What: It’s been blazing for weeks, and this sunshine won’t let up! But we’re not the only ones burning – Rhythm Kitchen in Walthamstow (you’ll also find them at Westfield, Stratford) is cooking up a fiery Caribbean menu.

The Setting: You’ll find Rhythm Kitchen just two minutes from Walthamstow Central station. Fortunately, they came into the space of a previous Caribbean restaurant and gained its predecessors’ following with their authentic cooking that’s modern and marinated with very special seasonings experimented by founder and Walthamstow-local Delroy ‘The Jerkfather’ Dixon. Entering the suburbs, it’s family orientated and the restaurant adds to this bringing the Caribbean sense of community to the area.

The Look: It’s a small space, the perfect setting for an intimate dinner. The rustic wooden tables are paired with the shades of blue throughout the walls, floor, and the bar brings the colours of the Caribbean to Walthamstow. They have also hung portraits across the walls, photographed by London-born Ian Watts who showcases the everyday life of the Caribbean British community and reggae icons, such as former Shadow Senator for Columbia, Jesse Jackson, as well as Jamaican Reggae musician Gregory Isaacs.

On The Menu: They focus around the charcoal BBQ, which brings out the best of their jerk marinated meat and fish dishes. Alongside their classic jerk dishes, the restaurant also serves family favourites such as curry goat (authentic Caribbean curry slowly cooked to perfection), braised oxtail (a Caribbean special – slow cooked oxtail in a rich sauce with butter beans, carrots and dumplings, served with rice and peas, mac and cheese and sorrel) to complement their authentic Caribbean menu. The restaurant boasts a wide and eclectic selection of rums and rum cocktails. The cocktail list includes a Rum Punch, the Bahama Mama, and the Painkiller, which is a delicious blend of Pusser’s Rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, orange juice, and nutmeg served on the rocks, sounds like a knock out. Plus, the design of the menu was cute with its bright colours, the palm tree images were inviting and had a cool vibe that exudes from the restaurant as well.

What We Ate: The signature style of jerk cooking left us both feeling satisfied. I ended up ordering the jerk chicken with basmati rice and my friend chose the curry goat with jerk chips. Huge fan of chicken, HUGE, and because it’s barbeque I was very excited to try. It was quite the portion, but we managed to finish it clean (I personally was very hungry), and you could taste the charcoal skin gave way to tender, perfectly cooked chicken. The jerk chips are quite the specialty because they make a classic favourite far more exciting.

What We Drank: To tone down the meal, we first opted for the homemade lemonade, it was brilliant, just the right level of sweetness! Moreover, it’s not a catch-up with a friend without at least a bit of alcohol, so we knew we had to get some of the cocktails. We had the Rum Runner and Mango Daiquiri, I could taste the rum element so strongly (more so on the Daiquiri); the Rum Runner was made from the Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, blackberry liqueur, crème de banana liqueur, orange juice, and grenadine. It was sweet and fruity, with the strong taste of rum of course, the cocktails added a sweet tang that complimented the spices.

Go With: I went with my best friend, so of course the company was going to be great, and with food to match and rum cocktails to cool us down in the heat wave. It was the ideal way to spend an afternoon and I absolute recommend getting a rum cocktail from here!

Where: 257 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 9PT www.rhythmkitchen.co

Final Word: Rhythm Kitchen brings out your inner tropical relaxed self. Its a place you should definitely go to for authenticity, great service, and most definitely for their rum cocktails. The staff was so sweet, you definitely feel a welcoming embrace of a community vibe from them.

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