As a regular orderer of takeout from this restaurant, im a little worried it doesn’t get enough custom and might be dwindling, this is a selfish interest because, I in fact enjoy the takeaway food immensely at this restaurant, and do not wish to see it dissappear, so im putting my love of the food from there, down on this blog.
The “Hummingbird” in finsbury park : north london is a small jamaican restaurant, that to a large extent is very unassuming, one wouldn’t think the food inside, was so good, whats clever about the food, is the cuisine is delicious yet kind of home made, so for instance the goat curry and fish stew are both delightful, but in a homely way, the food that i have tried has the quality of being out of someones personal kitchen, and to recipes that are sub consciously understood and so deeply ingrained within the chefs imagination, the kind of cooking that is passed on from one person to another, and it is on the food, that this restaurant always wins, the decor is nothing to be spoken of particularly and service seems good, but it is not on these points one would come to the hummingbird, one comes to the hummingbird for the food.
If you want grand service and an immaculate environment then perhaps somewhere else is your best bet, as it is really the experience of dining that your enjoying, some people have complained of the service in reviews on urbanspoon and even holy of holy the coleslaw ? but i dont think they understand that culturally silver service and jamaican food arent synonomous with each other, when it comes to jamaican cuisine it really is about the food and not the service, it tends to be measured by someone you new or remember who made the best this or that, it revolves around a relatives kitchen and what came out of it and how good it tasted.
Not to say that jamaican cuisine, cant have great service because it can, but i never attend a restaurant, purely because the staff are bending over backwards to make me feel like an important person, im not interested in feeling like an important person, nor do i go just for a beautiful interior, a restaurant can have great service and a lovely environment, but if the food isnt the main attraction, I dont go, and where the hummingbird really wins is purely on its food. So with takeaway, you will get just as good an experience with the food as you will with say in the restaurant. the difficulty with the menu in any restaurant is being able to dive around the menu enough to truly get the scope of its cuisine, the stews, the dumplings, the currys, and all the assorted sundries that can be ordered complete the picture, even the drinks can be bespoke if thats your thing, irish moss etc.
I would first of all try the goat curry(probably mutton but heck) or fish stew takeaway and if you like it, then go for a sitdown and try out the rest of the menu. Ok the takeaway menu could be accused of having a fair amount of rice, and not enough sauce No doubt, if you were inclined to perceive it that way, but unlike allot of indian restaurants the rice is not purely there to bulk out the sauce element, the rice and peas, which acompany allot of the dishes is a thing in and of itself, not everything is sparkling on the menu but then i dont think i have ever been in a restaurant where every item on the menu was as great as every other item, as with any restaurant its a matter of finding the things that are great, so often a restaurant is ruined by picking an item from a menu that doesnt delight, and never returning, which is often why i think restaurants could shorten their menu to that they do well and grow from their, which is sometimes why i think fast food that turns into a restaurant can sometime work well, because fast food is so competitive an environment in a big urban city that if you don’t make good food that people like, you will dissappear pretty rapidly. some of the best and tastiest bites come from food stalls that have thrived on delivering one tasty and original food experience, and grown from their.
The Hummingbirds : coleslaw
Its difficult to explain why the coleslaw, also available with the takeaway menu is so good ? I think it comes down to someone making the coleslaw the way they would make it for themselves and have done so for years, who cares about things being done right, which in this age of costco bought mass produced catering size everything is in a way a symbol of the quality of this restaurant, and how even all the sundries in a restaurant, benefit from thought and consideration in their preparation, its a delicate coleslaw, finely shredded with an almost sweet tinge perhaps coming from the carrots or an additional, yet it makes supermarket coleslaw look like a joke product. The coleslaw tasted by itself will tell you what attention, is put into what is served.
I heartily recommend the place, whether to sit down for a meal or just to pop in and get some takeaway, my favourite’s are the goat curry and the red fish stew, but when i find things i like, i tend to stick with them. Its a casual place there is no need to dress up, its a little on the downlow, and a little unassuming, but to me that is part of its charm, but now again I pop in and i think they could do with a little more business which is why im showing its some love on my blog, to counter the few reviews on urbanspoon that were negative.
you will, if your anything like me, find yourself going back again if its nearby to order another takeaway, we should all support those of our local restaurant that though deserved of it, dont have the customer attendance of the timeout rated restaurants that always seem busy beyond their brilliance, those in finsbury park being the pappagone and La-Porcetta, which always seem rammed and to me though pasta and pizza vary in quality it is not something that greatly excites me as a cuisine, though the starter, scallops with warm rocket salad converted to a main in pappagone is particularly good, but if finsbury park were to lose the “Hummingbirds” Jamaican cuisine it would be losing allot.
84 Stroud Green Road
London N4 3EN
020 7263 9690