The other weekend I had a bit of a messy one. The kind of messy which turns your liver to pate and your brain to mashed potato. This started on Friday when I met my friend at the Ham Yard Hotel and we had a couple of their Spectre cocktails (sponsored by Belvedere apparently); vodka, raspberry and ginger ale, YESPLEASETHANKYOU.
We’d already put our name down at Rum Kitchen in Soho. They told us it’d be about an hour and a half before we had a table (moral of the story, Readers, is if you’re going on a Friday BOOK BEFOREHAND OR GO HUNGRY) but to be fair their time estimate was pretty accurate. That didn’t make those Spectre cocktails any less alcoholic though…
While we perused the menu we ordered some chicken wings, as we were absolutely starving. Nice big juicy wings with take-your-face-off hot sauce.
^ I don’t know why my photos were so terrible, maybe the light, maybe the booze, whatevs.
We had seats in the window which I enjoyed. Rum Kitchen is on the 1st Floor of Kingly Court off Carnaby Street so the view was pretty and the people watching was excellent. The fact that we were sitting in the window made the whole experience more bar-like for me, which I also think was a good thing; the food – with a few notable exceptions – was pretty average, but the cocktails were excellent.
^ another crap photo, but you get the gist. It’d be lovely in the run up to Christmas with all the lights I think.
Due to aforementioned hunger, we ordered all the food in the world. The jerk halloumi burger was OK, halloumi could have been crispier but it was nice with the avocado and hot sauce. Sweet potato chips were pretty nice and crispy. The sweet potato wedges with toasted coconut flakes and avocado were weird – too much sweet and creamy going on there, but if you have a sweet tooth you’d probably like them. The island spiced baby squid was greasy and the ‘island spice’ wasn’t tasty enough to justify the name.
On the other side of the coin, the house slaw was actually really good – just the right balance of creamy and sharp – and my pulled pork bun was probably the best I’ve ever had. The pulled pork was juicy and tender and instead of a sweet-and-sickly sauce it came with a jerk BBQ sauce which added a bit of heat, and crispy shallots for texture. Mega yum.
^ moist, but tasty
The cocktails were excellent (drinks menu is here and runs to TWELVE PAGES; I know they reckon this is a restaurant, but the food menu is ONE page. Draw your own conclusions). I had the Old Cuban (second page) but without the sugar, which was very nice but really we needed something a bit bolder to stand up to the food…
So we ordered this. Of course we did. The good news was the it was really delicious and neither of us set our hair – or anything else – on fire. High five! The bad news… Well, it’s called a ‘Kick Punch’, so I’m going to let you guess the bad news for yourselves.
I’ve been a bit down on this place. I’ve thought about it though, and I would go back. The cocktails were fun, the staff were lovely and the atmosphere – whilst being a liiiiiitle cringily fauxribbean – was really fun. The food wasn’t great, but there’s still enough on the menu I’d eat to make it worth it. If you treat it as a fun bar which just happens to do OK food, you won’t be disappointed.
If you want decent, cheap Caribbean food you can always check out Guanabana!