Island Social Club, a contemporary social space that shares modern British Caribbean culture through food and drink, founded by two Caribbean Londoners, Marie Mitchell and Joseph Pilgrim, is set to launch on 7 February. With a menu inspired by previous Island Social Club projects, Rumshop and Rotishop, a nightly combination of Rum and Roti sits alongside a curated events programme, which together re-roots British Caribbean culture in Hackney.
Island Social Club will become a hub not just for Marie and Joseph’s individual and combined projects, (Pop’s Kitchen, Rumshop, and Rotishop), but a hub for exploring and engaging with today’s British Caribbean culture. In the evenings, from Tuesday to Saturday, Curio Cabal will transform into a social club with a simple modern British Caribbean restaurant and Rum bar, inspired by Marie and Joseph’s shared curiosity for the complex history of Caribbean Brits.
Marie heads the kitchen serving a menu centred on dishes that are known to be the cornerstones of Caribbean cooking: Roti. Marie’s menu draws from ISC’s Rotishop pop-up which explored the migration and diversity within Caribbean history, in particular the diaspora through the delicious Roti skins made in house with curries, that touch on the varied and nuanced food of the Caribbean.
Researched and developed, it’s ISC’s nod to the street food ‘movement’ that still grips London, while showcasing one of the most popular street foods of the Caribbean. Marie will also be adding in some dishes taken from her sell-out bi-monthly supperclubs, Pop’s Kitchen, like their take on the classic Curry Goat. ISC’s will lighten slightly while still offering the depth and warmth of the well-known dish with heavy notes of ginger and garlic, finished with the heat and sweetness of scotch bonnets. All dishes are mindful of modern techniques, local sustainability and a touch of ital spirituality.
On the drinks side, Joseph leads the in-house rum bar, continuing with his Rumshop ethos – a pop-up that investigated the Islands of the Caribbean via family punch recipes and [banging sound systems] – which will showcase a progressive menu by formalising a 28 day rum punch production process, innovations within classic Caribbean recipes and injecting Grenadian flavours into other spirit based classics. Signature cocktails such as Ma’boat Rum punch uses Joseph’s father’s secret Grenadian rum punch recipe which he has batched for a minimum of 28 days to allow the flavours to develop and evolve. Plus Jinga Beer, ISC’s homemade ginger beer, is stiffened with rum and served frothy with delicious hoppy notes. There will also be a selection of lesser known Caribbean rums, drunk by locals on the islands.
ISC will cater for up to 35 with an outside space that will open in the warmer months and offer more dining space. Accompanying the food and drink programme there will be a progressive and exciting roster of events including live music, exhibitions, discussion panels, poetry readings, collaborations and more. These events will harness a vast community passionate about pushing culture forward, and bring ISC’s ‘social club’ concept into fruition.
“We feel that our experience is distinct from anything we’ve experienced on the British high street. We want Island Social Club to become an establishment that is a clear representation of our modern London lives. But also a space where we can explore and share our brilliant Caribbean heritage, from island culture to contemporary Black British culture,” says Joseph.
Based at Curio Cabal in Haggerston for a 12 month residency, the space will welcome guests from 5 – 11pm on Wednesday to Thursday, and 5 – 12pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Island Social Club will open for soft launch on Thursday 7th to Saturday 8th February offering 50% off all food.