A Review of the Original Flava Restaurant in Brixton
A new Caribbean restaurant has arrived in South London with the opening of Original Flava’s first-ever permanent restaurant residency in Brixton. You may know them as the authors of the Natural Flava and Original Flava cookbooks, but now the brothers behind Original Flava, Craig and Shaun McAnuff are bringing their delicious recipes to life in their first restaurant. The eatery reflects their Jamaican heritage and passion for sharing the unique flavours of the Caribbean. With a menu filled with traditional dishes, such as jerk chicken, curry goat, and beef pattie, as well as modern Caribbean-inspired recipes, Original Flava is bringing its twist on a taste of the islands to Londoners. My mum and I booked a table for lunch on opening weekend and this post will share our thoughts on the food and experience.
About Original Flava
Original Flava is a Caribbean food & lifestyle platform founded by brothers Shaun and Craig in 2016. Inspired by their Jamaican descent, they share delicious, authentic & modern Caribbean recipes made easy. They began sharing their food recipe videos online in 2016 - their videos began to go viral and their online following hit over 70,000 in one month. Their passion for Caribbean food was first inspired by their mother and grandmother, and their love for food grew from eating to cooking when they started adding their own twist to the traditional dishes of the Caribbean.
Shaun and Craig have since written popular Original Flava cookbooks including Original Flava and Natural Flava. They have received worldwide recognition from news outlets such as the BBC, Buzzfeed & BET Network whilst amassing a huge online following over the years.
This new exciting venture is their first-ever restaurant residency.
Original Flava Cookbooks
After the successful self-publishing their first cookbook Caribbean Cookbook in 2017, brothers Craig and Shaun McAnuff have written two further popular Caribbean cookbooks:
The Original Flava Cookbook is the duo’s second cookbook published in 2019. The cookbook includes recipes that aim to be easy, accessible and tasty. Inspired by their Jamaican grandmother’s food, it includes recipes for Jamaican classics like ackee and saltfish and curry goat, with other Caribbean favourites such as garlic butter lobster and Trinidadian doubles. They’ve also included dishes with their own modern spin, like honey-roasted jerk-spiced salmon, plantain beanburgers and banana fritter cheesecake.
Natural Flava, published in 2022, is a Caribbean-influenced vegan cookbook featuring delicious, easy-to-follow, plant-based recipes. The cookbook includes over 100 recipes all with Caribbean flavours that just happen to be vegan. It includes dishes like potato and chickpea curry with roti, jerk cauliflower wings and sweet potato stew. Inspired by Jamaican food’s authentic vegan history with the Rastafarian Ital diet, this cookbook features vegan dishes that make the most of fresh and vibrant Caribbean ingredients like plantain, pumpkin and pineapple.
The Original Flava Restaurant Menu
After sharing hundreds of their popular Caribbean recipes online and in their cookbooks over the last few years, it must have been a difficult job to narrow the dishes down to one menu! However, it looks like the duo have done a good job with a selection of ‘Likkle Plates’, ‘Main Tings’, ‘Pon Di Side’ dishes and ‘Sweet Tings’ desserts.
The Original Flava menu, of course, includes traditional Jamaican dishes, such as jerk chicken with a choice of ‘flava’ - original jerk, honey & mango and hot jerk. There’s also a choice of having a quarter jerk chicken, boneless jerk chicken and a vegan option, jerk jackfruit. Other traditional dishes include Jamaican pepper prawns, beef pattie, curry goat and rice & peas.
The menu also has a choice of Caribbean-influenced dishes with the duo’s signature modern twist including honey fried chicken, jerk BBQ salmon, jerk loaded plantain fries and honey mac & cheese.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, there is also a good selection of dishes for you that include plantain channa roti taco, BBQ fried jackfruit, plantain & chickpea curry, jewel jackfruit and a vegan jerk burger.
Of course, we also have to mention the ‘sweet tings’ desserts - rum cake and apple & mango crumble which are both suitable for vegetarians.
Head to the Market House Brixton website to see the full menu.
What did we order?
We secured a lunchtime table on Original Flava’s opening weekend. Choosing which dishes we wanted to try was a tough task but we decided on the honey fried chicken, jerk BBQ salmon, jerk spiced fries and honey mac & cheese as well as the rum cake with ice-cream.
All the dishes were absolutely delicious, and you could taste that they were made with absolute care and attention. It was great to see both Shaun and Craig busy in the kitchen preparing the meals, so if you ever wanted to taste what the Original Flava cookbook recipes were actually designed to taste like, and how your attempts match up, this is the perfect opportunity!
We tried to choose our favourite dish, but came to the conclusion that we enjoyed everything equally and would have to visit again soon to try everything else! All the meal needed was a delicious glass of Caribbean rum punch to wash it all down 🍹
Weekly Deals at the Original Flava Restaurant
If you want to try the Original Flava restaurant, but also love a good deal, the menu includes weekly deals available Monday to Sunday. From Monday to Friday, the menu includes £10.50 ‘Mad Ting Meals’ during certain hours which includes their main dishes served with rice & peas or fries along with coleslaw and salad.
Monday is ‘Meatless Monday’ which includes any vegan and veggie mains for just £10. Wednesdays are ‘Belly Full Half Price Wednesday’ where you can buy one main, and get the second half price. Saturdays are the day of the bottomless jerk with a side of fries for just £17 and Sundays are the days for their ‘Carib-British Sunday Roast’ which includes a choice of jerk chicken, lamb, snapper fish or jackfruit along with rice & peas, roast potatoes, vegetables, a Yorkshire pudding, coleslaw and jerk gravy all from £17.50.
Head to the Market House Brixton website to see the full menu with details of the weekly deals.
The Original Flava Restaurant Location
The Original Flava restaurant residency is in Market House Brixton, a bar, restaurant and event space that offers a selection of beers, spirits, and cocktails on its drinks menu. It is located on Coldharbour Lane, a short 3-minute walk from Brixton tube station. As it is located in the heart of Brixton, it’s perfect for those who wish to visit the restaurant and explore Brixton.
If you’re looking for other things to explore in Brixton before or after eating at the Original Flava restaurant residency, here are a few ideas:
Black Cultural Archives
Black Cultural Archives is an archive and heritage centre located in Brixton’s Windrush Square, London. It is devoted to preserving and sharing the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. Be sure to check their website to see what events they have on when you plan to visit.
Brixton Market is a popular street market in the heart of Brixton, South London. It is known for selling a wide range of foods and products but is best known for its African and Caribbean produce. Be sure to stop by the fruit and veg stalls to get the ingredients to try a recipe from the Original Flava cookbook, or one of our Caribbean-inspired recipes!
Black Culture Market
The Black Culture Market takes place on select weekends throughout the year. It takes place over two days in the heart of Brixton, offering a diverse, quality shopping and cultural experience. The event features a great selection of traders, music, products and culture at The Department Store, Brixton. Check their website to find out the date of the next market.
Diverse Gift Shop
Diverse is a lifestyle and gifts store based in Brixton that sells a range of greeting cards, books, accessories and gifts. Founded by Anita Thorpe, it is a popular shopping destination in the Brixton area and has been nominated for a number of retail industry awards. We may be biased as we’re lucky enough to count Diverse as one of our stockists, but we think it's a must-visit destination if you’re in Brixton!
If you’ve been following the Original Flava on social media over the years, are a fan of the Original Flava cookbooks or even if you’ve never heard of Original Flava before now but just love Caribbean food, their restaurant is well worth a visit. The food is delicious and of a very high standard. You can tell that time, care and attention have gone into creating the menu and cooking each dish. We definitely recommend treating yourself to a meal out with Original Flava!
All information correct at time of writing. Check with Market House and Original Flava for the most up to date information.
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