Anna McKie will be back for more roast meats from market newcomer Three Uncles – and she won’t be alone
It’s always a good sign when, halfway through your meal, you and your dining partner are
reeling off a list of acquaintances that you know will “love this place”. That’s how I found myself
one early summer Friday evening in Brixton Market, as I sat at one of Three Uncles’ outside (but
covered) tables, tucking into a plate of delicious Cantonese roast meats.
The rare glimpse of warm weather had the market in a particularly buzzy atmosphere and, as
expected, there was a slight queue for tables at Three Uncles’ first sit-down restaurant, which
has followed popular takeaway spots in Camden and Liverpool Street.
Luckily, the queue moved quickly: this is not a spot for a long, lingering dining experience, but you won’t be shoved out of your seat before you’re ready. Plus, the bar opposite – another Brixton newcomer Beetlejuice Cocktail Bar – was doing a stellar trade by serving drinks in plastic cups to the thirsty queue. I hadn’t quite finished my spicy margarita before we’d got ourselves a table.
Three Uncles was launched by childhood friends and chefs Cheong Yew (Uncle Lim), Pui Sing Tsang (Uncle Sidney) and Mo Kwok (Uncle Mo). The trio specialise in siu mei – marinated, hung and then dried roasting meats – inspired by their childhood visits to the famous roast meat cafes in Hong Kong in the 1970s. They’ve paired this with a selection of dim sum and lo mein noodles. It’s not an extensive menu but emphasises what the chefs do best: make great, Cantonese-style meat.
We started with a portion char siu bao (a barbecue-pork-filled bun) and the pork & prawn siu mai (traditional steamed dumplings), and neither dishes disappointed. The bao was light and full-flavoured, the siu mai perfectly succulent and arriving with a deep sweet and salty soy sauce.
For the main event, we felt it only right to try a Brixton special and opted for the Three Treasures Platter for two, consisting of duck, char siu and crispy pork, and we ordered a portion of jasmine rice to share. It was roasted meat heaven.
The duck was beautifully aromatic, the char sui wonderfully flavoursome, but not overwhelming so, and the crispy pork had a delicious crunch without overcooking the meat. The portion sizes were very decent for the price.
We accompanied our meal with a perfectly fine, but not great, bottle of wine. There isn’t much choice here, the wine list consists of a white, a red and a rose. They also do beer, soft drinks and juices.
After a brilliant first taste of Three Uncles I will certainly be back to try more dishes from the menu – undoubtedly with my long list of friends and family who I am sure will love it too.
Meal & drinks for two £58. Unit 19&20, Brixton Village, SW9 8PR. Paid for by the Brixton Bugle.