Cottons Rum Shack Brings More Than A Taste Of The Caribbean

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Venue and locale
Between the High Street bustle of Camden Station and the relative tranquillity of Chalk Farm is Cottons Rum Shack and Restaurant. As the name suggests, this medium capacity bar-restaurant serves Caribbean cuisine and lots of rum, over three storeys.
Recently they introduced their Soul of Angostura menu, which is essentially an a la carte fusion of Trinidad and Tobago influences and classic British ingredients.

We sat downstairs in the basement level at one of many tables for two, facing the function room at the back. Décor is of varnished, wooden furniture with cloth thrown over. Table condiments appeared minimal.

Fried dumplings followed the starter of spicy chicken wings, followed by Chana Dhal Doubles with mango and Angostura dressing.
We enjoyed best the main course of battered cod infused with Angostura bitters, which gave a tart finish to this everyday fish. Cassava fries rolled in herbs hugged the side salad of pineapple in rum tartar sauce, with capers thrown in for an unusual twist. Desert was an egg-cup sized ginger cake served with Angosutra jelly and a delicious, compote-like pomegranate and rum reduction.

Of the three house cocktails served with either Angostura Bitters or Angostura No7 rum, the author recommends Camden Swizzle, made with lime, fresh mint and blackcurrant in layers for its flavour and scenic effect in the glass. The only mocktail, Dr Siegert’s bouquet with a raspberry and strawberry base served up a cooler for the non drinkers on the floor.

Wait staff are at the younger end, think late twenties, and friendly without being overbearing. What started as a quiet evening livened up as typical Camden revellers patronised the joint, giving an eclectic feel to the environment. Sadly, we didn’t spot any famous faces during this preview night.

Hours – Open *5pm until 11pm daily (1am Friday and Saturday.)
Open *12pm Sun

Camden Cottons :

• is based at 55 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AN, and is one of a four restaurant chain serving Caribbean oriented food across London.
• offers more than a place to eat and drink delicious cocktails. Try the introductory or advanced cocktail making class for a group of 6 minimum or rum tasting Masterclass (for members only.)
• offers a loyalty scheme, and benefits for invited members.

See also Cottons for more information.

Did you know?
At the turn of the last century Angustura Bitters was kept in many households as a way to reduce biliousness?

The Soul of Angostura menu is available in all Cottons Rum Shack and Restaurants from September.

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