Pop Brixton has been home to a good few restaurants now. It’s where Kricket rose to fame and Smoke & Salt has gone from strength to strength. A new edition to this shipping container village, just behind Brixton station, is Roe.
Given its location, don’t expect hyper luxury. The long, narrow space is well utilised though with two communal tables and a kitchen at the end. It’s small alright, but fun.
We start with some nibbly bits which all go down a storm; ink and Guinness soda bread (£4), which comes with a punchy seaweed butter, mackerel pate (£4), octopus terrine (£5) and pickled mussels (£4). Until now, I’ve never been a fan of cold mussels (these are gorgeous).
Fried anchovies with malt vinegar emulsion (£6) have such a vinegary twang my mouth is still watering at the thought two weeks later. Cuttlefish and ink arancini with pecorino foam (£6) sounds more poncy than it is. The result is balls of rich, squidgy fish cuddled by cheesy bubbles. Lush stuff.
Squid noodles (£7) is a delicate and dainty little number – the antithesis to that cheesy foam. The squid has a cured rather than cooked texture which is brought alive by a fermented hot sauce.
Spiced cod (£15) is the only dish that doesn’t really do it for me. The fish lacks texture and the flavours don’t excite like with the other dishes. It’s OK, just not amazing.
Skate wing with Jerusalem artichoke and wild mushroom (£15) brings things back to ‘yum’. The fish is perfectly cooked with a lovely, brown buttery crust giving way to bright white strips of fish.
The best thing we eat is as simple as half a burnt hispi cabbage covered in seaweed butter (£5). The slightly bitter centre, the acrid burnt edges, the sweet leaves and the fishy butter make for an explosion of flavour and texture.
Pop Brixton gives budding restauranteurs the chance to open their own place in a city where rents and rates make it neigh on impossible. The shipping containers will be gone by 2020 to make way, no doubt, for flats. So give Roe some love, they don’t half deserve it.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant