"It was like returning to the Caribbean... and to a beach rum shack, no less"Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
We were booked to go to another restaurant in the buzzy Kingly Court (enter through a discrete doorway near Carnaby Street on Kingly Street into a three level enclosed court yard full of restaurants, bars and shops) but arrived early so decided to pop into this place which is on an upper level for a quick drink.
It was like returning to the Caribbean – where I have been on many happy occasions. And to a beach rum shack no less. The music, of course, was awesome – reggae. Just enough for a party atmosphere, but not so much as to drown out any hope of conversation.
The boards on the walls are painted those bright, jewel colours – reminding us of the sea, coral, white sand beaches and sunshine. There are multi-coloured steel drums suspended from the ceiling and boards advertising all manner of West Indian fare and philosophies (e,g, “No rain, no rainbow”) on the walls – in between locked displays where some of the many varieties of rum available are stored.
There’s an open kitchen at the far end. There’s a choice of high and low, small and large tables. The staff are friendly and happily stop to chat even though they are constantly on the go. How good to be surrounded by those fabulous West Indian accents and phrases again.
The small bar is tucked into the corner. Everyday there’s Happy Hour where cocktails are available at £5 (usually around £7 or £8). My companion had a classic daiquiri which was a short rum cocktail with distinct lime. I had a longer, creamier coconut blend which was way too easy to drink.
The food – which sadly we didn’t have a chance to sample – covered those things you would expect to see – jerk chicken (£7/£13.50), salt fish fritters (£7.50), patties (£4.50), curried mutton (£13.50), rice and peas (£4), sweet potato fries (£4), plantain and chilli dip (£4) – as well as jerk chicken burger with scotch bonnet garlic mayo (£9.50), soft shell crab burger (£12) and pulled pork bun (£9). The rainbow salad (£7.50) looked interesting too and is available with chicken supreme (£3.50) or jerk salmon (£7.50). Amongst the home-made sauces I spied “swamp” which is the hottest available.
It was busy and bustling – with a young, informal vibe - and I recommend that you book a table as there isn’t much standing space.
There’s also a branch in Notting Hill near Portobello Market.
KimT reviewed The Rum Kitchen on Mon 10 Nov 2014