Test Driving Roe - a serious seafood treat at Pop Brixton

breadSuper ink and Guinness soda bread to kick things off - if you're lucky you might get a bit of this to take home with you - along with seaweed butter and whipped cods roe.

So what do we need to know about Roe?

This is the first solo venture by Simon Whiteside who was one half of the duo behind Hook in Camden. It's a sustainable seafood spot - focusing on British and Irish produce.

Where exactly is it?

It's in the container villave of Pop Brixton - about a 5-minute walk from Brixton tube. Here in Pop Brixton he's taken over the space opposite Smoke & Salt. If you went to Kricket when it was here it's a very similar setup - room for just 32 diners (if you include the outside terrace).

Where's a good place to meet friends for a drink first?

Nearby, the Craft Beer Co on Brixton Station Road looked pretty lively even on a wet Tuesday night but the most obvious choice is at Pop Brixton itself. You can either head to the main bar area there but our spot of choice would be The New Zealand Cellar where we've always had the loveliest service and super wines.

Where should I sit?

There are just two long tables inside - both seating around 10 people each. So it's a get to know your dining neighbour, communal kind of affair. If you have private matters to discuss, this definitely isn't the place.

And what's on the menu?

There are the usual snacks and small plates as well as a series of larger plates that you could share or have as a main. And one (amazing) dessert. Here's what we had:

aranciniCuttlefish and ink arancini with the cheesiest of Pecorino cheese foams - £6. Absolutely top class arancini - the inky cuttlefish being a wonder, and are even better when covered in that cheesy goodness.

monkfishMonkfish carpaccio with cauliflower and pickled shitake (£7) - taste, texture and finesse - all perfectly balanced.

squidSquid 'noodles' with fermented hot sauce, sesame and pac choi - (£7) - the hot sauce giving a proper kick without overwhelming the dish.

codSpiced cod with fermented lentils, roast onion squash and baby red chard (£14) - a great example of the finesse that the kitchen maintains in its cooking of all of the fish. 

skateSkate wing with red wine, Jerusalem artichokes and wild mushrooms - (£15) - there's bits of samphire in there, a pungent artichoke puree and a beautifully cooked bit of skate. 

cakeThere's only one dessert, but you're going to want it - stout cake with Bailey's cream cheese and chocolate soil (£6). We shared this, but we would definitely not the next time. 

Anything for vegetarians?

On the main menu - only really the Burnt Hispi cabbage with seaweed butter, but they will do vegetarian options on request.

What about drink?

A short, but interesting wine list features all wines by the 125ml and 175ml glass (options we approve of) and by the bottle. It's all pretty well priced and our eminently drinkable bottle of Caparrone Pecorino was at the very top of that price range at £27.

Overall thoughts:

With no investors, Simon and his wife Cairene are putting their own money into realising their dreams. There's bound to be a bricks and mortar restaurant in the future, so why not get down here and you'll be able to say you were in from the start? 100% worth crossing town for.

 Hot Dinners dined as guests of Roe. Prices correct at time of publication.


More about Roe

Where is it? Unit S38, Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ.

How to book: book online

Find out more: Follow them on Instagram @roebrixton.


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