Rum Kitchen, Carnaby Street

Thanks to the resounding success of the first Notting Hill based branch, Rum Kitchen has recently opened a second venue among the boutiques of Kingly Court near Carnaby Street. The Caribbean inspired beach shack restaurant and cocktail bar serves up appetising food and fruity drinks. Many will know the original Rum Kitchen venue as a lively club, its regulars include Prince Harry and girlfriend Cressida. The food there however seems to have been forgotten. Carnaby Street is more central and certainly is more of a sit down eatery, though the fabulous drinks still very much have a presence.

The distressed coloured walls are reminiscent of a beach hut. It was strange visiting such a carefree and relaxed place on a weekday evening, I felt like I was escaping school to join in the rum fun. I assumed the cocktails in Rum Kitchen would be dependant on Caribbean rum, and this venue certainly has a generous selection, but I was pleased to discover that even without the crucial spirit the concoctions were extremely sweet, but naughtily delicious. From the Twist list we tried the Rumbustion (a take on a Pina Colada) and our preferred, Rubin Carter which was more similar to a typical rum punch.

I found the Roti and Choka very plain, even with the additional burnt tomato and garlic dip and a smoky aubergine dip. The Island Spiced Squid with scotch bonnet alioli was delicious: thick squid coated in lightly spiced crunchy coating and topped with zesty lime and slivers of chilli. The mains were much larger portions: epic Jerk Fried Chicken Burger and Chicken Thighs. The menu is quite limited and repetitive, but this seems to equate to quick and efficient service. The chicken burger was different to any other I’ve tried, very tasty and flavoursome meat with chilli jam and slaw on the side. The chicken thighs arrived with pineapple slaw which I found a little too odd to finish, rum jerk bbq ketchup and wonderful fine shoe-string onion rings. The fries, were unremarkable, but dusted with a nice spicy salt and served with chilli jam.

Rum Kitchen is great fun, perfect for a group outing. Caribbean is not my favourite cuisine, it can be rather limited and too sweet for savoury food, but Rum Kitchen is definitely worth a visit, the cocktails are addictive!

More information and book here: therumkitchen.com

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