28 August 2016

#CaribbeanFoodWeek - The Best Caribbean Restaurants In London



As a young woman of full Caribbean descent, having a dedicated week to the food I have personally grown up with, is a true honour!
I just wish more of a fuss was made of it just like Mexican Food Week and Hotdog Day are made a fuss of on their national food days. 

Traditional St Lucian Dress (Women)

Sometimes, if you cant get that recognition or the opportunity doesn't appear by itself you have to make it yourself... that's what every black/ caribbean female knows. So today, I am sharing with you a local's guide to the best and some of the not so great caribbean restaurants in London for #CaribbeanFoodWeek.

Curry Mutton at Pandaberry

As a honest reviewer, I am going to give you the full low down. The kind of low down you'd get if you'd discuss the best restaurants with your friends, family and generally if you were in the know like me. So despite what I say below, go and visit your local Caribbean Restaurant and support them!

CP xo



Peppers & Spice
40 Balls Pond Rd, London N1 4AU


It's long been known that Caribbean people, especially Jamaicans and those who serve food have a notorious attitude when doing so. It's one of those thing I've long come to accept but Peppers & Spice staff sometimes take it a little too far. As such a popular restaurant in East London and having grown so much over the years as word grew that their food was amazing, I am shocked to see the service not improve as greatly as one could vision. Luckily for non-caribbean folk, I don't believe they will get it as bad as our own people.

Saying that, their food used to be amazing! Now though, I'd probably stick to heading to P&S for their Patties, because these golden flakey puffs are just too good to be true, or try their home cooked soups or the Ackee & Saltfish.







Rainbow Bakery

596 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AH

If you ever find yourself on Dalston Kingsland's busy high-street, a trip to Rainbow Bakery is definitely a must! This longstanding bakery has been around from well before I was born and the proof my friends is right there. 

This local bakery is famed for both their Caribbean food dishes, like their scrumptious patties and their equally delicious cakes and baked goods. They recently underwent a makeover and it is marvellous. Makes me proud to see a thriving Caribbean Cuisine still on the high-street I grew up on and a Black owned business doing so well. Plus their staff are pretty incredible. Go see for yourself!






Pandaberry

2 Nether St, London N12 0EL

Pandaberry is a recent discovery for me. 

After meeting the Mother & Daughter team (as shown above) at this year's Just Eat Festival, a first for the brand and capital, I was delighted to not only meet, but sample the goodness this North London based restaurant provides. Pandaberry's food is cooked to perfection and the business mix perfectly both old school and new school standards of customer service - something I am yet to find anywhere else in London, where authentic Caribbean cuisine is served.



Juniors
63 Nevill Road, London N16 8SW

Now this gaff is a well known secret with local Caribbean's and 'rude boys' in Stoke Newington. Juniors staff rarely talk much to their customers but they are always polite and feels like a family kitchen, in all honesty. You can choose to have your food to go or eat in, the dinners are always served perfectly hot and customers can expect a generous helping of food to eat in or take out.


Mango Room
10-12 Kentish Town Rd, London NW1 8NH

Positioning itself as both a modern and traditional Caribbean restaurant and cuisine, I was delighted to hear the history behind this nearly twenty year old, celebrity haunt & well known caribbean restaurant in Central London.


When entering the building, you would never be able to guess how the long the site has been standing there for. Externally its brightly painted and the branding looks great, whilst inside feels like a very modern Caribbean/ manhattan esque apartment with open planning design, stunning art work and tunes to remind you of where you are... When Mango Rooms played John Holt on my arrival, they instantly earned brownie points!




I was delighted to not only try the delicious starters and mains which are portioned and served just right, not too small like other modern cuisines but just enough for you to actually decide whether you like the dish or not. I fortunately found this out with every plate. The two main aspects of Mango Rooms I was most delighted to discover, was that owner Derrick Blake can generally be found chilling at the front of the restaurant chatting sincerely to diners, and the large array of tasty vegetarian dishes that could...and I reiterate, could possibly knock some of the meat dishes off the table - they are that good!




Your best bet however when dining on a Friday night is to get there before 8pm as it does get busy, but with the amount of tables they do have to offer, you'd think it was a much bigger chain of restaurants, not a long standing, independent Caribbean restaurant owned by the same management for 18+ years.




Cottons
55 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AN

After my initial visit over 6 years ago to their Camden branch, its inevitable that Cottons Caribbean Restaurant has succeeded in positioning themselves well as a favourite spot for Authentic Caribbean food in London. 

The branch has now ventured out into two more London hotspots - Notting Hill & Shoreditch. But disappointingly, thats where my compliments end. I recently visited their NH branch in West London for something of a 'celebrity' birthday dinner and although the food tasted great, the small plates and disgraceful c=service which included staring and taking far too long to collect empty plate and replace them was enough for me to decide on never going back. 

Their Camden branch was truly the best (apparently it still is) and they should have rolled that out to the other locations for true authenticity which comes as standard with Caribbean food and hospitality.





Turtle Bay
(located behind the station) Dalston Junction, London, E8 3GP

Although I've never been to Turtle Bay, my friends have, on too many occasions to ignore however this hilarious new video explains why you should avoid the chain at all costs! And yes, there does seem to be a Turtle Bay in every region of the UK, which is rather strange considering its ratings.


A photo posted by BOOM Burger (@boomburger) on

Boom Burger
272 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TY

A little taste of Jamaica, that's making the heart of London go Boom! Boom Burger - That's how Boom Burger describes itself online and it literally does just that. 

Although I'm never going to be a fan of cultural appropriation, Boom Burger's Founder Josh spent his early life in Montego Bay, raised in the heart of Caribbean vibrancy, Jamaica and has managed to pull off an amazing restaurant in the heart of West London, where a huge Caribbean population resides. 

Boom Burger has brought Caribbean cuisine in a fun and almost cool kid fashion to West London without alienating people of true Caribbean heritage, which sadly cannot be said for a few, great tasting but poorly serviced restaurants who have luckily made this list. I'm all for Boom Burger, any day of the week, and so should you!




Rudies
50 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB

Despite Rudies being on my 'BEST' list, the restaurant had frequently, most recently let me down. The food is hardly consistently good and the service seems to be catered well for everyone but local caribbean people. Aside from this noticeable disappointment, Rudies are definitely Caribbean restaurant that does mainstream West Indian food well(ish). When I say this, I talk mostly of their platter dishes and presentation as you can see above. Prices however are affordable but not as cheap as their peers.



Got a London/ UK based Caribbean Food supplier/ restauarant you love and want to feature on this guide? Please let me know below. 

CP xo

Share:

No comments

Post a Comment

© ChloePierreLDN | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig