REVIEW: The Rum Kitchen, Carnaby Street

After a string of early morning meetings, managing to work up quite the appetite, my friend Fola and I decided to pop down to the discreetly located Carnaby Street branch of The Rum Kitchen in Kingly Court. The popular Caribbean cuisine inspired hot spot which first opened its doors to the hungry public in 2013, has three branches situated in Brixton, Notting Hill and of course, Carnaby Street. Ever the eager beavers, we rocked up shortly after it opened at midday and was politely greeted by their reception staff upon entry. After preparing our table we were promptly guided to our seats and advised on their extensive 25 page rum cocktail and spirit catalogue!

To reduce the time spent on our indecision, waitress Hannah recommended two of the popular cocktails to us, “Rude Boy” (which is a concoction of Passion Fruit, Sorrell Syrup, Lime and Wray and Nephew) and “Rattle Skull Punch” (Lemon, Muscavo Syrup, Apricot, Pineapple and Mango Juice and Wray and Nephew).

Next, we ordered two starters to share; the BBQ Pork Ribs with sweet pickle watermelon (£8.50) and The Island Spiced Baby Squid with Chili and Lime Tartare (£7.50). In all honesty, had I known just how LARGE the BBQ Ribs were going to be, I would have probably just ordered those with a small side. You end up getting two portly yet deliciously succulent sized pork ribs and coming from someone who doesn’t usually order ribs at restaurants, it’s well worth the fairly steep appetiser fee. Be mindful, as the ribs are so big they have the potential to ruin your appetite especially if you’re going order a main course shortly afterwards. However, for a huge foodie like me, there was no complaining on this front. Only perhaps that there could have been more watermelon on the side. There was no complaining about The Island Spiced Baby Squid either, which was just the right amount of crunchy on the outside and perfectly soft and chewy on the inside. The Spicy Chili and Lime Tartare sauce which accompanied it was unparalleled to any I have had with Calamari before. All in all, we were pretty chuffed with our selection.


Once our waitress had cleared away the demolished plates, she asked when we would want our mains to arrive which we felt was a nice gesture as it meant it allowed that beast of a starter to settle somewhat in our stomachs and for us to catch up minus the gorging on food. About 15 minutes later our waitress then brought over our main meal the “Jerk Chicken with Sweet Potato and Yam Mash” (£13.50).

SideNote: For all those “Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas” DIE HARDS out there, there was an option of Rice and Peas instead of Sweet Potato and Yam Mash but we decided to try something a little different. Plus, you never really can tell whether these restaurants will do it justice “just like your momma makes it” so I guess we played it safe too.

But it worked to our advantage because it was simply amazing!


And my chronic #foodenvy was nowhere in sight because we ordered the same thing  – yaaaaas!

The Jerk Chicken wasn’t exactly the “Jerk” most from a Caribbean or even African background would be used to aka not spicy at all, but it was still very flavoursome and seasoned to perfection. The Sweet Potato and Yam mash was the right consistency, not too thick just incredibly creamy and the best partner for its chicken counterpart. As we all know, too much sweet potato can be rather sickly but the Yam balanced out the flavour, delivering the best kind of blend without compromising on taste.

STUFFED is not even the word to describe how we felt after wobbling out of The Rum Kitchen that afternoon. The portion sizes are delectably unforgiving and well worth the splash. The Rum Kitchen is perfect for many differing occasions, particularly casual dates or a quick catch up between friends just how Fola and I did. As the décor is plush but still very relaxed both occasions fit quite nicely without being to over or underwhelmed. The service was polite, punctual and very informative for consumers like us with millions of questions about the varying dishes. Ultimately, our first experience dining at The Rum Kitchen was one to tempt us to return for seconds sometime real soon.

And by real soon I mean, next week (!) lol

Dining experience courtesy of INTOapp.