Saturday, April 11, 2009

Coma y Punto: Colombian Restaurant in Brixton, London

Brixton market is full of surprises. Perhaps, about the only thing you won't find here is penguin meat. The rest is there. After my love at first bite with a Colombian chorizo, I discovered a Colombian restaurant there.

Coma y Punto is a simple café right off Coldharbour Lane. A Colombian flag is hung right outside so that you wouldn't mistake it for an Egyptian or Vietnamese place. It is constantly swarmed with Colombians - a good sign, at least qua food authenticity.




We started with drinks: Pony, a sweetish Colombian malt drink for Floyd, and sugarcane juice with a dash of lime for me. My drink was very different from the sweet and aromatic greenish liquid I was used to in Thailand. It looked and tasted more like Russian stewed fruit compote.

The bandeja paisa (£8.50) I ordered is a quintessential Colombian dish. It combines all cultural influences that are present in the country - indigenous, Spanish and African as well as, perhaps, at least half of Colombia's protein deposits. My platter consisted of:
  • ground grilled steak
  • chicharrón (fried pork rind)
  • fried beans
  • a fried egg
  • fried chorizo
  • fried plantain
  • boiled rice
  • sliced avocado
  • coleslaw
  • an arepa (flat unleavened corn bread)
As you can see even if from just the description, it was a meal fit for a giant.

Floyd's giant carne a la brasa, thin slices of grilled beef (£9.00), arrived with rice, fried plantains, coleslaw and two hash brownies.

As we tucked in in our food, a plasma screen on the wall kept displaying video after video of Colombian music. A lovely touch, adding to the ethnic experience. The simple and honest peasant food is perfect to provide you with nutrients for a day of hard work. Just as English breakfast, it is a bit of a guilty pleasure though.

Pro's: Lots of protein and calories to get you going for the whole day.
Con's: Cramped seating.
In a nutshell: Authentic Colombian food at great prices.

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