Guanabana

Kentish Town

Guanabana claims to be pan-South American and Caribbean, but in reality has an almost pan-global outlook. Everywhere you look, there’s something to drag your thoughts elsewhere: here’s a Vettriano print on the wall; there’s a string of apparent Christmas decorations; a pretty back terrace is filled with Middle Eastern hookahs and Japanese fans. The effect is fun and quirky, if a little distracting.

Unfortunately, the kitchen seems confused too. From the equally roaming menu, we chose cream cheese-stuffed jalapeños with a Thai-style sweet chilli sauce, and spicy papa criollas (roasted potatoes) served with a tomato sauce, patatas bravas-style. Both were fine, but the main courses didn’t match up. Grilled red snapper with a vibrant salsa was artfully presented, but the fish was tough, and its advertised roast plantain accompaniment absent. A traditional-looking chickpea, green mango and coconut stew with tasty rice and peas was more successful, yet didn’t over-excite.

Still, staff are helpful and attentive, and the decent prices, outdoor area and BYO policy make this a good party venue. Perhaps if it could rein in its wanderlust and retain culinary focus, Guanabana could fulfil its Latin promise.

Venue name: Guanabana
Contact:
Address: 85 Kentish Town Road
London
NW1 8NY
Opening hours: Dinner served 5.30-11pm Mon-Thur. Meals served noon-11pm Sat, Sun.
Transport: Tube: Camden Town tube
Price: Main courses £6.75-£14. Set meal (5.30-7pm, Mon-Fri) £9.75 2 courses. Unlicensed. Corkage £2/bottle.

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|10
2 people listening
James R

A+ service and food, would recommend to my friends and family, the food took a bit longer that i would have liked but it was pretty nice and the staff definitely made it worth the visit.

John R

Went here for a friends birthday and our experience was quite poor. The goat curry was as tough as old boots and the jerk chicken was bloody and under cooked, a salad was very tasty but was on the small side. Staff friendly but service was very slow given they were not busy. The place is OK but I will not go back

Angela T

We ate here as a group of 8 for a birthday dinner and left very disappointed. The starters arrive over a 15 minute period, same with the mains which were lukewarm and of poor quality. They refused to give us separate bills and proceeded ton give us one non itemised bill. We insisted on an itemised one that took a very long time for them to produce, when it finally arrived it showed they were overcharging us by £7.80
Stay away from this shoddy establishment.  

sean c

Great Restaurant in Camden. being from London and pretty lazy in the kitchen i can honestly say how this restaurant in Camden has become my own kitchen table. I make excuses to go all the time to Camden to dine in this amazing Caribbean Jamaican restaurant. With BYO i feel less guilty every time i hand over my card to pay. As far as restaurants in London go and ive been to alot of restaurants in London, they're up there with the big boys. btw they do great steaks

Nic

Absolutely terrible service, slow, grumpy, unapologetic staff, we had to wait an hour before we were able to order. The starter arrived 30 minutes before drinks were offered. We had to ask repeatedly for water. Food bland. Overall 0 out of 5 stars.

Pip

I do like this place but it's a bit of an odd one. The menu wanders all over the world and is quite hit and miss. I love being able to get plantain here, and burritos, and jerk chicken. The best thing is it's BYOB and they do a big jug of mocktail, which you can pour your own rum into. And you can sit outside and get shisha. Slightly high pricing, but I like the atmosphere and the casualness of it.

Ree

This restaurant was so disappointing in so many ways. The menu online makes the restaurant seem so exciting and unique in terms of the pictures published on the site and the menu. However i was quite shocked it was nothing but a hut with odd looking furniture not quite like picture. I attempted not to be put off by its interior, I sat outside in the back and was greeted by the polite waitress who made quite clear to me before I checked the menu that there was no chicken or steak. I went on the Sunday 9th september around 7pm, she told me that chicken had only just arrived and hadnt been marinated so this was an instant put off. I was offered any sort off suggestions so I chose to have a jerk burger, onion rings, chips, 2 drinks and mojito. Nothing really jerk about the burger to be honest it was average. Taking in mind I wanted a jerk chicken with rice and peas maybe my taste buds were reluctant. My boyfriend and I didn't finish our food and left most of it on the plate. I found the cocktail to be abit too minty and seemed to be serves without much care. The bill came upto 40 pound I was livid compared spending 40 quid in nandos and feeling pretty full. The prices was ridiculous when you compare to the quality of food. Shisha was 20 which I refused to pay for either. I dont recommend this place at all and I have learnt don't trust pretty web pages!

Omar

Just don't know what to make of this one. The menu seems so promising but comes up just average in taste. The tables are way too small and crammed together, and the candle light is not sufficient to light up the restaurant - and it's cold!!! Toilet needs a major clean up (my wife had a pretty bad stomach upset after our visit). It used to be good but prices have gone up and quality seems to have declined. The pina colada mocktail is an unmitigated disaster. Just lumps of ice with coconut cream. The fajitas were ok, burgers were tasty. Staff have always been helpful. The place has promise but just doesn't live up to it. Disappointing.

Uz

Decided to try something new so decided to do a google search and found this place, went with 2 of my old uni friends. When we arrived the place was heaving and there wasnt even anywhere to stand, definately advise making a booking if going on the weekend. We were greeted by the weekend manager who asked if we could wait approx 10 mins for a table to be cleared for us, we waited in the shisha garden in the back which had a very loud and lively atmosphere. The manager there took care of us all evening and provided us with complimentary mocktails to make up for the delay in getting a table. The food arrived after 20 mins but was worth the wait, probably the most succulent jerk chicken Ive had! My friends were definately impressed with this secret gem in Camden. I have read some very negative reviews about the lack of service and attention which I can understand from how busy this place gets, however, would definately recommend and go again!

Bells

Don't bother! We were seated out the back in a cold garden with smokers from inside the restaurant popping out every 2 mins to infuse our food with tobacco. Yum. Can't say much for the food either, bland (weird since it's supposed to be caribbean) and not especially well-executed. Waiters are friendly but have a lackadaisical approach to service with pretty much all the table around us being given stuff free because they'd forgotten something. Yes, it's not very expensive but you can get much better food nearby, shame as they could be much better.