A small chain making a BIG impact!
FoBo rating :
“We’ll be returning.”
Price : about £50 for two, including starters, mains and beers.
The British summer is here (it’s not actually been too bad) and as usual, you want to be on holiday somewhere exotic, eating, drinking and relaxing. Well if you can’t get away you’re still in luck. London has the most choice of (in my humble opinion) eateries in the world. We recently went to Cottons in Shoreditch after a few rooftop drinks near Old Street. Here’s our review:
Very welcoming. There seems to be a nice standard happening in Caribbean restaurants where the music is just right, not too loud, and not so soft it will put you to sleep. There is a friendly feeling as you come in and are welcomed by the staff. The location of this restaurant is also great because it’s a little off the main high street, but actually, in a busy strip of Shoreditch surrounded by nice bars and other good restaurants, it fits in perfectly with the surroundings.
Nicely arranged table layout, colourful wall paintings, simple and effective helped brighten the place up. The walls and ceiling were also set up nicely with hanging items, fishing net and model boat from the ceiling and ores on the wall. Oh and good toilets too.
It’s the first time I’ve seen such a mixed staff in a Caribbean restaurant! Totally breaks the mould of what one would expect, and it only makes sense you’d hire the best regardless of ethnicity. All of the staff were really friendly and knew the menu well. They were attentive and made sure we settled with drinks before we ordered. Very professional.
We love making you wait 😀
In short, a delight! Now here is the breakdown.
For starters, we shared two dishes, barbecue ribs and barbecue chicken thighs.
Chicken thighs – grilled chicken perfectly salted, peppered and spiced, smothered in what I believe is their homemade barbecue sauce, piled up on nice crockery with shavings of red bell pepper and onion. Tenderly cooked and a nice big portion. Yum!
The ribs – Slow cooked and grilled to lock in the flavour, these had a bit more of a spicy kick than did the chicken so thumbs up for all you hotheads. The meat was absolutely succulent and falling off the bone, no shame here getting your fingers sticky in the lovely glazed barbecue sauce.
Both came with plantain ‘crisps’ on the side, a very nice touch.
For our mains, we had Oxtail and rice, and Jerk beef burger and chips.
The burger – I may say this again and again as each burger I have in these restaurants seems to get better, but this was the juiciest, cooked to perfection, spicy, mouthwatering burger I’ve had in a long time (and I’m a pretty damn good cook). Gem lettuce, beefeater tomato, thinly sliced onion and creamy mayo all squeezed, and I mean literally squeezed, into a brioche bun. Finger licking good and again, no shame in getting my fingers messy with this one! Presented on a chopping board, with crispy chips and a small but refreshing side salad of leaves and tomato. the chips and salad were distractions 🙂 , nice distractions, but it was all about the burger. A very big hand for the chef on this one!
The Oxtail – A traditional dish that your momma used to cook and hopefully some of the younger generation are still making, although (thank you Jamie Oliver) it’s now getting rather expensive.
Hats off again to the chef here. The portion was big, the oxtail was, of course, slow-cooked, and all of the delicious flavours of the meat, the bones, the stock, bulb vegetables and butter beans all come together to bring you that comfort food feeling. Being slow-cooked you can imagine how soft the meat was. Accompanied by plain rice, this is a staple winner.
If the other restaurants in this chain are up to this standard then you really have no excuse not to visit Cottons, you won’t be disappointed.