The creator of Boom Burger, the Jamaican-style burger joint in Portobello Road, has opened Boom Shack on Brixton Station Road. Ify Uchegbu reviews. Photos Ed Everett.
The Brixton version has taken a different direction from its Portobello partner by swapping jerk chicken and burgers for breakfast and juices during the day and cocktails and sandwiches at night.
And that is a wise decision. The signature burger dish cooked up in Portobello, although delicious, wouldn’t stand out amongst the likes of Honest Burgers and the Joint. Equally, the jerk chicken and Jamaican side dishes need to be good when competing against the more authentic Jamaican eateries in Brixton.
Because it’s difficult to go wrong with a rum punch, and melted cheese masks many errors in a hot sandwich, I decided to try this place out for breakfast instead.
There is definitely a vacancy for a good breakfast that is not a full English or containing pastry, so Boom Shack could be onto something special with their menu. The new eatery advertised a good promotional offer that “the first 100 customers can choose a free item from either the breakfast or dinner menus” from 10am last weekend.
I joined the queue for the doors to open at 10.35am. There were three breakfast options (“sandwiches will be served at 12pm”, which surely by then 100 people would have come and they will no longer free?), no juice “at the moment” and no sign of any caffeinated drinks available.
A good restaurant knows the limits of its kitchen and three breakfast options are all you really need – bacon, egg and cheese brioche, scrambled egg and bacon jam brioche and avocado and scrambled eggs for the veggie option. Although a coffee would have been nice.
The décor definitely lives up to its name. The 21-seating space was clad with corrugated iron and wooden panels. Tasty sounding juices – what a shame they were not available – and cocktails were scrawled in chalk on the walls. And of course no trendy eatery is complete without a few exposed light bulbs and benches.
I ordered a bacon, egg and cheese brioche and my eating companion ordered the scrambled egg and bacon jam. Food came quickly. It was served in cardboard containers, which made eating a bit awkward because the high sides prevented you from really being able to get a good grip of a sandwich that was so juicy.
After managing to deconstruct my cardboard box I enjoyed a tasty breakfast sandwich. The bacon was streaky and crispy, the egg was fried with a runny centre, melted cheese is never a bad thing, the rocket (not an authentic Jamaican ingredient but always welcome) added a sharpness that complemented the sweetness of the brioche bun. The jerk mayonnaise was a wonderful tart and creamy sauce punctuated with Caribbean spices. The scotch-bonnet ketchup was also pretty good, if not toned down for the Western palette.
My eating partner also enjoyed his scrambled egg brioche, commenting that they were juicy and well flavoured. However, the bacon jam could have been swapped for actual bacon.
Boom Shack is on the right track with their interesting breakfast menu and let’s hope they start serving those delicious-sounding juices. I would not come here if you feel coffee is an essential component of breakfast. The brioche bun was’t huge – and at £7 a sandwich, it makes the Full English seem like exceptional value.