At the top of Brixton’s new-wave pile of restaurants, this pretty den made its name with cocktails –but the ambitious food is equally accomplished. The Shrub & Shutter comes from the same family as Herne Hill’s First Aid Box, and features a small front bar with smarter dining room at the rear and menus scrawled on blackboards. Cocktails are an education in progressive mixology; gunpowder, gummy bears and chicken skin are typical ingredients. Our NWA arrived on a burnt slab of tree trunk under a smoke-filled bell jar, to reveal a satisfying whisky and smoked maple syrup concoction, garnished with burnt pineapple and two morsels of beef. The small kitchen belies its dimensions (and prices) with memorable, lively dishes. Our highlight was spiced duck hearts on toast, paired with tangy mustard sauce: a delicious combination of heat, crunch and creaminess. Wine options are brief but well considered, staff are friendly yet efficient and the set menu represents superb value. A must-visit if you don’t mind the pared-back, casual vibe.
020 7326 0643
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