South London

Published on January 12th, 2016 | by Clarissa Waldron


Jamboree Foodfest, Blackfriars

Jamboree Foodfest, Blackfriars Clarissa Waldron

Summary: Adding a flash of personality to Blackfriars Road, Jamboree Foodfest has plenty to offer


Something for Everyone

In the week before Christmas, when London thoroughfares were draped in brightly lit fairy lights, hovering above last-minute shoppers carrying bulky bags, when it wasn’t quite cold enough for snow but still our breath danced in front of us like twirling ballerinas, we were itching for the 24th, when we could retreat indoors for days on end, sip glasses of limited edition festive drinks, and gorge our way through turkey, stuffing and of course chocolates.

With the normality of everyday life still to contend with before then what a relief that Jamboree Foodfest in Blackfriars was coming to the rescue with its take on Christmas dinner before Christmas dinner: the Ho Ho Ho Turkey Burger, with a Turkey pattie, a Cumberland sausage, cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts slaw all encased in a brioche bun with chubby chips.

We couldn’t resist popping in for a visit to whet our appetites and Brewdog’s Santa Paws kept us ticking over as we waited for the showstopper to arrive. Fear not its dark murky exterior, this beer isn’t as deathly or as rich as it looks. In fact, we think this one needs a petition going to get its name changed so it can stick around for longer.

Ho Ho Ho Burger

When it arrived, the Ho Ho Ho burger looked a challenge to undertake, with a pig in blanket stuck firmly on top. Being a bit over-charred I had to remove mine and lay it to rest.

The main attraction itself was a delicious piece of culinary work with a generous sized pattie, soft buns and strong flavours from the garnishes. I did think it could have done with a bit more cranberry sauce and slaw however as turkey is known for being a dry meat. I am also very much a saucy person!

The Rosemary Chips were plentiful and of the steak house variety, but sadly under seasoned leaving them pallid without much acclaim.

While the burger was limited edition and sadly now out of season, Jamboree has a wide range of burgers modelled after various countries (in fact much of the menu has its listed country inspiration) as well as other satisfying nibbles to keep you enticed.

Jamboree Foodfest

Getting into the full spirit of Christmas (overindulgence) we gave the Goan Fish Cakes and Crispy Calamari a try. Never mind their inconspicuousness, these fish cakes were little melt-in-the-mouth parcels of deliciousness. The Crispy Calamari was as good as it gets, though its thinness might lose it some points with a few.  Served with Mango Yoghurt Dip and Wasabi Mayo respectively, the sauces went down a storm – and were perfect for dipping our chips in to for some added flavour!

With a full tummy and Christmas itself fast approaching we decided on one light and one decadent dessert. Warm Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie, with a dollop of Posh Toffee ice cream, will whip die-hard fans into a frenzy with its solid but spongy texture and nutty hints. It certainly had us hankering for more.

Things ended flavour wise on a high with the fruit salad, dressed with a Chili, Ginger and Lyme syrup, but fell flat with content. This variation was quite meagre and reminiscent of discarded scraps. Much of the fruit was cut very thin which ruined any chance of enjoying the flavours. Its saving grace was the syrup (genius and addictive) which was also thankfully served on the side.


While the food had some teething troubles, it’s worth remembering this is predominantly a burger joint and service is excellent. At Jamboree Foodfest, cool concepts merge with a large, chilled, funky interior to provide a great setting for an after work catch-up, a date or somewhere to hang out at the weekend. And connected to the Hotel Novotel this place is always going to attract a crowd!

Jamboree Foodfest, 46 Blackfriars Rd, SE1 8NZ

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