By Lindsay Faller
Fish, Wings & Tings, 96 Coldharbour Lane, 020 7733 3401
I’ve got to be honest, I had never really even considered eating at Fish Wings & Tings until the editor of this blog strongly recommended I check it out. I recently reviewed a stalwart of Caribbean cooking in the area, which I thought was pretty damn delicious. I figured I’d found my default choice in Brixton to get good jerk chicken, rotis and curries, but I was wrong. Fish Wings n Tings has landed on the Brixton restaurant scene and usurped this aforementioned favourite.
My dining partner and I visited the tiny, one-roomed restaurant on one of the Coldharbour Lane-facing corners of Granville Arcade aka ‘Brixton Village’ on a very cold Wednesday evening. The place was quite full for mid-week, and the owner, Brian Danclair, welcomed us and found us a spot in a cosy corner, where we perused the menus and breathed in warmth and spice. I had read a few reviews online before coming, and most were unanimous in their adoration of Brian’s offerings. One compared the Codfish Fritters to “a high five from Jesus”. Incredible praise indeed.
Anything food-wise that’s compared to a semi-religious experience is surely not to be missed, so we were disappointed to hear they weren’t on the menu for the evening. No bother. We chose instead the Reggae Wings and Red Stripe Tempura Prawns to start; Jerk Chicken (me) and Curry Goat (my dining partner) for mains.
A decent sized portion of Reggae Wings came slathered in a sticky tamarind BBQ sauce. They were slightly sweet, finger-suckingly delicious, with an enjoyable latent heat that crept up slowly and delicately at the finish. The meaty prawns were fried in a wonderfully light and flavourful batter and were served with more lip-smacking tamarind sauce. I began to understand the whole “high five” comparison.
After a bit of recovery time, we were brought our mains. My jerk chicken was incredible. Without at touch of dryness, it was tender, the sauce spicy and sweet. It was by far the best jerk chicken I have ever had. My dining partner’s goat curry was equally incredible. I am not the biggest fan of lamb, mutton or goat, but I was thoroughly impressed at the richness of flavour in the meat, without a hint of the gaminess that tends to accompany such animals. Almost like a stew, the meat was tender and the sauce had a decent amount of heat. Both dishes were served with sizeable portions of plain rice and coleslaw and were excellent salves for the heat. The latter was especially delicious and cooling.
The menu is simple and flavourful, the restaurant welcoming. Brian’s little corner of Brixton is relaxed and friendly and will hopefully be here to stay. Only open for six months, he is clearly adept is producing consistently fantastic Caribbean food in his tiny kitchen. We left with flushed cheeks and full bellies. I, for one, shall be returning, not only for the heat of the food, but also for the warmth of the owner and his accomplished kitchen.
Lindsay blogs at www.blondevsbland.com