboula restaurant is an institution, just like Cottons. Located in the heart of the Caribbean community in Brixton, the bamboos at the entrance and the front window of the restaurant make it look a bit camp but once inside, you will be charmed by the cosy atmosphere. The menu is pretty basic; Bamboula is not the place where you will make any culinary discoveries. The Steamed Tilapia and Chicken Rundown are just what you would expect for a local Caribbean restaurant. What sets Bamboula apart is its informal atmosphere. The place is always alive with lively banter, from the seated customers, locals waiting for their take-away and the friendly staff. You will find yourself staying a bit longer than you expected, feeling too full and relaxed to leave.
“Great atmosphere and friendly staff plus nice decor and good food, not too expensive either.”
“Have dined there many times and I’ve always had a great time. The atmosphere is very relaxed and very friendly.”
Chef Collin Brown
2 Yabsley Street, London E14 9RG (020 7515 8177) Tube: Blackwall
Located in the heart of the Docklands, Chef Collin Brown is one of the few upscale Caribbean restaurants in London. From the chef’s credentials – Caribbean Chef of the Year in 2005/6 and 2006/7 and nominated for the 2010 Restaurant of the Year award – to the luxurious décor, everything at Chef Collin Brown speaks of quality and refinement. The food is an inventive mix of Caribbean and European cuisine with Lobster marinated in a coconut cream sauce, Braised Oxtail and Homemade Baileys Ice Cream on the menu.
“The Curried Goat is served in a pasty style basket both giving it a unique presentation and the meat is always well flavoured and spiced.”
“Quite posh, with a great staff and delicious food. I don’t usually pay no mind to desserts when I go to west indian restaurants but this time I was pleasantly surprised.”