Cottons Caribbean Restaurant & Rum Shack Launches in Vauxhall

Written by Abiola Lawal

Last week we were invited down to the launch party of the new Cottons restaurant at their new South London location in Vauxhall. The restaurant is located along the Riverside Walk just 2 minutes away from the Tube station.

We were greeted by a lively crowd and wonderful rum punch flowed freely all night. There were colourful carnival girls and a brilliant live reggae band who really kept the party going all night, and tasty Caribbean canapes on offer to tantalise our taste buds.  We were introduced to samples of the full menu which included pork ribs roasted with rum and molasses served with a guava & chilli reduction; or vegan friendly sweet potato patties with spiced coconut callaloo sauce. Cottons classics include jerk half chicken slow roasted with pimiento and spices; and Cottons homemade curried mutton – both served with rice ‘n’ peas. Those with a hearty appetite will love the Mixed Jerk Grill Platter (featuring jerk pork ribs, chicken pieces & wing, lamb chop with rice ‘n’ peas, jerk sauce and plantain). The chicken wings were particularly popular with everyone on the evening.

I would also like to shout out all of the staff who were on point at the event they were all attentive, prepared and very professional, I was very impressed with the level of service I received throughout the evening from the busy bar to the servers who kept the crowd satisfied.

Many thanks to Cottons and we would encourage you all to check out this beautiful new riverside restaurant.

Cottons Vauxhall

Unit 12, Flagstaff House, St Georges Wharf, Vauxhall, SW8 2LE

www.cottons-restaurant.co.uk 

An Evening in The Callaloo Kitchen is Just What The Doctor Ordered

I was recently invited to attend Lola Brown’s Calloloo Kitchen Supperclub event at the Erith Lighthouse on September 21st 2017 and what a fantastic foodie experience it was. Lola’s cooking style pays homage to her truly multicultural heritage,  with Yoruba parents, an English grandmother and a Bajan step-grandfather, Lola celebrates the different cultures  in her life through her food. She does this with ease, nothing on her menu feels forced or gimmicky and the proof was in the pudding so to speak. There is a congeniality that comes through in every dish, and when you meet Lola you can understand why. As a obstetrician/ gynecological doctor who took a career break in May 2017, the same care and attention that I assume she puts into her medical skills goes into her cookery skills. I loved the fact that she was able to combine Nigerian and Caribbean flavours to make dishes that were appealing and tasty.

#LolaBCooks

#LolaBCooks

The group of diners was diverse, something that I am particularly keen to flag purely because I want EVERYONE to experience the pleasures of Nigerian food! And whilst this wasn’t purely Nigerian food it was a great introduction for those who have never tasted Nigerian cuisine.

The cassava chips were absolutely great nibbles, and being a chilli addict the shito sauce just made it difficult for me to stop nibbling! I have to say that the callaloo soup was my absolute favourite course; warming, spicy and thick it was just a fantastic start to the evening with the moreish agege bread it was the perfect autumnal meal!

The main course was served in sharing platter style which added to the Caribbean/West African communal feel of the evening. Sharing our dishes with our fellow diners was a great icebreaker. We had a really generous selection of dishes, there was something for everyone. I found that the beef was beautifully tender and sweet, perhaps a touch too sweet for a chilli fiend like myself and since the jollof rice wasn’t particularly spicy I had to add some of the hot sauce that was made available (Lola really did think of everyone!). I absolutely LOVED the slaw, I usually do not enjoy coleslaw but this was different from anything I had ever been offered before.

The Mac n Cheese was SO good, wholesome and rich, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was so feeling I would have eaten all of it. The sweet potato pottage was a perfect accompaniment, although again with the sweetness of the beef and the plantain as well as the sweetness of the mango in the slaw it almost pushed the meal over the edge (almost but quite). There was still enough of a savoury balance to save the meal and let’s not forget that hot sauce was at hand if I needed it.

Our dessert was a real pleasure, the coconut “puff puff” (a Nigerian doughnut) was actually made in a Mandazi style (East African doughnut, thicker dough used). The pineapple and passionfruit jam went really well with the dish and overall it was the perfect ending to a really lovely food experience.

I encourage you to follow Lola’s journey. There is something so inspirational about seeing someone follow their passion, their dream and literally tasting the fruits of their labour. I can see through the supperclubs that she has hosted before and the one which I attended that Lola is a gifted chef, it is time for you all to see.

Visit her website https://www.callalookitchen.co.uk/ and follow her across social media #LolaBCooks.