Situated in an old Grade 1 listed warehouse in West India Quay, Rum & Sugar offers one of London's most extensive rum collections. Showcasing our Dockland history, this is exactly where rum and sugar was stored in London when it was shipped over from the Caribbean. Now reincarnated into a rum bar with a modern British menu, you couldn't get a better location.
Last week I was invited over to try out their new Spring menu and to try my hand at making some rum cocktails. Sounds pretty harmless, right?
We settled in with a little initiation to our evening with a cocktail made with rum, vermouth, apple and ginger. Some bar snacks including pulled chicken twists, chilli cheese fritters and sweet potato crackers. Anywhere with snacks before the main event is a winner in my books.
Then to actually start we had beetroot cured salmon, smoked potato salad with a beetroot and spiced rum purée. Beetroot has a natural affinity for salmon, perfectly earthy and great with smoked potatoes and the tang of the purée.
Next up, herb crusted cod, red pepper ragù with a peppered leak velouté. Deliciously tender cod with a fresh lift with the piquant ragù. Who needs fish and chips when you can have crispy leaks like this.
Sweet cajun glazed chicken salad: avocado mousse, crispy shallots, semi dried tomatoes, grilled baby gem and parmesan crisps. I'd eat salad every day if it could be like this one.
And my absolute favourite, baked chocolate ganache, orange caramel, salted nut brittle and clotted cream. There's no doubt that I'm going to try and recreate this at home.
Suitably stuffed, we moved up to the bar to learn some cocktail making tips. It turns out that free pouring isn't as easy as it looks but great fun for giving generous measures! We started off with a dirty mojito made with Ron Barceló Gran Añejo, a dark rum aged for 4 years in an oak barrel and then passed through a charcoal filter. Mixed with equal parts of sugar syrup and lime juice, some slapped mint (a little trick to intensify aromas) and muddled with crushed ice.
My night at Rum & Sugar reminded me of a holiday in the Dominican Republic a few years ago, rum-soaked and full of great food. I shall most certainly return to try the rest of the menu. Its been a long time since I've been this excited by a restaurant in London.
Thanks to the fabulous Rum & Sugar team and Shy PR for inviting me and for their hospitality. All rum-soaked opinions are my own.