J is for Jamaican: Bamboula

Bamboula's goat curry

Did you do your part for Goatober? I did.

Let me explain. Apparently, October (in the States) was “No Goat Left Behind” month. According to their website, “No Goat Left Behind is a serious project intended to introduce goat as a viable meat product in the United States, while simultaneously aiding dairy farms that have little need for male goats.” While we’re on it, we should also eat more offal and less-common cuts of all animals to waste less and drive down the cost of the the more common cuts (chicken breast, etc.), according to Andrew Zimmern.

Anyway, I kept reading about (how we don’t eat enough) goat on various blogs- particularly here and here– and was reminded that I actually really like goat.

Conveniently, it was time for ‘J’ and goat curry is a popular Jamaican dish.

Outside of Bamboula.

Other than a very mediocre experience I had once when I tore myself away from the Ethiopian vendor at Brick Lane for a change of pace, I had never had Jamaican cuisine.

Pete and I headed to Brixton, a neighborhood in southeast London with a large Caribbean community. The restaurant, Bamboula, was almost full (at lunchtime on a Saturday.)

Our spread.

We ordered 1/4 jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish (Jamaica’s national dish), and goat curry. Not only did I get to try a new cuisine during this visit- I also had the chance to try a new fruit and a new vegetable! The fruit was the ackee, which is apparently related to the lychee. It came to Jamaica from West Africa. I can’t really describe the taste, because the saltfish dominated the dish, but the texture was kind of like a peeled peach. In the photo, it’s the yellow stuff. Of the three dishes, this was my favorite.

I also tried callaloo, a new but more familiar vegetable, in one of the sides- callaloo rice. It’s basically spinach, or collard greens, or mustard greens and pretty underwhelming when mixed with rice. I’d like to try it prepared on it’s own though, since I love collard greens.

Jamaica's national dish: saltfish and ackee.

Jerk chicken is something I was slightly more familiar with, but seemed like a must-order at a Jamaican restaurant.

Jerk chicken.

Unfortunately, most of the dishes were luke-warm (despite taking over 25 minutes to arrive) and food that’s not hot enough is a huge pet peeve of mine (Thanks, Mom). Temperature aside, none of the dishes were very memorable. However, I can’t decide if this is because they were mediocre Jamaican dishes, or if I’m simply not that fond of Jamaican food. Either way, I should try more Jamaican/Caribbean food before I decide.

So that’s it. Happy belated Goatober. Eat more goat.

Inside Bamboula.

Details:

Bamboula

12 Acre Lane, SW2 5SG (tube: Brixton)

about £7-£10 per person (lunch)

note: meals seem to be £3-4 pounds cheaper at lunchtime but portions are still dinner-sized.

We were asked to write in the guest book!


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About Steph

Eating my way through London, one letter at a time! https://eatabetical.wordpress.com
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