Dub Jam – Covent Garden

Summer is finally here!! Or, at least for now. This is England after all.

What better way to celebrate the sunshine than with a lil’ bit a reggae to chill you out! Roll on Dub Jam, a tiny little restaurant situated near Covent Garden.

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With Dub Jam you hear it before you see it. Playing Reggae music from Trogan Records out of large speakers at the back, this chilled out restaurant really does put you in a good mood! The decor is very beach shack-esque, with benches made from surf boards and light fittings made from buoys and old paint tins. Apparently most of the tables and chairs are made on a budget of just £250! It is small at a mere 16 seats so get there quickly to grab yourself a seat.

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I will first off say how lovely the waitresses were in this place, service with a smile really does make a difference!

We started off with come cocktails and I had the Rum Punch, a reggae-infused fruity rum cocktail. How is it infused? Why, the cocktail is fed out of a tap through the speakers of course! It was delicious and I could have put my head under that tap all night long if I didn’t fear the hangover the next day…

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We sat down and checked out the menu which is written on black boards above the counter, and instantly wanted all the side dishes available. We held back and just ordered 3 – the rice n ‘peace’, the rude boys skin on chips and KJ’s sweet potato chips. I decided on the Peppa Pig – Jerk pork belly skewers with peppers and a side of sunshine slaw (+ love according to the blackboard!).

All jerk skewers are marinated for 48 hours, then slow cooked for 8 hours, then smoked, and THEN BBQ’ed once you order. Phew! Is all that effort worth it? Indeed it is! The pork tasted delicious and soft, and the peppers had a nice crunch! The one thing I wasn’t a fan of was that my skewer had green peppers on it (blergh!) so it would be great to decide which peppers you can have on it. That is very nit-picky of me though…

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Surprisingly I think my favourite part of the dish was the sunshine slaw! I am not one of mayonnaise’s biggest fans, so thankfully this slaw is made with yoghurt and coconut! It was so scrummy and went really well with the jerk pork and the spicy salsa that you get on the side.

I think the real winner of the evening were the sweet potato fries – huge chunks of soft sweet potato with perfectly crispy edges and seasoned with some sort of Italian herb(?). They were so tasty and I think I would have been happy with just those and the slaw! The regular chips were equally as chunky and were tasty too, however the rice and ‘peace’ I could have left. Nothing too spectacular about the rice to be honest, but then again I am not a great lover of the stuff.

If you want jerk, rum and reggae then this is your place! As you can see my friends had a wild time…

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There is actually a difference in price between eating out and take-away which they don’t tell you on the website which is a bit cheeky, but I guess it encourages people to take out rather than cram into the tiny space. Either way I think this should probably be mentioned on the website.

The bill came to about £18 for my skewer, a cocktail and sharing 3 sides (quick note – I believe it might be cash only). It may be a bit on the pricey side for what is essentially take-away food. But I think the experience of Dub Jam is great, it simply puts you in a great mood!

http://www.dubjam.co.uk/

20 Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9HP

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Flat Iron – Soho

It says something about a restaurant when I visit it 2 times in 4 days. But that is what I did at Flat Iron. Boy is it good!

£10 for steak in central London? Hello!

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Situated on Dean Street at the end of Carnaby Street, it’s location is trendy and very easy to find. It has a no reservations policy so make no mistake, you will have to wait. Sometimes for quite a while. Sometimes for like 2 hours.

To be fair, me and my friends went on a Friday evening. We arrived at about 6ish and they had tables free straight away, however not all of us were there so we couldn’t sit down. We waited in a bar for about 45 minutes until we had all grouped. The waiting list was then 2 hours… I had expected this so we were fine heading to a bar and having a glass or 3, they just take your name and number and call you when the table is nearly ready. We decided to return a bit earlier to check out the bar located underneath the restaurant. The venue decor is quite industrial, think wood, brick and dim lighting. The cocktail list is relatively short but the ones we tried were delicious and pretty reasonable (range from about £5.50 to £7.50). They also do home made doughnuts and hand fill them for you with passion fruit curd. I reeeeally wanted to try one but knew it would just ruin my appetite.

So at about 9 o’clock we were ready to eat! Upstairs is where the magic happens. I would guess there were about 4 benches each seating 6ish per bench, and the seats are fixed to the table kind of like a park bench. The tables are shared, so you are more than likely going to be sat next to a stranger during your meal. Some may like this, others not. Personally I was far too concentrated on the food to really care. Once sat you get a mug of beef dripping popcorn to share which is perfect to satisfy your hunger for a brief moment.

The menu is ideal for me, limited. (I am awful at deciding) You have a choice of the Flat Iron steak or the special, with a selection of 5 sides and 4 sauces to choose from. I opted for the Flat Iron, a relatively unknown cut of meat in the UK, and shared the chips, spinach and aubergine side dishes with a friend. I also chose the bearnaise sauce to go with it.

Lets start with the steak. Presented pre-cut on a slab of wood with a side salad, cooked rare as I ordered it, and lightly seasoned with salt. It was damn tasty. ’nuff said. Some may find it quite a small bit of meat, but when you factor in the sides it is more than enough! You also get the joy of eating it with a mini meat cleaver which is a bit different! The bearnaise sauce was lovely and creamy and complimented the meaty flavour of the steak well.

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Next to the sides, oh the sides!

First, the creamed spinach. Creamy and Spinachy.
Next, the dripping cooked chips. Crispy, oil-free fries that taste like roast potatoes. I could have eaten them all day.
Finally, the roast aubergine, tomato, basil and parmesan bake. Now I am not usually an aubergine fan, but by jingo this is a damn good dish!

For pudding I think we only had one choice, a salted caramel mousse thing. They dispensed it out of a pressurised canister into small tin mugs, then you grind salt onto it yourself. It was nice, quite a dense but creamy texture. To be honest I wouldn’t get it again because it wasn’t anything spectacular, so maybe one of those doughnuts next time (and yes, there will most certainly be a next time!).

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All in all a fab place to go for some cheap but good quality steak.

I have to give a shout out the waitresses too who were all lovely and chilled, making for a relaxed evening!

The bill came to around £20 – that included the steak, 3 shared sides, sauce and a shared bottle of wine. It’s fair to say I was a happy girl after all of that!

http://flatironsteak.co.uk/

17 Beak St, Soho, W1F 9RW. NO RESERVATIONS

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