Review | Sugar Dumplin’ Restaurant & Rum Shack, Kingston

With what I’d basically describe as a ‘shit-ton’ of restaurants in Central London, why would you really need to go anywhere else, people might say. I say, y’all need to get yourselves on a train to Kingston pronto, because Sugar Dumplin’s waiting there and it’s hella good.

A small restaurant tucked away in a shopping centre minutes from the station, Sugar Dumplin’ offers up Carribbean soul food, intimate vibes and super tasty cocktails. If you’re looking to impress on a date night, hang with friends or just eat something a little different to your normal Friday night takeaway, this place is pretty jammin’.

I’d actually been to one of their pop up events before and fallen a bit in love with the food, so when I got the chance to pay a visit to their Kingston branch, how could I refuse?

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To start off the evening, we were treated to tasty rum-based ‘Bob Marley’ cocktails which were really, really good. Oh, and they were actually on fire. Yep, on top of all that boozy loveliness there was more booze. AND IT WAS ON FIRE. Seriously, I’m never gonna stop being impressed with this I don’t think.

Speaking of rum, that’s where the Sugar Dumplin’ story started. Well, I’m pretty sure rum is where a lot of good stories start, but this one’s a special one. When visiting his dad in the South American country of Guyana, co-founder Craig Ince would always bring back one thing. Yep, a load of rum. After contemplating what else they could bring back, Craig and fellow Dumplin’ founder Norris Panton set themselves up to sell tasty street food from their very own van.

Now, Sugar Dumplin’ can be found in four locations across the UK: Kingston, Wembley, Camberley and Glasgow, still serving up delicious grub inspired by laid-back and vibrant Caribbean vibes. With vibrant, colourful decor and a relaxed reggae soundtrack, if they’re anything like the Kingston venue, they’ll be pretty awesome too I reckon.

After our fiery welcome drinks, we were also brought over a selection of other tasty cocktails to our cosy lil’ booth to try. The Pina Colada sharer basically almost made me feel like I was about to step out onto a beach somewhere rather than a Surrey shopping centre. That’d be nice, really nice. But booze will do, I suppose.

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When it came to food, we were spoilt for choice. And, well, literally just spoilt. The lovely team at Sugar Dumplin’ loaded up our booth with loads of dishes to try out, as well as sweet potato fries, plantain chips and tasty, moreish dumplings.

I’d tried the curry goat before and can confirm it’s definitely as tasty the second time round. Slow cooked, meaty and hearty, it’s the perfect filling winter dish, with just enough heat to warm you up after trudging in from the cold outside. Oh, an if you’re reading this in summer (hi from the past) – it’s the perfect dish to compliment the sunny vibes that are probably going down right about now (or not, cause England). Basically, what I’m trying to say is this is very good, at any time. Go eat.

As well as the curry goat, we had a big ol’ plate of Jerk Chicken to make our way through. And I think we actually nearly managed it all. I’ve had jerk chicken before, but this blew my previous experiences out of the water. The chicken was all tasty and tender and the jerk sauce had the perfect Caribbean kick.

Sugar Dumplin rum shack Kingston

If I wasn’t basically the size of Jamaica after all the food and cocktails, we also got to try out some cake. Boozy cake. Rum cake. Very very good cake. Served up with rum and raisin ice cream, because you can never have too much rum, right?

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Somehow after all that rum, I managed to actually get home without falling over. Achievement unlocked. If you’re in the Kingston area, or just fancy a little adventure for some awesome food, or if you’re nearby any of their locations in fact, I totally suggest you visit Sugar Dumplin’ for good food, good vibes and rum. Did I mention the rum already?

Sugar Dumplin
The Rotunda, Clarence Street, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1QJ
www.sugardumplin.co.uk/

*We were guests at Sugar Dumplin’ for the evening. Opinions totally honest, as always.