Restaurant Review: The Rum Kitchen

Less a restaurant, more a beach shack bar that screams unashamedly of its love for rum and sunshine, Carnaby Street’s Rum Kitchen is the second in London, following a popular outpost in Notting Hill. Its all about fun, food and good times.

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The bright brains behind this summery gem have brought the Caribbean to the city, with blue and white pastel beach hut planks, sun-faded corrugated metal and little trinkets that *might* have been picked up on the beach.

 

The cocktail menu is a hefty book of a thing, filled with some of the loveliest cocktails in town, most of which are under a tenner. Definitely try the Grog, a deadly concoction of lime, ginger beer and plenty of rum. Served in a little enamel mug this one’s guaranteed to bring out the Jack Sparrow in you. Whether or not that’s a good thing, though, remains to be seen.

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Whilst it’s not technically Caribbean, the Rum Kitchen’s Mojito was a real favourite with the Mask team; we hear that’s down to the quality of the rum. Want something more authentic? Mama’s Guinness Punch should do the trick – over-proof rum, condensed milk and Guinness mixed with spices, chocolate bitters and served over ice.

 

The menu is a sort of Anglicised take on Caribbean classics – but does come complete with a few authentic touches, like the scarily spicy swamp sauce, a bottle of scotch bonnet lava no Rum Kitchen meal would be complete without.

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We tried the shack’s signature Jerk Chicken Thighs (£8.50) – crispy, crunchy and moist with a bit of bite… but not too much bite! Served with extra jerk sauce for the brave amongst you, and pineapple slaw, which is like coleslaw but more exotic.

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We also had a Jerk Chicken Supreme (£13.50) – grilled chicken breast, sweet potato and yam mash served with jerk gravy. The Soft Shell Crab Burger (£11.50) was a monster of thing, towering several feet into the air. A spicy tamarind sauce, ginger aïloi and guava-lime relish added to its gravity-defying brilliance. Our final choice was a Jerk Fried Chicken Burger, served with scotch bonnet garlic mayo. And the world’s BEST sweet potato fries (£3).

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Several cocktails later we stumbled out onto the streets of Soho, feeling like we’d just spent a week on a desert island. And it’s not often you can say that in London, is it?

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www.therumkitchen.com