That good things come in little packages certainly depends on the context – but the ickle burst of sunshine that is Dub Jam is a small and mighty treasure. Bringing big bass, rum punch and all things Jerk to Covent Garden, these friendly fellas are Thomas Cooking customers out of their Londoner cynicism and into more Island inspired mindsets.
The only clue to Dub Jam’s rather minute premises is the fact that it’s palpably vibrating. With a lazy arm slung round its sister bar, Adventure Bar, Dub Jam creates a little pocket of revelry in an otherwise pleasant but uneventful side street. Cupboard sized, reticence isn’t an option here. In fact, a waitress regularly breaks out into the kinda dancing that threatens to spill over into a twerk attack. Everything from the lights made from recycled buoys, the reggae lyrics painted on the walls to the tie died gents bouncing around at the grill oozes comfort, ease and enjoyment
Real resourcefulness, creativity and care have been poured into the up-cycled chunky wooden tables, primary coloured stools and a sign which thanks Subway and McDonald’s for its U and M. The attitude is infectious.
The Food and Drink
A dude that clearly knew his Jerk from his jam took a pew beside me; exhorting the joys of the cuisine. Anyone that happy deserved to be trusted with my dinner, and he plonked Jerk chicken and halloumi kebabs, sweet potato wedges, sunshine coleslaw (yes, really) and a goat curry patty before me.
The added coconut and sultanas in the sunshine coleslaw certainly put a smile on my face and proved a lighter alternative to gloopy crimes against coleslaw. The Jerk chicken was jerky, the halloumi pillowy and the sweet potato wedges sprinkled with some sort of celestial Rasta dust. The surprise front runner was the patty – like a Cornish pasty but crammed with tender and warming goat curry.
There was a lot of hoo-ha about the rum punch; which was apparently sucked up into the massive speakers levitating atop the bar to be mixed by the bass. Now, I’m not sure about the mechanics of this (I’d already had a few glugs of the potent mixture), but there was certainly some intricate tubing. Whoever concocted it knew a lot about setting up a good mood, anyway.
As already mentioned, there’s a dancing lady, several beaming men in tie dye and a punch-bass thang going down. You’ll be blearily planning your very own beach shack in Cape Verde by the end of your visit. This is a great example of a few people artfully and passionately creating a happy microcosm, with the aid of a heck of a lot of that rum punch.
The food is simple yet authentic, the atmosphere friendly and the drinks flowing – what more could you ask for? A couple were clearly on a first date beside me, and Dub Jam did it’s damndest to ease it along. Fantastic for informal bites to eat, first dates with awkwardness eradicated and munch ups with mates. Although the food is generous, it’s pretty light so you won’t get that stodgy feeling dished out so readily by barbecue joints. A success story with a little extra bit more sass than the rest of ‘em.