Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Merrybox Kitchen - Waterloo

You guessed it, I have struggled to find anywhere in London offering the full Ivory Coast breakfast experience. Surprising right?! What I have learnt however, having done some research is that the people of the Ivory Coast aren't that fussy when it comes to breakfast and traditional it tends to follow a similar menu to lunch or dinner.

So with this in mind I thought my best chance of getting some authentic West African cuisine was to try some street food. I say West African, because the place I visited actually specialises in Senegalese food, but the dish I ordered is popular all over West Africa including Ivory Coast.

I went back to Lower Marsh behind Waterloo (see the Costa Rican review for details on the restaurant on the corner), as I knew the street food market at lunchtimes has food from all corners of the globe. Sure enough, Merrybox Kitchen have a stall selling yassa fish and yassa chicken both served with jollof rice. Having looked them up online this afternoon I can find no mention of Merrybox Kitchen anywhere so let this be there first bit of PR! 
Fresh fish sizzle away on the barbecue and the smell is irresistible. I went for the yassa fish, which is in this case a sea bass grilled whole cooked with a lemon and onion marinade. That was served with a mountain of jollof rice which is lighted spiced and flavoured with tomato and pepper.

I took my breakfast and sat in the sun in Millimetres Park opposite the Old Vic. While this might not be the most glamorous breakfast I have had as part of the World Cup challenge the quality of the food soon made up for it. The fish was so fresh with a pleasantly firm texture, sure there were a few bones to pick out, but this is street food and you have to get stuck in! The marinade added plenty of flavour to the fish and the rice had just the right amount of spice.

At £5 for a whole fish and a very generous portion of rice this is great value and is likely to keep you going for most of the day.

The verdict
Brilliant stall on an under recognised street full of hidden gems - get down there!


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