Situated on All Saints Road, The Rum Kitchen will offer a range of classic West Indian dishes and over 100 varieties of rum, all within a ‘Caribbean beach shack’ environment. Alex Potter, one of the people behind the concept, hopes to offer customers an ‘experience’, as they do with their recently-launched ping-pong concept in Earls court Road.
“We felt London’s restaurant landscape was missing a relaxed dinning and drinking Carribean offering,” Potter told BigHospitality. “Our focus was to successfully achieve a space which could provide our customer with a full night out; eating, drinking and relaxing after dinner downstairs in the cellar bar.
“The food at The Rum Kitchen is naturally going to have a huge influence, but ultimately we wanted to create an experience - one which merges wonderful music, exciting food and drinks in a Caribbean beach shack environment.
“Our mantra is ‘no rain, no rainbow’. We wanted to create a space where you can come and leave your worries at the door.”
The Rum Kitchen will be steered by head chef Darren Williamson, who previously ran the kitchen Puma Yard, a Jamaican-themed pop-up in Shoreditch which was open for the duration of the Olympics.
Williamson said: "I’m excited to bring a taste of my heritage and culture to the place I grew up (Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill). West Indian food often has a rough ride, as most people’s experience of it are at a stall once a year at carnival.
“I want to show that it can be healthy, is robust in flavour and can be beautiful presented. It's about bringing a touch of the Caribbean sunshine back to Notting Hill."
On the menu
His menu at The Rum Kitchen will focus on refined Caribbean classics including starter plates (priced between £5 and £7) such as ackee and salt fish bruschetta with spinach and slow-roasted cherry tomato; alongside staple Caribbeanmains (£8-£15) such as jerk chicken and curried goat.
The cocktail menu has been developed by bar manager Imogen Elliott, formerly ofthe nearbybar Portobello Star. The extensive rum list will obviously take centre stage with Caribbean-inspired creations including The Rattle Skull Punch– a ‘secret’ blend of rum punch with spices and fruits, served in an enamel jug.
Interior designers I LOVE DUST and 44th Hill, who were behind the aesthetics of PING and popular street food concept MeatLiquor,have designed The Rum Kitchen, with exposed rum barrels adorning the walls of the chilled out café-style dining space.
The Rum Kitchen also has its own music director, in the form of DJ Fast from The Fun Lovin' Criminals and Reggae collective Reggae Roast. Potter and his team ultimately want to ‘give the Caribbean dining culture the attention it deserves’ and change perceptions that it is a cuisine only suited to the takeaway scene.
Away from takeaway
“There’s a wealth of material and history with regards to Caribbean culture, music being one of the most important,” Potter added. “Typically, Carribean food has lived in the takeaway world. We want to help introduce a wonderful culture that currently doesn’t have the restaurant offerings in the capital that it deserves.
“Our focus at the moment is on finessing this product, and expansion can be a natural progression of a successful venue - so this point can be reviewed later down the line.”
The Rum Kitchen is open at 6-8 All Saints Road under a soft-launch period from today, with the venue’s official opening set for next month.