Popular Caribbean chef Sasha Murdock has returned to the Stoke Newington kitchen she called home for more than a decade.
When the new owners of what used to be Junior’s on Nevill Road tasted Sasha’s jerk chicken at a street party, they offered her a job on the spot.
No 63 is the first restaurant for husband and wife Randy and Jackie Kellman from East London. They have been running a rum business - distilling rum with spices and were looking for the perfect venue to showcase it when they stumbled across this place.
Jackie said: “When they saw us getting the building ready, people kept asking if Juniors was coming back. Our plan had been to serve African tapas but, when we tasted Sasha’s cooking at a community event in June, we knew we had to give the people what they wanted.
“In time the menu will expand to include African dishes too. For now we serve Sasha’s legendary brown stewed chicken, curried goat, oxtail, jerk chicken, salt fish, ackee and more.
“Sasha’s family come from Jamaica and our roots are Ghanaian so the menu will become a beautiful fusion.
“Our cocktails are pretty special too - they feature our signature rum. At the weekends we have a mixologist here. No 63 has a great vibe!”
It has been a busy summer for the couple who have ploughed their life savings into the project. They carried out most of the renovations themselves.
They’ve changed the layout, created a new bar area to showcase Kellmans Rum and have created seating for around 20 people.
Jackie added: “It turns out we’re pretty good at DIY! I didn’t think I was. It has been a very difficult process - the saying ‘blood, sweat and tears’ makes sense now!
“We are very much a neighbourhood restaurant - we’ve already gotten to know the businesses and residents. It’s such a special area and we’re so excited to be here.”
They’re also transforming the traditional Sunday roast - alongside roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, their jerk lamb, beef or chicken is getting great reviews.
Run by Sasha’s dad Junior, Juniors was a popular Caribbean restaurant here for over 26 years.