Food & DrinkLifestyle

Original Flava, Brixton reviewed by Paloma Lacy

I’d been dreaming about visiting Original Flava since it opened at Market House, Brixton, some months ago.

Everything about its incarnation drew me in.

The coming home of two brothers, Craig and Shaun McAnuff from Thornton Heath, who have realised their dream of a food empire in less than a decade.

Their journey started on a Facebook page, catapulting them into the world of publishing and on to TV.

This is a tale of epic proportions.

Pictures: Paloma Lacy

Housed in a well-known Brixton bar, an old haunt of mine, it’s been notoriously difficult to book a table since a few famous faces shimmied through the door so I was surprised to see just three tables taken on the day I arrived.

Rather sweetly, I was seated next to two ladies and was able to overhear their chat while I waited for my friend.

One of the ladies was a retired teacher and she’d come to toast the success of an ex-pupil – one of the McAnuff brothers.

Sadly, neither was in the kitchen.

I’m sure they are busy guys these days but I was probably as disappointed as their old teacher.

Given the Jamaican roots of the place, I was expecting more scotch bonnet pepper than I could taste or indeed see.

The waiter asked the strength of spice I was looking for and I went ‘hot’, the standard choice for me.

Food and drink at Original Flava

This left me wondering if the heat had been dumbed down for all.

I know my beloved chilli is not to everyone’s taste and certainly not to the friend accompanying me.

There was no bottle of pepper sauce either or not that we were offered.

I enjoyed Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas – at its lunchtime special price point of £11 – but wasn’t wowed.

My friend tried Caribbean Fish & Chips, which I’d heard people talk about.

I’d like to go back and try the Carib-British Sunday Roast.

I left with two takeaways. Honey Mac & Cheese was sensational, sweetness elevating an already great dish.

Less good was the Rum Punch, which lacked rum, strangely enough.

I’m sure there was some of the spirit in it but not as much as a discerning palate would expect.

This smacked of a bean counter’s hand on the tiller.


Food and drink at Original Flava.Pictures: Paloma Lacy

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