As I gaze endlessly at dirty cogs and broken watches, I get a pang of hunger and grow bored of the useless tat on offer at Portobello Road. This surprisingly busy streak of a road has some better treasures than the utter shit you see in the market and it comes in the form of big, fat, juicy burgers.
Boom burger is a little Jamaican haunt located at the Ladbroke Grove end of Portobello. The inside looks like a bit of a tiny canteen and a tad shabby chic. It seems as though they have spent all their budget on the website. The plastic dirty tables look too grubby to place your elbows down but they are none-the-less packed.
The menu is pretty simple with only six Caribbean-style burgers and four sides. Though, you should get in early for the plantain fries as they have (to my dismay) ran out today. I order a boom burger and then sit down and wait for them to call me. Beef patty, layered with bacon jam and cheese, framed by a brioche bun. It sounds like I’ve died and gone to Jamaican burger heaven. They also have vegetarian, fish, pork, jerk chicken and brunch options.
I spot the bar right next to open kitchen. It looks like a DIY home shack and is stocked with the usual unoriginal spirits to make a variety of rum-based cocktails. The only beer they have is Red Stripe (duh), so I grab a can and continue waiting. For something resembling a cut-rate Caribbean restaurant, I’m surprised the prices are so high with around £9 for a single burger …or are they simply cashing in on clueless tourists?
They seem to get a lot of deliveries though, possibly to the market stall holders and locals. Staff weave in and out of the shop and constantly look busy. I almost feel guilty for adding to their work.
The burger then comes out in it’s own plastic red basket and looks slight small. Roughly the same circumference as a McDonalds cheeseburger. But the burger itself is really juicy and purt. The bacon jam makes it so dreamy that I have visions of spreading it over all my food. But I still think this bun couldn’t satisfy a hunger.
I try normal cut fries which are pretty standard. I grab the red bottle to liven them up with tomato sauce. Alarmingly, it feels like there’s a divorce in my mouth and I realise it’s hot sauce. Huge error… and I almost cry peppery tears as I realise I have destroyed my chips.
Still, I munch my way through, every bite having to be being washed down with a sip of Red Stripe. The fiery burger and beer naturally compliment each other and I thoroughly enjoy having a slice of Jamaica culture in my mouth but I think Boom burger is worth a try, not the money.