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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Hache – Shoreditch

Instead of having a romantic night in with the fella, me and my friends decided that we should all have a group valentines day together, as a sort of “screw you” towards the day in question. With several of us being in relationships it felt nice to all come together and just celebrate the friendships that we have with each other. Unfortunately my other half had to work but I substituted him for my good friend and got sufficiently squiffy with her as my “partner”.

As communal lovers of all things burger related, Hache felt like a great option for all of us. We have been several times before and the one in Shoreditch is just round the corner from B@1 with it’s 241 cocktail happy hour (cheeky!). Having booked a table of 10 of us (on valentines day even) we were well accommodated amongst the couples surrounding us. We had a few people arrive late and the waitresses were very understanding. Having worked as a waitress before it really makes you aware of their role and personally I try and make it as easy for them as possible, because I know what it is like to have terrible customers… They took our orders relatively quickly and the drinks arrived promptly.

If you live in Shoreditch, Clapham, Chelsea or Camden then you are lucky enough to have this burger restaurant at your doorstep. Now, the selection in Hache is bavarian hachepretty vast for a burger restaurant and I have to say I have tried a large amount of them. Particular highlights are the Louisiana (topped with peanut butter – definitely a particular taste), the Lamb burger (with mint sauce and redcurrant jelly). However I decided to go for the Bavarian as i am a sucker for anything cheese based, and this comes with a particularly large slab of Bavarian cheese on top. You can order how you like it cooked as well as what bun you would like – Ciabatta or Brioche. I chose medium rare and brioche. I also ordered a side of sweet potato fries as I have a slight addiction to them and Haches are pretty damn tasty.

I got over excited when the food arrived and quickly ate a large amount before I remembered to take a photograph, but here is the burger in all its glory. It comes with a topping of caramelised onions too which really complemented the cheese and wasn’t too sweet so it wasn’t all you could taste. The cheese was de.li.cious. Lovely and smoky and melty and yummy. The meat was cooked really well, medium rare how I ordered it (the picture totally doesn’t do it justice) and the bun was lovely and squidgy. All in all a great mouthful of burger.

Overall the bill came to about £23.50 for me which included: burger, fries and I shared 2 bottles of wine between three of us.

You don’t need a best friend, you need great friends. The quote that sums up the night.

http://www.hacheburgers.com

147-149 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3QE

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