Published on March 28th, 2014 | by Gavin1
Dub Jam, Covent Garden
Summary: Authentic Caribbean Food in a party atmosphere, just a shame it's so small!
Having grown up on Caribbean cooking thanks to my Jamaican parents and innumerable trips to the island to visit my grandparents, I suppose you could call me a bit of an expert on the food and culture. So when I hear about a new Caribbean themed restaurant opening in London my heart sinks. Having visited my fair share of Caribbean influenced restaurants around London, many have ended up being a horrible fromage fuelled stereotype of the culture, typified by a UB40 CD on repeat and the waiting staff sporting fake dreadlock hats and replying “Yeah Mon” to every request.
Ok, I may be over exaggerating slightly but the sentiment remains, there are a lot of bad Caribbean restaurants in London. However, having visited Dub Jam in Covent Garden, my faith has been restored.
Located in a tiny space above Adventure Bar on Bedford Street, Dub Jam is a self styled rum shack serving a small selection of Caribbean style food and drink. Despite being smaller than most people’s living rooms, it is difficult to miss the place as reggae blares from huge speakers located above the bar and it’s so packed that guests are nearly queuing outside the door. The décor is pretty amazing too, with bright painted zinc covered walls, oil drum stools, and ceiling fans draped in Rastafarian colours (I wouldn’t advise coming here if you’re severely hung-over).
First up on the menu is the Jerk Rebel Skewers; available with chicken, pork, prawns, or halloumi and a choice of either smoky or hot salsa on the side. If you were to twist my arm I’d say my favourite was the jerk pork belly; marinated for 48 hours and slow cooked for another 8; I couldn’t fault the taste or authenticity.
And that’s not the only thing that’s authentic about Dub Jam. They sell Red Stripe ice cold from the bottle (just like in the Caribbean), and punch on tap made with Jamaica’s favourite tipple, 65% ABV Wray & Nephew white rum, served in aluminium tins. With the tunes pumping, atmosphere buzzing, and more than a few rum punches in the system, I was ready to get stuck into a jerk burger.
The Sound System burger comes with a generous helping of avocado and a rasher of bacon cured in molasses, injecting a satisfying sweetness to the patty of beef. If you don’t mind a bit of fruit with your burger, the Dub Shack, topped with melted cheese and pineapple, is equally finger lickin’.
Finally, a restaurant that not only brings the vibe of the Caribbean to London but also has food that lives up to my high standards and very reasonably priced. Word of warning though, get there early as much of the menu had sold out by 8:30pm due to the overwhelming demand. It’s a pity it’s so small because if everyone enjoys themselves in Dub Jam half as much as I did, they’ll have a queue going all the way to Jamaica.
Dub Jam, 20 Bedford St, WC2E 9HP