Cottons, London’s longest-running Caribbean restaurant group, has recently relocated its Shoreditch branch up the road in Hoxton Square. A venue that screams abundance in every sense – fun, vibes, portion sizes and the variety of drinks and dishes, writer Giverny Masso takes a trip to the vibrant new space to sample its food and cocktail menu
Cottons is a brand that screams fun from the moment you step through the front door. The restaurant is buzzing with the sound of excited chatter mingled with pulsing tunes, as waiters bustle around the tables with trays of eclectic cocktails.
The interiors are decorated with muted beige and green tones with the wall behind our table lined with jars of weird and wonderful pickles. When I visit, the place is decorated for Halloween – and they’ve gone all-out in the general spirit of abundance that is characteristic of the warm and welcoming establishment. I do, however, get a bit of a shock when I turn the corner in search of the washrooms, and am greeted by a looming skeleton!
The food and drink
First we look at the cocktail menu and are overwhelmed with the plethora of options – both unique Cottons creations and more classic concoctions. My guest and I opt for and adore the gin-based Ebony Royal (£10.50) and pear vodka-based St Georges Collins (£10.50).
When it comes to the food, there is an impressive range of vegetarian options that do not feel like an afterthought.
We begin with the sweet potato patties (£6.50) and the doubles and chickpea pumpkin curry (£6.50), which are enough to comprise a small meal in themselves.
For mains we opt for the two vegetarian curries – the Brown Stew Cauliflower and Jackfruit (£16), served with coleslaw, and the Vegan Curried Mutton (£16.50) with jackfruit and aubergine, rice and peas and raw slaw. We also get a side of sweet potato fries (£4.50).
While both curries are jackfruit-based, I’m a huge fan of the fleshy fruit and a firm believer that you can’t have too much of the stuff. In both dishes, it’s cooked to absolute perfection; incredibly moist and succulent. We savour both curries, and particularly enjoy the creative addition of the coleslaw, which provides a creamy antidote to the rich, spicy curry sauce.
We are, of course, absolutely stuffed but heroically manage to make our way through most of the food before sharing the mixed berry cheesecake with vanilla cream and frosted berries for dessert (£6.50), which is decadent enough for two people.
Diners wishing to continue their night can move downstairs to the bar/club area – which I accidentally stumble upon when trying to make my way back upstairs from the bathrooms. It looks like a fun addition to the evening, offering a Guinness World Record-winning 300-strong rum list. However by this point I’m far too (pleasantly) full to think about dancing!
The Wordrobe verdict
Cottons screams abundance in every sense – fun, vibes, portion sizes and the variety of drinks and dishes. You will definitely not go hungry (or thirsty) at this lively establishment – I would highly recommend a visit for a fun night out with friends.
Make it happen
Where: 5-47 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PD
How: For more information to book visit cottons-restaurant.co.uk
Words by Giverny Masso, writer