Thursday July 25th - It's really hard to catch up with blogs when you keep going out, but I can't help myself. Thursday was a particularly fatty day, starting with lunch at the wonderful Flat Iron in Soho with my friend Mary. Read about my first visit a few months ago here. Going at lunch on a weekday was a totally different experience as we were seated and served straight away. The steaks are still as fantastic as ever - I can't bring myself to order the Flat Iron burger incase I get steak envy. Anyway, a few hours later, having walked off all of the steak-based calories of course, I met my friend Stu at Westbourne Park to try out some places in Notting Hill. Our first stop was BOOM Burger, which is currently located in the Earl of Portobello pub. Check out their website as it is a work of art!
BOOM Burger started life in the garden of Joshua de Lisser, a burger afficionado who grew up in Jamaica. He has combined his foodie experiences in Jamaica and London to create a burger menu that manages to stand out from the crowd, with inventive ingredients and great flavours. We ordered the BOOM Burger (beef, cheese and bacon jam - that's right, BACON JAM - BOOM) and the Jerk BOOM (jerk chicken with fried plantain, mango sauce and paw paw sauce) with a side of Plantain fries. Be aware, it's a cash only service, and you are going to want to eat everything so come prepared. The burgers came, and then quickly went into our tummies. The Jerk BOOM was ever so slightly the winner, thanks to its slightly spicy sauce, but the BOOM burger with its bacon jam was still delicious. The plantain fries were BOOMin' lovely - deep fat fried to perfection, and a welcome alternative to french fries.
We squeezed along our outdoor table to make room for some local BOOMtown rats and entered into a fair amount of BOOM banter. They figured that I might be a blogger after reeling off way too many burger alternatives, and Nataliya from Peckham said "Are you a famous one? Are you Burgerac?". Sadly not, but if you want all the latest burger news, read his blog here. Stu and I got food envy as Griff from Hammersmith and Joe from Portobello tucked into their burgers, so we ordered some BOOM Wings for seconds. They were outstanding again, with a tasty sauce on the side. The food was some of the best that I have had since starting the blog - up there with everything that Street Kitchen produce, and the Lazybones pulled pork sandwich. Make your way over there as soon as possible!
Our next stop was the delightful little Tiki cocktail bar and kitchen, Trailer Happiness, on Portobello Road. The food menu including Porno Prawns and Tea-Smoked Duck is tempting but after a steak and a burger, it was a step too far. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, with a little DJ hatch playing some great swing tunes. Most importantly, the drinks are of the highest quality. Corn & Oil is a drinkable rum twist on an Old Fashioned, and Om Nom Rom & Pom is a refreshing combo of spiced rums, lime and pomegranate - both beautifully made by one of the many excellent bartenders. Rum is the order of the day, and I will need to return for their legendary Rum Club on Mondays - free events with talks, tasters and mischief. See picture below for flaming the copper lined ceiling!
|Our seats of choice|
Our final stop of the evening was Mau Mau Bar, also on Portobello Road. We were here to see the annoyingly talented pianist Corey Henry playing with members of Snarky Puppy (the best band in the world) on the tiny stage, all for £7 thanks to Jazz Re:Freshed. It is ludicrous that you can watch guys like this perform close up for under a tenner, and I find it hard to spend £50 on stadium gigs when you can do this instead. The bar itself colourful and quirky, and has its doors wide open with people spilling out onto the street most of the time. The pool table is usually out, but as the gig gets close to starting, people pitch in to move furniture out of the way. Two guys were lucky enough to bag seats on the sofa that was put on top of the pool table giving them a comfy vantage point. The atmosphere was electric throughout the gig, and the barstaff worked very hard to keep everyone happy on the drinks front. Prepare to get very sweaty, as it's a small hot room - it's totally worth it.
I'll leave you with a Snarky Puppy video - it doesn't compare to seeing them live (put it on your bucket list) but it's a good start - is there anything better than a Moog solo? Notting Hill has many other delights, some of which I visited last time I was in the area - read more here. Thanks to Mary for steak and Stu for BOOM, rum and sweaty jazz times.