London’s best Caribbean restaurants, according to chef Marie Mitchell

Marie Mitchell started hosting hype-worthy Caribbean supper clubs across London almost a decade ago. First was family affair Pop’s Kitchen and then roti-and-rum favourite, Island Social Club. Now its time for the chef’s debut cookbook, Kin, a celebration of the food that made her.

‘I’ve always enjoyed writing and wanted to use it as a chance for me to really understand who I am and where I come from,’ explains Marie. ‘So much of what we learn about black history, and specifically Caribbean or African history is very much through osmosis through our family – we don’t learn about it in school.’ Raised in south London by Jamaican parents, Marie’s book features curries her father used to cook, as well as dishes that bring West Indian cultures together, such as the Sri Lankan-rooted Colombo chicken curry, Cuban mojo sauce, and chutney inspired by Indo-Caribbean communities in Guyana and Trindad and Tobago. 

But don’t expect Marie to be opening up her own place anytime soon. ‘I actually never had any designs to have a restaurant,’ she says. ‘When I ended up with one for when we had the long term residency with Island Social Club (at the now closed Curio Cabal in Haggerston), I was like – how did this happen?!’ So the only way to taste the flavours of Kin is to get the book and cook them yourself. In the meantime, try one of Marie Mitchell’s favourite Caribbean restaurants in London.

Fish Wings & Tings
Fish Wings & Tings

1. Fish, Wings & Tings and Veg & Tings, Brixton

Marie: ‘If you’re in Brixton and you want something delicious and quick to eat you go here. Brian (Danclair) who runs it is just really lovely and a great supporter of the community, so I think he’s someone that we should also go and support too. The newer Veg & Tings is all vegetarian options. The other day my friend had roti from there and it looked absolutely outrageous. Fish, Wings & Tings is next door and serves the classics. The reggae wings with the pineapple and mango chutney, yes please. I also like the split pea and callaloo fritters with tamarind chutney.’

Granville Arcade, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8PR

Roti Stop
Laura Gallant for Time Out

2. Roti Stop, Stamford Hill

‘I started going there when I defected north of the river from south London. Of course, the roti there is amazing. I love a good channa and pumpkin – that speaks to me – and a sorrel punch. It’s a takeout restaurant and an institution in north London known for their roti skins; you get the roti with the curry all wrapped in there. For me roti is a really comforting dish. People think you only have it when it’s cold weather, but it’s equally satisfying on a really hot day. It just feels like home.’

36B Stamford Hill, N16 6XZ

3. Rhythm Kitchen, Walthamstow

‘They opened on Hoe Street in 2018 and they’ve also got one in Westfield Stratford as well. The whole menu is delicious. I’m not an afternoon tea person, but if I’m ever going to have one, the fact that they do a Caribbean-inspired one is the only time that I was like, ‘okay, let’s do this.’ It’s classics reinvented; you get some Jamaican starters like fritters and things, but also scones and cakes. They do delicious rum cocktails too.’  

257 Hoe St, E17 9PT

4. Mauby by Jerk Off BBQ, Brockley

‘They’re super lovely and they’re about to open a site in Brockley that they’ve been crowdfunding for. They were in Deptford before as Jerk Off BBQ and the fact that they’re opening a bricks and mortar site I really want to support. A lot of places do jerk on a barbecue, but it is delicious. Daniel who heads up the jerk side of things and Heleena are both super sound – small business, great food, and their sides are excellent as well – plantain, rice and peas and nice little salads.’

1 Harefield Road, SE4 1LW

5. Mixed Blessings, Tooting

‘Mixed Blessings is a bakery in Tooting and just reminds me of bakeries I’d go to when I was little. I would always get a chicken patty, as well as bun and hardo bread. My mum used to go to a hairdressers around the corner, so we’d stock up on our staples, because where we lived in Putney there were no Caribbean bakeries. Bakeries like this are institutions, but quite a lot of them have shut over the years. Around Easter and Christmas, you’d have queues out the door. People get there at like the crack of dawn. My Nan used to go to one in Wandsworth and get there at six in the morning and get everyone’s bread. Then we’d go to hers on the weekend and pick up our stuff! They’re real community safe places and strongholds and we need to continue supporting them.’

118 Mitcham Rd, SW17 9NH

Kin is out now