Caribbean food was the cornerstone of my childhood, and even a whiff of a certain spice makes me reminisce about family Sunday cooked lunches. When it comes to eating out in London, traditional Caribbean cuisine is spearheaded at Cottons Caribbean restaurant and rum shack. Newly opened Cottons Notting Hill will be the more refined dining experience, compared to their Shoreditch and Camden offering. but still keeping the authentic Caribbean flavours for which Cottons is renowned.
I was invited to visit the Cottons Notting Hill branch to experience the atmosphere and the food; and there is plenty to choose from the diverse menu. Prepared by Jamaican born Head Chef, Nikki McLeod, dishes included seared scallops, sides of potato salad and doubles, to barbecued baby chicken. Fresh soft drinks, coffee and tea are available but make sure to order their cocktails which are flavourful, with a rum kick.
I chose a starter of the barbecue glazed pork belly with rum & molasses, accompanied with pickled vegetables. The pork belly was moreish, broke apart easily and was slightly sticky with the molasses glaze; offset with the sharp vegetables. The mains ( meat platter and Trinidadian red mullet) continued in the same style of delicious dishes, each plate vibrant with the colour of peppers and greens. The three course meal ended with a flourish of milk chocolate mousse with a dark chocolate shard, which was thick, and sweet. The iced peanut butter parfait with coconut marshmallows was deconstructed, but all the elements from the ginger biscuit crumble, caramel sauce, to the dessicated coconut came together in a delicious spoonful. This may be the essence of the food I love growing up, but it is so much more.
157-159 Notting Hill Gate
London W11 3LF
T: 0207 243 0090