Launched last month, Dub Jam, a tiny Jerk BBQ & Rum Shack in Covent Garden, offers a BBQ menu rooted in Caribbean everyday favourites, all served to the soundtrack of legendary Reggae label Trojan Records.
After last week’s sunny spell, we headed down to the shack to get in the summer spirit. When we say a tiny shack in Covent Garden, we mean tiny. With enough seating for about 25 people, all along bench seating made from reclaimed timber, the shack is more of a grab-and-go place than a sit-in restaurant. Still, the place was packed and we took a seat on one of the benches to tuck in to a starter snack of plantain chips, served with two different sauces; one made with scotch bonnet paste and one with crushed green tomatoes. Both were delicious; spicy but with a touch of sweetness, and the perfect accompaniment to the crisp, crunchy, thinly sliced plantain.
To offer a little respite from the heat of the scotch bonnet dipping sauce, we tried out Dub Jam’s Reggae Rum Punch. Made with Overproof Rum, the punch is ‘gravity-fed through the sound-system wall of speakers, slowly infusing it with genuine reggae sound waves for a truly unique drinking experience’. We’re not sure how much of this is true (or what difference it really made!) but the punch was fruity, refreshing and would have been even better enjoyed out in the sunshine.
Next, we moved on to the main event; Dub Jam’s range of Jerk Rebel Skewers. Marinated for 48 hours in the kitchen’s own secret jerk recipe (we tried to break the waiter, he wasn’t giving anything away), the skewers are smoked for up to 24 hours before being grilled on the BBQ. Served with Sunshine Slaw, the skewers were juicy, flavoursome and as full of taste as they were of heat, perfectly offset by the creamy sweet slaw. For sides, we went for Rice and ‘Peace’ with Rainbow Peppers and KJ’s Sweet-Potato Chips. The rice was light and fluffy, with added colour and crunch from the peppers, and the sweet potato chips were genuinely moorish, given an extra kick from a sprinkling of chilli.
Also available are the Beach Burgers, made from 28-day dry aged English beef packed into freshly baked flatbread pockets -we’ll definitely be back to try these.
Dub Jam offers the perfect menu for the coming summer months. The shack itself was packed, full of happy looking customers and friendly staff. But we think the best way to enjoy Dub Jam will be to grab some jerk chicken, sunshine slaw and rum punch to go, and head to the Covent Garden piazza to enjoy this rainbow food under the sun.
Dub Jam is open for lazy brunches, chilled out lunches, after-work BBQ and late night drinking.
20 Bedford Street
0207 836 5876
Open Monday to Thursday from 7:30am to 11:30pm; Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30am to Midnight and Sundays from 7:30am to 10:30pm