WHERE TO EAT CARIBBEAN FOOD IN LONDON
With Notting Hill Carnival this weekend, we’ve turned our attention to all things jerk, rum and goat, bringing you a list of our favourite Caribbean restaurants in London. So whether you’re joining the crowds at Carnival or looking for reggae and chilled vibes elsewhere, use our guide to find your Caribbean feed
1 Boom Burger
Jamaican born Josh de Lisser is the mastermind behind the Caribbean flavours that brought Boom Burger to life on Portobello Road. Growing up on the shores of Montego Bay and learning his cooking expertise first-hand from family recipes, de Lisser authentically produces the taste of fresh seafood and jerk chicken in London between two buns. His use of exotic spice combinations and British-bred meat are the secret to his success, and what makes Boom Burger stand out from the other 3,964 burger joints in London at the moment.
272 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W10 5TY; boomburger.co.uk
2 Roti Joupa
Roti Joupa in Clapham serves up authentic Trinidadian takeaway dishes – paper-thin rotis wrapped around goat or veggie curries, channa and aloo, pumpkin roti, and coconut or tamarind balls to follow. It’s the kind of place you want to swing by after a long drinking session. Service comes in Caribbean time, so join the queue and have a chat with the friendly staff while you wait.
12 Clapham High St, SW4; rotijoupa.com
3 Embargo Republica
Newly-opened Embargo Republica promised to bring the spirit, style and smoothness of Cuba to Chelsea. On the former site of Embargo 59 is now a club filled with live Latin music, a Caribbean-style rooftop bar and lashings of Havana rum.
533b King’s Road, London, SW10 0TZ; embargorepublica.com
Bamboula’s Kitchen, Brixton, serves up Jamaican grub with a ‘sunshine’ smile. Classic Caribbean dishes (goat curry, jerk chicken with rice and plantain, rum punch, soursop juice) are served surrounded by bright walls, tropical plants and hanging lanterns, while bamboo beams and the laid-back sounds of reggae transport you to a rustic beach bar.
12 Acre Lane, SW2 5SG; bamboulakitchen.co.uk
5 The Rum Kitchen
Sunny reggae tunes, rum punches coming out of your ears and rainbow bright interiors, The Rum Kitchen may be less authentic than some of the other eateries on this list it’s no less fun and if you’re looking for the more glamorous side of the Caribbean, then this is your place. The lively beach-shack bar serves great cocktails, while the seafood gumbo and salt-fish fritters fly out of the kitchen, and downstairs in the club the beats are faster and the lights dimmer but there’s still plenty of rum.
6-8 All Saints Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1HH; therumkitchen.com
6 Fish, Wings and Tings
Fish, Wings and Tings might not look like much, it’s a small space in Brixton Village with a couple of wooden tables and an open kitchen, but if you give it a chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The Caribbean menu changes regularly, and you can expect the likes of Red Stripe tempura prawns, Reggae wings and goat in various forms, all of which have received rave write-ups from the hard-to-please Tripadvisor reviewers and food bloggers alike, who have not only been won over by the food but by the friendly owner Brian Danclair.
2 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PS; facebook.com/fishwingstings
7 Mama’s Jerk Station
Family-run Mama’s Jerk Station specialises in Caribbean street food and pops up all over London, as well as at festivals and gigs. The likes of jerk chicken, jerk pork sausages and jerk veggie bean cake are all soaked in the family’s secret and delicious Caribbean (you guessed it) Jerk BBQ Marinade and served up with Mama’s Tropical Mayo (the key to taming the fire of Mama’s Jerk Marinade). At the moment, you’ll find them at Old Truman Brewery, Camden Lock, Street Feast and St John’s Church Waterloo.
Cottons has a strong and loyal pack of fans who venture across London for its rum selection (the largest in London apparently) and excellent Caribbean food, which is serves in a smart surrounding. Deep fried sprats with ginger mango and orange compote sits alongside the likes of pan-fried coconut prawns, on a bed of mango papaya salad. Diners stand at the bar making their way through the rum selection (did we mention it’s extensive?!), devour sharing platters or head downstairs for live Caribbean-style music.
70 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QP; restaurant-islington.co.uk
9 Jamaica Patty Co.
When Jamaican-born Theresa Roberts founded Jamaica Patty Co. it was to bring freshly baked patties – one of the Caribbean’s lesser represented dishes – into the limelight (hence the name). Curried goat, spicy beef and jerk chicken are all used as the flavoursome stuffing to tasty fried patties, similar to empanadas. The recipes have been developed by Theresa, along with Jamaican chef Collin Brown who insists that every patty is baked in the store just like they would be in Jamaica.
26 New Row, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4LA; jamaicapatty.co.uk