One day, the sun – given that British Summer Time ‘officially’ began two weeks ago, when the clocks went forward one hour – may remember what it’s paid to do and put in an appearance in the capital. Optimistic? Perhaps, but here at Haute Living we do like to look on the bright side.
However even if the weather isn’t keeping you warm right now, the food and drinks on offer at the latest sunny additions to London’s restaurant scene certainly will. Make no mistake: the capital’s food scene is heating up.
The last month alone has seen four new Caribbean restaurants open their doors. First up, Rum Kitchen – which opened to critical acclaim in All Saints Road at the start of 2013 – has opened a second branch in Soho’s Kingly Court. Translation? Londoners no longer need to “go west” for high-end West Indies fare such as Chicken with rice and peas, plus Rum Punch and creamy, coconut based cocktails. From Monday-Wednesday inclusive, Rum Kitchen’s new outpost is primarily a restaurant but, from Thursday onwards it’s all about making like Ri-Ri and body bopping until 12.30am.
Meanwhile over in Covent Garden, there are two Caribbean venues to choose from. Dub Jam has only been open four short weeks but already the restaurant’s Rum Punch has earned rave reviews. Alongside Rum Punch, expect to see Red Stripe (Jamaica’s favourite beer) and jerk skewers on the colourful menu. And on New Row, Jamaican chef Collin Brown’s plump golden patties are packing in the punters at Jamaica Patty . Early standouts include the Jerk chicken and Curried goat varieties but you’ll also find island staples such as saltfish, ackee and a wickedly indulgent Tortuga rum cake at this modern W2 take away and restaurant.
But W1 and W2 aren’t the only postcodes creating a Caribbean buzz: the Jamaican influenced Boom Burger is sure to warm any west Londoner’s heart. This Portobello Road spot specialises in plantain fries, fiery jerk chicken wings and juicy burgers served with Scotch bonnet mayo – Mmmm. Boom Burger’s decor elates too, lined as it is with reggae LPs and painted in the colours of the Caribbean.
Bottom line? Now that Londoners no longer need to wait for Notting Hill Carnival to roll around to enjoy a taste of the Caribbean, we reckon that – as reggae icon, Bob Marley, once famously sang – “every little thing is gonna be alright.”