Fish, Wings and Tings has been serving up ‘nouvelle Caribbean fare’ from its sole outlet in Brixton Village since 2012 – though it has also spread its wings to the nearby Boxpark Croydon in pop-up form in the past.
The menu says:
“Jerk chicken with tamarind BBQ sauce, rice and peas, coleslaw, and pineapple and mango chutney.”
The hype says:
Time Out customer review: “The best Caribbean food I have ever eaten”; Yelp: “What an experience! So delicious”; TripAdvisor: “One of the best Caribbean meals I’ve ever had in London.”
On recently realising that we have never covered Caribbean in this column, I quickly find myself Brixton-bound. For those who haven’t been relatively recently, this famous south London spot now finds itself at the centre of a puzzling impressive dichotomy: gentrified to the point of being near-unaffordable to non-trustafarians, while somehow still being almost as grimy as during its colourful past, when it first became associated with reggae, raves and, er, riots.
The best place to experience this clash between culture and cash is the indoor market near the station, which happens to house Fish, Wings and Tings. This corner Caribbean café has been serving up simple, authentic fare for seven years now, earning a treasured place in the hearts (and stomachs) of locals and tourists alike.
Wanting to sample something fairly traditional for the purposes of this report, I opt for the ‘Tings’ third of the trio, and ultimately the jerk chicken (over the curried goat) on the recommendation of my waiter. The large portion of leg offers the perfect balance between sweet and spicy – which is almost disappointing as I was looking forward to experimenting with the abundance of homemade sauces. They blend equally well with the rice and peas that sit on the side, though, with mango chutney and the bottled Granny Suzy Pepper Sauce making things fruity and fiery, respectively; or you can just keep things sweet with the addition of more of the tamarind sauce. Returning to the meat of the matter, though, the chicken remains the real star of this Brixton mortar outlet’s staple dish, somehow managing to be almost as tender as it is tasty.
Should you believe the hype?
Definitely – unmissable enough before you have even gotten around to adding the extras, this is customisable Caribbean at its finest.