Boom Burger, Portobello

The burger craze seems to be unstoppable and now West London is muscling in on the action. With the Caribbean population hosting the Notting Hill  carnival every August, it seems fitting to find Boom Burger in Portobello. The place instantly exudes the laid back Caribbean vibe, with reggae music blasting from the speakers and a Jamaican reminiscent red, green and yellow sign. Inside, the place is little more than a takeaway cafe although the food very much proves its value to London’s most famous market street.

As I learnt on my trip to St Lucia and Grenada, rum punch is more popular than water as a refreshing thirst quencher. We were treated to Boom Burger’s version as an aperitif as soon as we sat down. Alongside the punch a deep maroon Sorrel (a Caribbean fruit) drink was less recognisable, I winced at the first sip but soon began to enjoy the acquired sour taste.

Greasy and delightful starters arrived in coloured plastic baskets… Jerk chicken wings coated in a thick aromatic spicy and salty marinade and soft and fragrant fish cakes. Both were delicious, though we particularly enjoyed the tender flavoursome wings – they would make the perfect snack to munch on while wandering round the stalls of the market.

As recommended we tried a Boom burger and a Jerk boom, a chicken variety with an exceptionally sweet mango and pawpaw sauce. Both were delicious and the meat was of noticeably fine quality. The beef was coarsely ground and assembled into a messy patty with sloppy melted cheese and bacon. The chicken was great too – a successful alternative to the classic beef burger, the contrast of the salty chicken and peppery rocket, fruity fried plantain and extra sweet sauce was a marvel.

It can be stressful trying to find a filling and flavoursome snack in a busy marketplace… Portobello sellers and buyers will be grateful for this top notch Caribbean burger shack.

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