Detox Kitchen, Carnaby Street

I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast spots in London. As a massive fan of French toast, pancakes and all things calorific, my favourite venues are usually utterly indulgent. Detox Kitchen however is healthy and fresh, offering filling and delicious morning meals and punchy homemade juices.

Their flagship cafe can be found on Kingly Street just off Carnaby Street and there is also concession on the top floor of Harvey Nichols, perfect for an energising snack in between shopping stints. I went along for an early morning meeting to try the seed and nut filled cereal with coconut yoghurt and blueberries, and an addictively good fruit juice. The little place is decorated with small white tables and sprigs of flowers; it is particularly lovely in summer with the windows open.

As well as providing nutritious breakfasts for sit-in or take-away customers, Detox Kitchen create and deliver delicious well-balanced meals for the day. You can sign up for a start date and duration and let the chefs organise your meals, delivering fresh and seasonal breakfast, lunch, dinner, pressed juice and snacks.

Food that tastes great, looks great and makes you feel great.

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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!

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Whyte & Brown, Carnaby Street

The concept hatched in July 2013 and there has been a frenzy of excitement ever since. At Whyte & Brown they offer a menu inspired by free range chicken and eggs and, wow, do they get through a sizeable amount of each… to be precise 5000 eggs and 700 chickens a week! Located at a lovely spacious venue in the charming Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street, it is a popular weekend hang-out.

There are so many poultry possibilities and consequently we feasted on far too much food, eager to try every variety. To start, Crisp Chicken Shards are the ideal naughty nibbles… ultra thin and salty. Croquette balls are exemplary… truly delightful little mouthfuls, filled with shredded chicken, pancetta, lemon béchamel and chives. I could eat them all day. Harissa hot wings are very spicy but had a wonderfully rich flavour in the exotic marinade; served with caramelised orange wedges, coriander, and a minty yoghurt dressing, there is some refuge from the chillified wings.

For mains we followed our waiter’s instruction and tried the W&B Caesar Burger and the Brick Chicken. Neither were as addictively tasty as the starters, but were nonetheless clever chicken-inspired recipes. The burger is made with chicken thigh mince with caramelised onion, parmesan and aromatic seasoning, layered with tomato and presented in a grilled brioche bun. Serious chips are worth ordering on the side, super-skinny handcut and twice cooked for added flavour and extra crispy edges. The mashed potato however was a bit too lumpy for my liking. Brick Chicken is a more traditional dish, the ideal Sunday lunch. Made with the W&B signature seasoning using lemon, thyme, garlic and olive oil. It is crisp skinned and cooked three ways: the marinated breast, the slow-cooked thigh confit, and the 12-hour cooked wing. Served with a generous jug of homemade natural gravy, the meat was tender and juicy though the serving exceeded our eating abilities.

Unable to resist desert, we tried the Brownie and the Eton Mess. The brownie was too dry and uninteresting, the sort of desert that feels like wasted calories. Eton Mess was more of a success, a chaotic pile of fresh berries, broken meringue, lemon posset and, much to my delight, a sprinkling of popping candy on top. This pudding was fun for the palette, texture and flavour-wise.

Long and short refreshing cocktails are available at Whyte & Brown, perfect to accompany a long lazy Sunday lunch. We tried the golden ale based Peachalada and the popular Gin Spring Collins – both were light and well balanced, not interfering with the flavours from the food.

Whyte & Brown does exactly what it sets out to do, offering high quality, organic chicken and egg-inspired dishes with a pinch of creativity. The staff have a genuine enthusiasm for the concept and ensure every diner has a good time. Listen out for the seamless soundtrack, created by the brilliantly talented bespoke music consultants, Music Concierge.

With the recent restaurant trends obsessing over burger and steaks, it’s good to see some passionate poultry producers putting chicken and eggs in the spotlight.

More information and book here: