Trap Kitchen: South London Soulfood With A Cult Following

Trap Kitchen: South London Soulfood With A Cult Following
Image by Lydia Manch.

What's the deal?

The south London pop up — a wildly popular, takeaway only operation — went bricks-and-mortar back in 2016 on Bedford Hill in Balham, with sibling restaurants in Birmingham and Manchester, and a second London spot in Elephant and Castle.

You might know Prince Owusu, the man behind Trap Kitchen, from an appearance on My Million Pound Menu on BBC — Owusu didn't win funding on the show, but at that point Trap was already crazy successful from social media sales alone.

What's the vibe?

Small, informal, friendly. Not massively fast — this isn't somewhere you'd come when you have theatre tickets and need to make a hasty meal of it. This is a place to order an improbable amount of food, and embed with a strawberry daiquiri while you're waiting for that to arrive (you might need several daiquiris).

What's on the menu?

Mostly platters — messy, decadent ones. Chicken thighs, snow crab, lobster tails, mac and cheese, corn, waffles. Check out the current menu here.

Frozen strawberry daiquiris on tap — comes in two stripes, Virgin or Hard. Hard has a good slug of white rum in there, and is, in fact, hard as nails.

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Highlights?

No question. The mac and cheese, and the bang bang prawns. £5 each if you order them as standalone sides, rather than part of a platter.

For our money the best-value route through the menu's via the Extras, which is where our favourite dishes live — the mac and cheese, and the bang bang prawns — though that's not going to work if you have your heart set on the lobster tail or snow crab, which you can only order as part of a platter (Slab or Half Slab, £20 or £15), or the Bucket or Boil Bag (£40).

Could take or leave the oreo-dusted waffles, tbh — bit dry, and underwhelming against the get-your-face-and-hands-filthy flamboyance of the rest of the menu. Double up on cocktails (which tend towards the sweet and fruity, so... technically dessert?) instead.

Pricing?

Not bad when you factor in how generous the portions are. If you go down the slab route, maybe with a frozen daiquiri or two, you'll be on the far side of £35 each after service — more if you get one of the buckets. But you'll be a satisfied, stupefied mess.  

Vegetarian and vegan options?

Nothing in the shape of a main course or platter. Vegetarians could do relatively well for themselves with the mac and cheese, and the buttery boiled corn.

Image by Lydia Manch.

Can you reserve?

Can and probably should — it's not a big space, and it's popular. Reservations here.

Takeaway and delivery?

Just takeaway, but with Clapham Common just a speedy walk, bus or bike ride away Trap Kitchen's ideal park picnic material. BYO cutlery and a lot of napkins.

Trap Kitchen, 73 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HR. Open Tuesday to Sunday.

Londonist visited anonymously, and paid for our meal.

Last Updated 16 June 2021