Brighton’s Rum Kitchen is loud, lively and lots of fun

You’ve got to love a venue that serves drinks in a large flaming red skull-shaped glass with fireworks.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 1:17 pm
The jerk bowl at Rum Kitchen

You’ve got to love a venue that serves drinks in a large flaming red skull-shaped glass with fireworks.

Rum Kitchen set up shop this summer in Black Lion Street on the site formerly occupied by Jamie’s Italian and is a buzzing new addition to the city.

It’s the group’s fourth venue, its first outside of the capital, and it has made good use of the substantial surroundings, lots of semi-industrial looking tall stools benches and booths. Who doesn’t love a booth?

Rum Kitchen cocktails

We effortlessly slid into one of those booths on a busy Saturday night and the vibe was darn good.

It’s not just a loosely-themed Caribbean joint with a bit of reggae playing in the background, there’s a resident DJ (you’ll see him before you slip into a booth or sit on your stool) giving it plenty and playing some slick hip-hop and banging R&B and ragga infused tunes

So far so groovy but what about the grub? Saltfish fritters and Proper Fried Prawns were excellent moreish crispy starters, the former with a tangy tamarind dip and the latter with a punchy Scotch Bonnet mayo which was a introduction to the spice to come.

Their 48-hour marinaded jerk chicken is given a nice two-hour dip in a water bath before it reaches the grill and the effort is rewarded with juicy meat and an insanely tasty spiced exterior.

Just a few of the 100-plus rums at Rum Kitchen

The similarly slower-cooked mutton curry was tender with real depth of flavour and brought to mind the amazing homemade creations you’d tuck into on crowded West London street during carnival weekend.

The cocktails were coming thick and fast around us, with a suitably young and up up-for-it Saturday night crowd enjoying the 100-plus different rums, in shots, and those big lairy sharing glasses drunk through straws.

Our favourites were two Rum Kitchen creations , the RK Punch, a rum punch with turbo boosters in the form of Wray & Nephew, Don Q Spiced rums, and a Banana Colada, billed as a ‘prettier cousin of Pina Colada’ which turned out to be an exceptionally good bit of creamy mixology.

It’s not necessarily the sort of place you’d want to take an elderly aunt (unless your elderiy aunt likes hot food and everyone going bonkers to 50 Cent) but it’s a fun and lively place to enjoy equally lively food and drinks.

Jerk barbecue wings at Rum Kitchen