The complimentary snack of deep-fried crackers (made from pizza dough) served with a spicy pineapple and tomato salsa whets the appetite. Do order the Doubles – a nicely spicy lentil coconut curry bursting with patty pans, baby marrows, carrots and potatoey goodness and served with warm Trinidadian flatbread and pineapple slaw.
Always say yes to arguably the restaurant's most popular dish – 800g of rum-basted pork ribs. If you’re in a large, festive group, pre-order the suckling pig (R2400) and red snapper (R1800) 48 hours before your booked visit. Order side dishes of sweet corn fritters, coleslaw, spiced chips. Note: mains don’t come with sides unless it’s so stated on the menu.
Ask your waiter what the dessert of the day is.
The wine list offers four white and four red wines, and two options for bubbly – Kaapse Vonkel and the more expensive Moët. Cocktail options include the standard fare from negronis to daiquiris and Bloody Marys, but they definitely taste like they’ve been mixed with a generous hand.
A warm reception as you walk in through the door sets the right tone. It’s best to book ahead – balcony tables where you can enjoy the sun’s rays and the street view of Linden’s 4th Avenue get snapped up first.
It's a casual tropical island theme, complete with hanging plants, tasselled lamps, fans, a living indoor wall, white cushioned chairs around wooden tables, neon palm trees, pineapple lights and vintage surfboards mounted on walls. The Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, reggae and 80s and 90s nostalgia music creates a very relaxed vibe.
Happy hour runs from 11am to 5pm daily – there’s a two-for-one special and the two drinks arrive simultaneously, so make sure you’re not driving or bring a friend.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.
Sheila De sarigny
Jeanine du Toit
My colleagues and I decided to have a lunch there and see what it's all about. I ordered the fish cakes and they were superb. The atmosphere is very laid back, but with an energy underneath which is very contagious. This is a perfect place to have a get-together with friends or a party. The selection of rums are ridiculous, and worth a try.
Lucy Peter Nel
I hate to say this because I have always been a fan of the owners previous establishments but this place just irks me. Maybe it's the location or it's the tropical theme that falls short of being either Caribbean or remotely coastal.
Food is very basic like "Basic Bitch" type of food - little flavour and no creativity
Drinks are not bad but I do struggle to understand why they take so long to make.
Service is not great either and this I must say is the problem with hipster trendy places often they focus too much on being something their not rather then just being good at the small things. Like saying hello or having a little sense of humour.
Lastly the place has a weird smell and this comes from lack of scenting the place. It something a lot of new restaurants do in terms of putting scented candles in bathrooms or using diffusers in the main restaurants but not BL they like it rough and stuffy.
Don't get me wrong again I loved Great Dane and Gin but those were bars the step up to restaurant is a different thing and this one failed i'm sorry to say.
Charli Van Averbeke
From entering the colourful restaurant, you immediately feel the vibe and are greeted by friendly waiters and hosts all round. The decor truly captures your attention and I constantly found myself looking around trying to take it all in.
We booked for a end of year pre-Christmas dinner with friends and had a ball! We tried most of their cocktails including the cutest shot of Miami vice that I've ever had. Most were delicious (except the banana one) and all served in different glassware-including a fresh pineapple!
The food menu is short and to the point with something for everyone's tastes.We chose the burgers,ribs, jerk chicken and the curry. I felt that the burgers were average at best, but the ribs MORE than made up for it! I'm talking about fall off the bone scrumptiousness. The service was attentive and friendly, and nothing was ever too much for anyone to assist with.
Overall it was a fun night out, which I will definitely repeat in the near future.
Right off the mark, you're hit by the cool kitschness of the Caribbean accoutrements. The pineapple motif is fabulously overstated! Brian Lara Rum Eatery is one part bar one part eatery, we were there for the eatery part.
Their food is bold and flavourful. Welcome snacks on the table were curled strips of short pastry fried and dusted in a subtle but ridiculously moreish spice. They're served with a pineapple salsa, and depending on which side of the pineapple spectrum you fall on, you'll either love it or hate it.
I've never had jerk chicken before so I don't know what it should taste like, but this was delish! Spicy notes of chilli and cloves hit your senses and linger on your lips. None of their dishes come with sides, so I chose to pair my jerk with fritters. The fritters were good, a tad too floury, but they came with a chunky salsa that made up for the cakiness.
My partner had the seafood curry brimming with prawns and cod (just a little overcooked). The curry though was creamy with a hint of Indian and Thai flavours that married well together.
A friend had an epic looking beef burger, don't know what it tasted like, but if it tasted as good as it looked, it'd be a winner!
The cocktails at Brian Lara pack a punch, the free rum shots were a great touch too. All in all, fun was had! Service is excellent and the vibe is great.