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Red Rooster Shoreditch

Restaurants, American Shoreditch
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
Red Rooster Shoreditch

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A London branch of Marcus Samuelsson’s famous Harlem restaurant.

Red Rooster looks like the kind of place P Diddy might go to dinner. A London branch of chef Marcus Samuelsson’s famous soul food restaurant, the remit might be historical Harlem cool but the look is super bling: think a Veuve Clicquot-only champagne menu and Louis Vuitton monogrammed walls (they’ve replaced the LV’s with little RR’s). It’s pretentious, but then again it’s fun. Maybe I’m pretentious.

Samuelsson is Ethiopian-born and Swedish-raised, and the menu here is a celebration of both Harlem’s ethnic mix and his own. The best dish of the night was the ‘Helga’s meatballs’ – juicy, indulgent spheres with rich, sharp lingonberry gravy. But the signature ‘Obama short ribs’ (first cooked for the man himself) came with a lot of wobbly fat and an undercooked dumpling. What would Obama say to that?

All this might have been forgiveable, if it wasn’t for the prices. Samuelsson has described the Harlem-inspired menu at Red Rooster as reflecting his conviction that, ‘through food, we can trace the history of poverty’. Marcus, my meal cost £140! That feels more like poverty tourism, for exceptionally rich people. Still, if you’re one of those rich people and after a hip hangout, RR fits the (large) bill.

Red Rooster Shoreditch says
Acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson brings his renowned Harlem restaurant to Shoreditch. Red Rooster Shoreditch celebrates the roots of American cuisine, channelling Southern soul food alongside the diverse culinary traditions of New York and Marcus's Northern European upbringing. Staying true to its Harlem roots, the London Red Rooster outpost features many of the same dishes as the original, along with some new ones, created especially for its new London home. What's more, we’re open until 2 am for late-night drinks Thursday to Saturday and there's a programme of live music every single week!


Address: The Curtain
45 Curtain Road
Transport: Shoreditch Overground.
Opening hours: Monday / closed Tuesday / 5pm – 12am Wednesday / 5pm – 12am Thursday / 5pm – 2am Friday / 5pm – 2am Saturday / 5pm – 2pm Sunday / 11am – 6am
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Users say (2)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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I went to Red Rooster's for gospel brunch and would definitely rate it as one of the most enjoyable brunch experiences I've ever had overall. 

Things to love about the place...

  • The venue oozes cool from every pore - loved the decor and ambiance
  • The House Gospel Choir was FANTASTIC. Talented, uplifting and all that good stuff. Was definitely won over by the brunch + gospel concept
  • The chicken and waffles/ cornbread/ mac and cheese were tasty - not mind-blowing, but I left with a very contented (and extended) belly
  • Friendly and accommodating staff who seem to enjoy working there
  • My dessert looked like a piece of contemporary art, but unfortunately the substance didn't quite match the aesthetic (unfortunately I can't recall the name of the dish, but it had raspberry sorbet and marzipan in it)
  • We were sat in a bit of a crappy spot, so couldn't see the gospel performance from where we were. We had to keep interrupting our meal to stand up and see the performance on stage Tip: When making a booking, I'd recommend specifying that you'd like to be sat somewhere you can see proceedings from
  • It's a tad pricey - if you're a mere mortal (like myself), I'd probably save this for a special occasion or treat 

The Red Rooster I grew up with is a fast food "restaurant" much like KFC and McDonald's; however this establishment is a very different beast; although still offering America's southern soul favourites.

What we had:

  • Ceviche Del Barrio - tuna, watermelon, sweet potato, cancha
  • Southern Heritage - seared watermelon, heirloom tomato, burrata
  • Helga' Meatballs - potato dumplings, pickled gravy, lingonberries
  • Fried Yard Bird - yams, collards, beans, chicken shake
  • Succotash - beans, courgette, tomato,corn
  • Baked Alaska - dark chocolate ice cream, swiss meringue, hazelnut
  • Duke & Lenox cocktail - Old Forrester, peach aperitif, bitters

The atmosphere is boisterous and as the night goes on, the wonderful live band croons out sensual blues. The interior is a little chaotic, it’s rustic ramshackle crossed with deep buttoned seating, chandeliers and Louis Vuitton inspired detailing which, in all honesty, was just downright random; but then again, perhaps I’m just not cool enough.

The chicken was moist, the burrata dribbly and creamy, and the cocktails boozy; however in general, the sides and starters weren’t all that memorable. I feel like southern soul food should have strong, hearty, moreish flavours (i’m picturing blazes of flame and smoke and spice, oh, and bacon); however this establishment lacked uniformity. I felt perhaps there was too much on the menu; sometimes less is more and keeping it simple keeps the kitchen focused. Given the prices, I wouldn’t be in a rush to go back for dinner; however it would be great for some late night cocktails and a snack whilst listening to live music.

Tip: they have an amazing live band downstairs and solid cocktails. They also do a Sunday brunch accompanied by the House Gospel Choir for something a little different for your Sunday.

Good For: large groups, a night out, casual lunch/ dinner/ drinks, live music.