Food & Drink: Three Little Birds, Café & Rum Bar, Clapham


Three Little Birds, a Jamaican restaurant and rum bar in Brixton, has just opened a second outlet in Clapham, writes Toby Porter.

It’s a big step outside what might be considered a Caribbean bar’s comfort zone – but worth the gamble.

The first one was set up by April Jackson (pictured above), a former 2008 Miss Jamaica who also appeared on TVs The Apprentice in 2015.

It is now an established presence in Coldharbour Lane, with the mix of clientele reflecting the changing nature of Brixton.

I’m a particular fan of the chicken burger, but the calamari is also fresh enough to hit the spot. The sweet potato fries are also not far off the best I’ve had.

The menu advised having two mains and a side, which is not advisable, though, if you are going for the big red round-bapped burger.

I didn’t eat anything until lunchtime the next day despite a 20km cycle in-between.

The non-alcoholic mango and blackcurrant cocktail was perfect for washing out a prickled mouth and the service was perky and helpful.

I even Shazamed a couple of tunes there, which is not bad for a very fussy consumer – Sara Lugo and Chronixx, in case you are interested.

There is also bottomless brunches every weekend at both locations in Brixton and Battersea Rise.

These include unlimited prosecco, banana pancakes with caramelised bananas and rum sauce, or the island’s most traditional dish, called the ‘Jamaican Breakfast’.  It is the national dish, consisting of a fruit, ackee and saltfish.

Their website said: “Three Little Birds is the spot to indulge in the best of all things Jamaican.

April Jackson opened this café, boutique and rum bar to celebrate her island’s cuisine, music and talent, while giving guests the opportunity to escape as they journey to the Caribbean.

“Throughout her travels, April has always held on to her Jamaican roots and Three Little Birds is a reflection of this.

“Reinterpreted classical recipes and artisanal rum cocktails alongside warm service breathe new life into Caribbean eateries as you may know them.”

Jackson said: “Jamaica was portrayed as a ghetto or a beach, neither of which was the circumstances in which I was raised. I wanted the opportunity to give a different picture. “This is a little less stereotypical. We still use the flavours, the food, the cocktails. There is always something a little bit surprising.

“I was born in England and raised in Jamaica. I have lived in France and New York. That is the story behind the menus.

“Jamaica has done so much for the world, for pop culture. It is time to show the nuances and not just the main things that people associate up to now.”

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