8 months ago

Wood and Water; an elevated Modern British eatery with a Jamaican soul

What started as Three Little Birds has evolved into Wood & Water, ‘a modern British restaurant with a Jamaican soul’. We checked it out.

We headed over to Wood and Water in Brixton to see what this restaurant was all about. It is a truly fantastic place and has so much soul to it. Owner, April Jackson, is a powerhouse of a person who has multiple eateries in Brixton and this one is the second chapter of it’s predecessor, 3 Little Birds. After Covid, April wanted to elevate Jamaican food and Wood and Water is the product of that desire. Here you will find modern British food with a Jamaican heart and a menu full of local produce that’s been inspired by the flavours of April’s childhood.

The menu has a strong focus on seasonality. It’ll change every 3-4 months but will always be made up with loads of beautifully presented, tasty small plates that are perfect for sharing. Away from the food, there’s an impressive list of cocktails. With a strong focus on rum, you’ll find innovative, fun mixes to wash down a meal with. Or stick to the wines- there’s a focus on lesser known grape varieties to suit any tastebud.

We chatted to April and asked her about some of her favourite dishes and what has to be on the order. If you’re there for dinner then the curry goat croquettes with plantain ketchup are a great way to get a taste of what Wood and Water is all about. It’s all the flavours of Jamaican cuisine made into little sophisticated bites. Then there the sweet potato gnocchi with callaloo pesto that has had to become a permanent feature on the menu. A great way to try out callaloo in a familiar way.

If you’re there earlier then check out the ackee and saltfish with bammy (a cassava flatbread) and plantain for brunch. April said that “for non-Jamaicans this is a window into the unique flavours of Jamaican food and as our national dish it fills me with great pride“. The ‘Pops Beans’ was a dish inspired by her dad and comes with a fried egg on toast for a comforting breakfast.

And to drink? The Sinaloa has become a lot of people’s favourite drink ever. Boozy, smokey from a hit of Mezcal and slightly fruity or if you want to try a twist on a classic try the Pimento Old Fashioned. It’s made with rum, not whiskey, and is there to challenge the stereotype that rum isn’t just reserved for frozen daiquiris at all-inclusive resorts…

We also asked April about what makes her venues so special and her response charmed us. “I genuinely feel that there is no where else like them. I believe we have created the most beautiful spaces in Brixton. Far too often I feel that people describe the venues in Brixton as shabby chic, however there seems to be more weight on the shabby rather than the chic and I would like to think that our guests appreciate the atmosphere we have gone to great lengths to create. Customers should know us for our warm hospitality, you can escape within our venues as they have a distinct feel, our customers probably need to have Shazam ready and loaded because music plays a serious role in the vibe. Our menus offer gems for they are heavily influenced by myself and Lee’s eclectic backgrounds (I was born here, raised in Jamaica, lived in NYC and France, whereas Lee is half English and Chinese was born in Oxford, grew up in Scotland and South Africa). Ultimately customers should know that we are a truly independent business aiming to push the bar and deliver memorable experiences.

Having visited the venues we can vouch for what April says. Our experiences were certainly memorable and felt incredibly special and you won’t go wrong with any place that has her brains behind it. We were treated so well and each visit felt like a really fun exploration into a cuisine we aren’t overly familiar with. These places really are true Brixton gems.

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