Wood & Water – Review
Wood & Water, the new fusion Caribbean soul concept (previously named Three Little Birds), sits along Coldharbour Lane in vibrant Brixton. The former cafe and Rum bar, now transformed into an intimate plush dining spot, serves modern British food with a Jamaican twist.
Wood & Water is a small and intimate restaurant with a cocktail lounge at the front (think high tables, black velvet bar stools and lower lounging sofas) and a dining area towards the rear – the perfect place for a date. The decor balances elegant and industrial, with sleek, bottle-green metro tiles lining the walls, cool marble tabletops, and exposed brick.
The menu, even though small, offers a great selection of meat, vegetarian, and vegan options. The waiter explained that the plates are very much for sharing over a cocktail / nice glass of wine. There’s an emphasis on the cocktails – the menu boasts a larger selection of these than anything else. The cocktails celebrate the sweet and spicy flavours hailing from Jamaica and spotlight spirits from across the tropics. Highlights include the St. Elizabeth Martini made with Porter’s Tropical Old Tom Gin, Pineapple Liqueur, Acid Blend and Herb Oil, and a Pimento Old Fashioned made with Plantation 5yr Barbados, Pimento and Chocolate. I wasn’t drinking, so ordered a glass of the non-alcoholic Prosecco – the waiter then asked if I’d like a Kombucha non-alcoholic cocktail and explained that some of the cocktails could be made non-alcoholic on request, so there are plenty of options for the non-drinkers amongst us. The drinks menu also showcases a variety of Sparkling, Red, White, and Orange wines.
I ordered a mixture of vegetarian/vegan plates: Goats Cheese with Pumpkin, a Beetroot Rose, Walnuts and Chilli Oil (V), the Spiced Sweet Potato with Creamed Callaloo, Vegan Feta, and Cancha (VG), and the Roasted Cauliflower with Beetroot Hummus Jerk, Pomegranate, and Tamarind (VG). In an ideal world, I would have ordered all of the sides but as a solo diner, I opted for just one, in the end, choosing the Plantain with Honey-Ginger Glaze and Pineapple Salsa. Other side offerings included Baby Carrots in Jerk Butter and Charred Baby Gem Lettuce with Sesame Oil, Sunflower Seeds and Cranberry.
The Goats Cheese dish came as three fried balls of soft Goats Cheese – crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. These paired perfectly with the Beetroot, and the Walnut added a crunch. The Cauliflower plate was deceptively spicy (but this was certainly my favourite dish), the waiter said that this dish was a previous favourite on the Three Little Birds menu. The Beetroot Jerk Hummus with the pomegranate seeds was a balance of sweet and spicy – I’d order this again and again.
The Sweet Potato dish was beautifully presented, however tasted like fancy Sweet Potato Fries. The Plantain on the other hand was delicious – the Plantain was cut into thick slices and covered in a Honey and Ginger Glaze; it was crispy but soft at the same time and paired with a Pineapple Salsa, which really brought the dish together. I’ve never been the biggest Plantain fan, but I’d quite like to give re-creating this dish myself a go.
For dessert, I ordered the Rhum, Agricole, Limoncello Curd, and Ginger Cheesecake – the fluffiest cheesecake I’ve had in a while. The waiter suggested I try the Crème Patisserie, Dark Chocolate, and Rum Caramel Banana Bread, as this was a favourite on the menu, but I didn’t have room for Banana Bread, so I’ll have to give that a try next time.
I’m keen to come back to this spot and try the weekend brunch! Diners can expect Jamaican and brunch classics at the weekends – Ackee and Saltfish with Bammy and Plantain and Avocado on Toast with Halloumi, a Fried Egg with Three Little Birds Chilli Sauce (it’s not brunch in London without avocado and eggs on the menu is it?). Brunchers can go bottomless for £25 and enjoy unlimited Rum Punch, Processo or Mimosa’s for up to 90mins. There’s also a ‘Designated Driver’ bottomless option which I think is a nice touch – unlimited non-alcoholic Prosecco, Mimosas, Orange Juice, and Coffee for the same 90 mins if you want to enjoy brunch, just sans the alcohol.
A final word on the service, the waiter was very attentive: his service stood out. He knew everything about the menu and was more than happy to give recommendations which really added to the dining experience. Check out Wood & Water for cocktails, food with a Jamaican twist and excellent service the next time you’re in Brixton.
Address: 412 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF
Written by Lenny Wright
Photography by Johnathan Sharp