Upon entering the Walthamstow branch of Rhythm Kitchen, before the fragrant scent of food hits you, the sight of a back wall filled with rum does. With a specific menu dedicated just to various dark and white rum Rhythm Kitchen is the Caribbean food haven doing nothing by half measures.
It’s not until I’m seated that I pick up on the jovial reggae music playing in the background and start to really settle into what is certifiably the best sit down Caribbean meal in the entire area. I started with the rum punch as the back wall still had me transfixed. A vivid red just as sweet as it is sour and a healthy dose of Wray & Nephew white rum to satisfy.
It wasn’t long before I was pawing through the food menu. The first thing that thrilled me was the range, vegetarian, allergy free, traditionally charcoal cooked jerk chicken and special stewed meat dishes. It was a genuine struggle to make a selection but I managed. We tried Coconut Peppered Prawns and Jerk Wings, a triumph in flavour. Perfectly seasoned, the flavours were strong and intense but never overwhelming.
I moved on with a main of Oxtail, rice and peas and fried plantain.
The oxtail came as a slow-cooked stew in a thick and sumptuous dark brown gravy accompanied by lush butter beans. I could taste tomatoes, peppers and thyme and a whole body of other flavours that I can’t quite place. The rice and peas featured red kidney beans which gave the side a wholesome nutty flavour and a lovely reddish tint. Finally, the fried plantain gave the whole dish some yellow colour and a dash of sweet and savoury excellence. After sampling a mango sorbet cocktail I decided to do a deep dive into the truly impressive rum only menu the helpful staff talked me through some of the differences between dark and white rum and made some suggestions. I tried a dark Appleton rum which was sweet and spicy and warming.
Overall Rhythm Kitchen Walthamstow is an absolute must visit. If you’re looking for ample portions and potent liquor from easily one of the best Rum menus in the city then I honestly cannot tell you anywhere else you need to be.