”Laid back vibes where the food does all the talking”

So yes we are now into food reviews now, and I do not claim to be Lloyd Grossman or Gordon Ramsay but a guy that just enjoys wholesome food of whom had been invited down to the E17 district to sample the tastes of the Caribbean at a new restaurant called Rhythm Kitchen.

Rhythm Kitchen is a brand you may have come across if you have ever visited Westfield Stratford, and if you fancied trying the food on offer then you may certainly have enjoyed it. In Stratford, however, this is a counter service. In Walthamstow E17, they have now opened up the first sit down restaurant environment.

So as we turned out of Walthamstow Central and up the road we looked out for this venue. Only a couple of minutes later and we saw this small restaurant front and crossed over to enter what was our venue Rhythm Kitchen. Now, this won’t be the biggest restaurant you ever see, but they do say big things come in small packages. The restaurant seats approximately 25-30 people in total, with a bar stacked full of Rum at the rear of it.

We were welcomed by the three staff on service and seated at our reserved table quickly and efficiently. Provided menu’s so that we could view the food and decide what drink we wanted to start with.

Being a beer guy I had 3 Caribbean beers and a guest ale to choose from, Carib, Red Stripe, and Stag. The latter appealing as i had never tried it. My wife, however, a wine and cocktail drinker had a lot more choice. She had been pointed towards the cocktail menu and her face lit up finally deciding on a Rum Runner which consisted of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, blackberry liqueur, crème de banana liqueur, orange juice, grenadine, and crushed ice.

Scanning our eyes across the menu was a lip licking sensation trying to pick out our starter and main meal, I just could decide, however the perk of being with my wife was that we could share our starters. So i went for Honey Glazed Jerk Wings (Sweet and spicy honey glazed wings, served with Pineapple Jam) and the wife picked out the Coconut Peppered Prawns (Shell-on prawns served in a homemade coconut spicy pepper sauce and mini dumplings).

Jerk is the key to the restaurant and they pride themselves on their jerk cooking, so I was intrigued to taste these. My Intrigue soon turned to delight as the taste landed full on my tongue and no sooner had I eaten one, I had eaten three more. The taste was beautiful, reminding me that it could of come off a bbq, but in this case the grill. The Jerk marinade having been left to marinate for the 24 hours prior to my arrival ensured the chicken had soaked up the flavours. My fingers were left a little sticky however they provide finger bowls to clean them up with! – They obviously knew I’m not a tidy eater.

Onto the coconut Peppered Prawns, and a prawn lover i am indeed. Having to de-shell them or at least I think we were meant too we sampled the king prawn, dipping it in the spicy sauce and again the mouth got a nice surprise with a kick of the spicy sauce it sat in. These prawns were large and juicy and for those that love them, you will certainly taste the freshness. I only got to enjoy a couple of these as my wife finished off what was there.

After our plates were cleared we were asked if we wished to have our mains or have a break which was quite considerate. Myself being me said no waiting – i wanted the next round of food. So after a short wait then received our main meals. Now priced very reasonably the main meal comes with two sides, and so with a pair eating provides you with plenty of bits to share if you get something different.

I went with BBQ Rib (half rack) as the main, Rice and Peas and Dumplings, my better half went for Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Tamarind BBQ sauce, Jerk Chips, and Plantain.

Now all I can say when this rib came out it was the biggest single rib I think I have ever seen with plenty of meat on it too. When I took my knife to it, the meat just slid off the bone. Connoisseurs will know that’s a great sign of a good rib! The taste again sublime and was a pleasure to devour, the bbq taste and sauce all left on my lips.

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The wife enjoyed her bbq chicken kebabs also, a tad of confusion with the server however over how the bbq sauce came in that she thought it was on the side, where it actually came with it poured over. My wife isn’t the biggest fan of bbq sauce, however, did still tuck in and was happy to discover although covered in the sauce the taste wasn’t overpowering at all and in fact complimented the chicken well.

The extra sides of dumplings, plantain and jerk chips were all a treat. The dumplings soft as could be, we were offered hot sauce of which I accepted so was dipping my dumplings into this, however, be warned the hot sauce was as advertised and did create a bit of a sweat on. Jerk Chips were just lovely and a good cut of chip they were. Lastly the plantain, this was the first time either myself or wife had tried this but being my first time in a Caribbean restaurant I thought why not (although I’m known for being a fussy eater) and so you ask what did they taste like?? Well quite nice! The wife said they were a bit like sweet parsnips, which I agreed with.. (i love parsnips so that’s a good comparison) others may have their own likeness of which to attribute them too but all I can say was that we enjoyed them and will definitely be open to them if I ever see them on a menu again.

As well as cocktails and beer they also have an unbelievable collection of Rum with over 60 Types on view behind the bar so if you like your rum then this could be heaven also for you.

Overall this was a very pleasant meal in a relaxed setting. We were not hassled or rushed at any point and were left to interact with the friendly staff also.

We were lucky enough to speak to Delroy the joint owner and chef within the restaurant and he explained his vision and why it was different to other Caribbean restaurants. He pays homage to his life and experiences merging the Caribbean and the British having too spent a large portion of his life here. The venue itself isn’t clad in Caribbean flags and memorabilia all over to see, it gives a laid-back vibe with unsuspecting homages with the pictures on the wall and background music which gives the place a laid-back vibe where the food does the talking.

The restaurant has a good deal of takeaway business also as we saw plenty of Deliveroo drivers popping in to collect orders.

In total, the meal and drinks would have come in at just under £45 which was definitely worth it I feel. It’s an unsuspecting restaurant that if you don’t look up you may just walk past but with food like it has, will have no problem becoming the go-to for a meal in the Walthamstow area, and for those living further away – a good pick for a relaxed evening out.

Check Ryhtym Kitchen and you won’t have to go far for a taste of the Caribbean!