Best Turkish: Where the locals go, we go!


Where the locals eat usually means the food is authentic. In conversation with Mr Whyte, a Turkish @uber driver suggested we hit up @Capital_restaurants in Edmonton if we really are trying to find London’s #BestTurkishRestaurant because that is where he dines when feeling homesick.

As soon as Mr Whyte & Tongo entered Capital they were welcomed like regulars. “Sit where you want” the friendly waitress instructed. So we did!


STARTERS: The bread aka the starters – you know this is important to the Man Dem. Our free bread arrived fresh and warm. Not the tastiest Turkish bread we have ever had, but at least it was fresh and there was loads of it! Not a bad start.

MR WHYTE (aka Cheese Lover): I couldn’t see my preferred Adana Kebab and Chicken Shish mix on the menu, but since they are treating us like regulars I thought I would test the waters and ask for a combination that wasn’t on the menu. Our friendly waitress said yes to the Adana and Chicken Shish combo without hesitating. The exemplary service continues. But wait, Tongo is adamant he wants Lamb Shish which wasn’t included in his order. I am a team player and agreed to order a combination that included my beloved adana kebab with chicken and lamb shish, just so that he could sample the lamb shish.Now I must applaud Capital on its staff training. The service so far has been impeccable. Some Turkish restaurants go #OTT, constantly checking if everything is ok, they put @nandosuk to shame. On the other hand, some Turkish restaurants only care about flipping tables. They just want you to sit, order, eat, pay and leave. No time for pleasantries, let alone making up new combinations that aren’t on the menu!

The chicken shish was well seasoned. It had awesome flavour and oh so tender! This was amongst the best Turkish chicken I have had since old skool @Mangal_Ocakbasi days!The Adana Kebab was also well seasoned. It had flavour but not awesome. Still nothing beats Mangal 1’s Adana, however, Capital’s attempt was not to be dismissed. If I wasn’t an Adana connoisseur my taste buds would probably be going into melt down, like the first time a toddler experiences a sugar rush, bouncing off the walls. But I know my Adanas from my Urfas (they are cousins, google it, my Turkish peeps will know), and Capital’s Adana is just missing that little something.

What is Adana? Adana kebabı’ (pronounced ah-DAH’-nah keh-BOB’-uh) is the signature dish named after one of Turkey’s most famous “kebab cities,” Adana. ‘Adana’ kebab is made with ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and lamb that’s kneaded together with onion, garlic, and Turkish spices, then packed by hand around large, flat metal skewers. Once you have it, you will forget Doner meat ever existed like we have forgotten about black cabs since Uber came on the scene.

TONGO (aka Sweet Tooth): Looking forward to tonight’s visit after the debacle of the last pretender visit at #Antepliler we arrive and the place looks much nicer than I remember. The makeover works! For a Monday evening it was fairly busy.

Perusing the menu they had lots of desirable options, I was spoilt for choice! What stuck out for me though, was that they had various combination option dishes BUT the mixed grill didn’t have lamb ribs or chops in it! Like whaaaaaatttttt?!?! Capital what are you thinking? This made my decision way harder!

I asked the waitress if there was a full mixed grill with everything included but alas there wasn’t. She suggested that I should order the mixed chops which was lamb ribs & lamb chops only, and Mr. whyte order the mixed kebab (lamb & chicken shish and adana) and we share them. Mr. Whyte wasn’t having any of it, he wanted his chicken shish and signature adana to himself!! Fair enough! We compromised that we’d order as suggested and I’d swipe his lamb shish when it came. We even got to choose our side… rice obviously, none of that bulgur wheat stuff #pleaseandthanks


The food arrived and it was a fairly generous portion, 2 chops and 6 or 7 ribs. My favourite Turkish dish is lamb ribs and is generally my statutory order. These ribs were definitely a good choice as they had a nice flavour, were seasoned well and were quite meaty. Not the best ribs I’ve had in a Turkish restaurant but a valiant effort.

The chops were a good accompaniment as they were also tasty with little fat but not as nice as the ribs, for me. Oh yeah, let’s not forget my “newly acquired” lamb shish… Nice and tender, a welcome extra (in regards to getting a bigger quantity of food) but basically tasted like the lamb chops without the bone or fat.

I must give a special mention to the salad. Very well presented, fresh, plentiful, with a good combination of ingredients and the dressing had a pleasant piquant taste. A great example of how to do salad!


Although I wouldn’t class it as my personal top place to come, I would definitely attend here again.

SERVICE: We can’t state if it’s just the waitress we had or all staff but the service was exemplary. Attentive staff, timely with checking in on us and the food arrived quickly. You didn’t feel abandoned, or that overbearing feeling or like they can’t wait to get rid of you. Who knows if it would be maintained when the restaurant is full but if our waitress is anything to go by, you will want to tip the staff here when you visit!! Keep it up #CapitalRestaurant

OVERALL: Capital Restaurant are a good entry in the running for Best Turkish Restaurant in London. Tasty food, generous portions, reasonably priced and exemplary service… hard to go wrong really! A good all rounder, they are better than the average but something missing to be #limousine level. Not sure if it is the Best Turkish Restaurant as yet as we are still to visit some others in the list but definitely a contender.SCORE: 4 out of 6 man dems.


Best Turkish: Bread or Dead


The quest to find London’s #BestTurkishRestaurant continues. For this episode we have picked on the recommendation of @timeoutlondon.

Surely Time Out can be trusted? Or can they? Let’s find out.

STARTERS: We never need to order starters when do #Turkish due to the free bread, and the bread is so important. The quality of the bread usually sets the standard of the restaurant. Similar to how the cut of a steak tells you the quality a steakhouse.

As is the norm in any Turkish restaurant worth their hummus, bread and salad were brought to the table in anticipation of the mains. Both the bread and salad looked below par! The bread looked dry and not freshly baked like we are used to. We know it’s bread and it’s supposed to be dry (in essence) but come on, it’s not supposed to “look” dry even before touching or tasting it. There wasn’t much of it either, the portion was small for 3 Man Dem. Cheese Lover muttered he gets more bread when dining alone for lunch at his local Turkish spot. Maybe Timeout got the VIP bread.

We each tried a piece and it was, indeed, dry, with a crispy edge! Now, it being crispy round the edges wouldn’t even be an issue if the bulk / inside was light and fluffy but it was neither. It didn’t even seem fresh, more like bread from the day before. We didn’t finish the batch.


You know like when you take some of their bread home in your doggy bag and try warm it up but it never comes out anywhere near as good as when you’re in the restaurant, well, yeah that! As we stated earlier, this low standard of bread didn’t instill us with any confidence for the rest of the meal.

As for the salad, that was lack lustre… not enough for all of us and lacking in it’s ingredients!

CHEESE LOVER: My belly can’t handle mixed grills anymore. However, Antepliler had the perfect combination of my two most favoured Turkish meals, Adana kebab (minced lamb kofte) and chicken shish. This came with rice infused with chick peas. I wish I had been offered a choice of side as I would have opted for plain rice, instead I found myself picking out the peas.The chicken shish. Simple to cook but it needs to be prepped. To be considered for Best Turkish Restaurant your meat needs to be seasoned and seasoned well. Not throw on a little bit of herbs just before placing on the Ocakbasi grill. Your meat needs to have been marinated for hours and smothered in seasoning.

This chicken shish had flavour but wasn’t full of flavour, thankfully, it wasn’t bland. Otherwise I really would have believed #TimeOut had received special treatment.

On to the Adana kebab. Now, if I was on death row in Turkey, for my last meal I would order an Adana Kebab, that is how much I love this roll of minced lamb. But! It must be seasoned inside and out! Antepliler’s version of my favourite Turkish dish was just passable. It would not have been a last meal to remember before meeting my fate.

The outer layer of the lamb had a pleasant flavour to it, but also had a slight twang which I have tasted at other Turkish restaurants, not the best Turkish restaurants, but the restaurants you end up at courtesy of a friend’s recommendation. Once you starting tucking into the food, you soon realise this friend doesn’t have a clue about Turkish food, and should stick to the kebab meat at their local takeaway, instead of inviting me all the way to South London for what they think is posh Turkish food. I want my petrol money back!PEPPER MAN: I had the same meal as Cheese Lover and I agree with most of what he has said. I have nothing more to add and furthermore, I wouldn’t even have written this paragraph if given the choice. I was not impressed! #TheEnd

SWEET TOOTH: So I arrived at this restaurant (first again – shocking!) and all I could think was  #dead it’s empty!! So much for Time Out’s “the large dining room is almost always full to bursting” – well, not tonight mate! Only 2 or 3 tables are occupied. I was greeted promptly but when I mentioned we had a reservation, the man looked confused, however I was shown to a table immediately. In fact I was allowed to choose wherever I wanted.

Whilst I sat for the few minutes waiting for the others I was concerned that there were none of the usual aromas wafting from the direction of the grill as is usual for these types of establishments. Maybe I’m being premature but I was suspicious! The others arrive and we get straight to ordering, no starters required, mains only! Since this is to challenge for the #BestTurkishRestaurant I ordered a mixed grill for one so I could get as broad a range of the food as possible.

The mixed grill included the usual, lamb & chicken shish cubes, lamb adana, chicken wings and lamb ribs; all served with bulgar wheat and an extra bread. I can’t say much about this dish… it was meat, it was grilled and it had ‘some’ seasoning but not much flavour. Nothing to write home about or even a review for that matter! Nothing stood out or even came on a par with other Turkish restaurants that I’ve been to that are better that I wouldn’t even consider putting in the running for best Turkish.In fact, let me put it into better perspective… I took most of my meal home as, on the night, it didn’t satisfy the expectation I had built up for it. As we all know food always tastes better as leftovers (come on, you know I’m right!) but when I tasted the food again, it was kinda bland! I had to dip the meat in good old #Heinzketchup to make it taste reasonable! Remember what I said at the beginning… DEAD!! Shout out to the special sexy ‘extra bread’ served on the main meal dish though… that’s how you do bread!


OVERALL: The man dem are scratching our heads wondering why this restaurant was even a contender for best Turkish. What was the criteria? Seriously? How did it get into the list of London’s best Turkish Restaurants in Time Out? The food was average. Even the bread left us underwhelmed. Yes it is free, but Turkish bread speaks volumes for any Turkish restaurant. It sets the bar. If the Turkish bread is not fresh, warm, soft or plentiful, in our experience, the rest of your meal may leave you unsatisfied. Unfortunately, Antepliler continued the trend and backed up our theory.

We know Turkish restaurants don’t offer the greatest service, but our waiter was cold, we didn’t feel welcomed at all. We don’t even remember getting a goodbye when we departed and we even tipped him!

Not forgetting Cheese Lover is still waiting for his Turkish tea!

#Antipliler feel free to call us back in if that was just a bad day, but for now the man dem are not satisfied.

Due to the dry bread, sufficiently flavoured meat, and lousy service, we can only give a low score on this occasion.

SCORE: 1 out of 5 Man Dems.

Bun Brioche Buns?

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It is 2018, time for new things. New burger buns in fact. Brioche buns is sooo 2017, the Man Dem’s new thing are Japanese burgers and their ‘Hirata Buns’.

We first got introduced to Hirata Buns in the @absurduk review by Sweet Tooth and Cheese Lover. The second Absurd review saw the rest of the Man Dem pop their Hirata cherries.

So what is the fuss about. Will the Man Dem really ‘bun’ (slang for ditch, forget about, get rid of, etc) Brioche Buns? We need to find out. All roads lead to 3 Appold Street, where you’ll find @Beer_and_Buns above the K10 food place.

As you walk in and go up the stairs the walls are covered in chalk graffiti. You can even get your #Banksy on and add to it yourself. Ask one of the waiters and they’ll give you chalk to add your artistic creations to the walls. But enough of the arty stuff we came to check out their buns… can they take the title for best burger bun, let’s see!

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PEPPER MAN: I will deal with the starters. We are the chicken wing specialists, so we obviously ordered the wings. There were a few different types to choose from. We went for:

Korean Hot
Naked – Fried
Sweet & Spicy

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You order and pay for your food at the bar and they give you a buzzer like @TGIFridaysUK which you collect when it vibrates. Cheese Lover returned with his mains and our wings (oh yeah , starters and mains come together, unless you want to queue up twice to order). As I went to collect my main order, these craven men (Cheese Lover and The Manager) are tucking into the sweet & spicy wings. Ah wah di rass? Do they know who I am? I’m Pepper Man!! Those spicy wings had my name written all over them. KMT!!

There were only 2 of each wing (6 in total) so I had to miss out on those. I was pissed. I was left with the Korean Hot and the Naked Wings instead. In my opinion they were both good. I really enjoyed the Korean Hot ones. Slightly crispy coating but drenched in the Korean hot sauce which was sweet but had a mild fiery kick at the same time. It’s not spicy though. I would say on a par with @nandosuk medium. The Naked Wing was a fried chicken wing and it had a flavoursome crispy coating with succulent chicken underneath.

For myself I ordered the salt & pepper squid, crispy soft shell crab burger and the B&B signature burger. The soft shell crab burger has fresh green papaya salad with a Thai style dressing. The signature burger had Chicken karaage and yuzu koshu slaw. I say this like I know what it is. It’s chicken, and coleslaw simple!

The squid is on the menu as a bite. It is a starter but your whole order comes at the same time. The portion I received was huge! It could have fed all of us. Maybe a slight exaggeration but it was a lot more than expected. As much as it was a large amount it was horrible. Very chewy and zero taste. It came with a lime on the side so I squeezed that over it to add flavour but it couldn’t be saved. What a waste!

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My favourite out of the two burgers was the soft shell crab burger. That was delicious! Looking back I wish I ordered 2 or even 3 of them. Imagine eating fish cake or tempura prawns from a Thai restaurant. Add the papaya salad and that was the taste of the burger. Sweet, crispy and the right amount of meat. The chicken was cool but it didn’t wow me. It was just another chicken burger in a very soft bun. All the flavours were there as you would have expected but I just think the crab was much more palatable. I think the @absurdbird chicken burger was better.

Now the main difference from other burgers you may of had is that the buns are super soft almost pastry like bread. They’re actually called steamed Hirata buns. They complement the filling brilliantly, however, once you’ve finished the filling and you’re eating the last of the bread it’s literally tasteless. I didn’t bother finish it. Wasn’t a fan of the texture when on it’s own.

I also ordered the fries which come with a spicy mayonnaise. I took 3 chips and gave up. I need ketchup. The chips themselves weren’t bad, but as I couldn’t add any sauce to them due to the pathetic amount of mayonnaise and the fact they don’t have ketchup I couldn’t finish them. It’s actually disrespectful at what they give you to dip your chips in.

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For the record they don’t sell juices either. Only fizzy drinks, Japanese cocktails and beers. You telling me the Japanese don’t drink orange, apple or cranberry juice? Come on, @beer_and_buns can do better. Minor changes can make this a decent lunch spot or a place to get a quick bite after work.

THE MANAGER: Sooooo I’m late again, not my fault, postcode on @waze took me somewhere else! Hot, flustered and hungry, I walk into the spot actually wondering if it was open. Lights were dimmed, almost off, chairs being stacked. A cleaner pointed me to the stairs to the restaurant. Maybe something for Beers and Buns to think about! Anyhow, I was greeted by the mandem who were sat at a rather dark and dingy table. Probably as dark as a night flight on a long haul plane ride. As I was late, I wasn’t greeted or asked any questions but the mandem stated that contact with the staff was minimal and almost nonchalant. Bah! Who cares I just wanted the hirata buns!

Chicken wings – what can I say, I was actually taken aback! First up, I had the spicy version of the wings. They had taken time with these babies! The underlying batter coating was crispy which suggests a proper fresh batch of the wings. The spicy bbq coat was just that “spicy but not overbearing” and had a slight nudge, not a kick though, a nudge. These alone are something I’d come back for! There was a brief discussion about them being better than @Clutchchicken (read the review from our visit) but that was soon pushed under the table. The second wing was the non spicy variety, meh, basically like the spicy one but with no spice haha, I won’t bore you with that detail again.

Next I ordered the cheesy chips, (or fries) and one Beef bun (Bulgogi Beef) and one chicken bun (Chicken Karaage). I believe the beef was done in a brisket style, but to be honest the beef was a little tough, maybe dry or even over done. I’m not quite sure, it wasn’t chewy but it was enough for me not to want a third bite, yes I took a second, just to be sure. In these things you always compare to places you have been before to say which is better, and……. actually let’s leave that till later.

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The second was the chicken bun… oh the buns are a Japanese bread which is steamed, very soft and almost melt when it comes into contact with the tongue, but! Yes BUT! …There is almost no flavour to it which is good as you can focus more on what’s inside, a contender for the legendary brioche bun? Maybe.

Right, back to it, the chicken, this was a fried chicken piece wrapped in the bun with added mayo ( I couldn’t work out if it was spicy) then topped with coleslaw, honestly it was OOOOOOOK, and that’s the best word I can use to describe it, aiight OK isn’t a word but to me if you bought the bun from a Japanese supermarket, bought a boneless strip from @sams_chicken in neasden and added mayo or perinaise you would have the same thing, and two for the price of one… mate! The Sams’ version may even be more satisfying! I dunno, I personally think what we were given at @Absurdbirduk was leagues above, and more value for money.

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The last thing to comment on was the cheesy Korean fries. In essence they were good, not too much sauce, just enough cheese but not cheese that was plastic to taste but more so a mild flavour. Question though, why can’t you restaurants ask what strength of cheese we want on the cheesy fries!?!?!? C’mon! Would make the whole thing just that lil bit better, it’s not even Korean cheese, do Koreans do cheese? Hmmmm.

CHEESE LOVER: I could be on the verge of leaving Team ‘Brioche’ bun and transferring over to Team ‘Hirata’ bun. After my recent #absurdbird experience, Beer and Buns might seal the deal.

Before signing, I had to do my final due diligence on team ‘ Hirata’. I ordered the signature Chicken Karaage bun. It looked the part in its pale Japanese style bun. I took my first bite and told my agent to begin negotiations… where’s that pen? The soft succulent bun was the perfect combination with the chicken, and the ‘koshu slaw’ added the extra kick of flavour. Karaage is a Japanese cooking technique in which the chicken is deep fried in oil. The coating was crispy and inside was tender and seasoned enough.

Before I signed the contract and waved goodbye to team ‘Brioche’ bun, I had one more test to confirm the grass was greener in ‘Hirata’ land. In anticipation of being converted, I sunk my teeth into the Bulgogi Beef Bun. Bulgogi is a Korean beef BBQ recipe, Beer and Buns serve it with Korean Kimichi which is made of seasoned vegetables and salt.

Unfortunately, this Bulgogi Beef Bun did not take me to the promised land. The veg didn’t blend well with the beef, the beef itself was lacking some zest. This tastelessness exposed the faults of ‘hirata’ buns. Thick! Bland! This was further compounded when I finished the beef inside and was left with what I can only describe as what tasted like I was eating a lump of flour! In comparison, I can eat a fresh Brioche Bun by itself once I have finished off the meat.

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I will be staying on Team Brioche. The grass is not greener in ‘Hirata’ land!

SERVICE: Service was a bit ropey, but once you accept #BeersandBuns have gone for a city pub vibe you begin to relax into the surroundings. Shabby chic I think they call it. Dull lighting. No table service. Abrupt staff behind the bar.

OVERALL: This is definitely not a place for date night. Instead, it is perfect for a few beers, some Japanese infused burger buns and the odd chicken wing!

SCORE: 2 out 5 man dems

Second Chance


I (Sweet Tooth) was first to arrive (this is becoming a habit lol) but terrible start! #kmt Firstly, I think I must have turned into the invisible man on my way here!! Either that or I accidentally got covered with the invisibility cloak of #HarryPotter and didn’t know! (But more about that later) On top of that the #Mandem table’s not even remotely ready yet… they are only cleaning it now and man’s on time!!! Come on @absurdbird this is us giving you lot a second chance here man #helpusout

I wait a further 5mins and the rest of the mandem arrive and the table’s ready… finally we can get to the food!

STARTERS: Do we really need to go there? You know what it is… we ordered wings! What else.

And as we have our very own wing expert I think we’ll let him break it down for you…

THE MANAGER: Hmmmm, late again but you know what, after our first visit I didn’t even care, can’t remember what we scored it, but it wasn’t the greatest. But the Man Dem said let’s give them a second chance… for me, if you mess up my food that’s it, done, we over, but them man seem to have more heart than I, maybe due to it being a new year and all.

The last time we came I had some rubbish excuse for a chicken burger, semi vex because since the last visit one of the man dem have been banging on about the Bao buns, again vex because I had some spicy chicken burger that wasn’t spicy (Do I sound like I’m holding a grudge? Oh well!)

Ok, ok… let’s move to the current. We ordered a selection of wings BBQ, Buffalo, smoked and the special of the day wings which were Japanese style Salt & Chilli.

Mixed feeling about them all, the man dem got into a heated debate about which were best, but take it from me, the BBQ wings were on point, and even better than them were the Specials! OMG I could have eaten 8, the BBQ were perfect in regard to the sauce. Sometimes establishments over do it, or under do it sauce wise but these were finger licking good (I’m sure that’s from somewhere, ahhh it’s all chicken) my one minus point would be to the grade of chicken that’s being used.

Personally, I think they and a lot of other establishments need to up their viva in regard to the quality, it’s not bad, but spending a few more pennies makes the difference. The waiter made a joke to suggest that the wings were big, I’m like these ain’t nothing in comparison to what White Men Can’t Jerk push out, but hey I guess he never came to the Hot Wing competition!

The final flavour of wings that I want to talk about were the specials… the flavour of the month… garlic, chilli, lightly salted! If the Earth was about to be destroyed by Beerus, a plate of these wings would stop him in his tracks (big up the Dragon Ball Super fans). Deep fried, lightly seasoned, the batter over the wings was perfect and the garlic and chilli I almost wanted to mix the leftover garnish in rice and have a next experience! Make sure you try these!

SWEET TOOTH: Of the starters, my favourite was the Smoked Chicken. I found them very flavoursome and reminiscent of home cooked roast chicken. I also enjoyed the Japanese style and BBQ Chicken flavours. I didn’t even attempt to try the Buffalo as I’m not a fan of the Buffalo flavour.

From the last visit here I knew what I wanted for my main… #sliders I might hold ah portion of sweet potato fries but man ain’t too fussed! Sliders first… everything else is secondary! Bearing in mind the skin teet inducing 50% discount we were getting on this visit, I decided I’m gonna gorge n order BIG! I ordered 5 of the “Dirty buns & sliders” (see previous review for description of what these are at: ) 1 x Fried Chicken Slider, 1 x Marinated Grilled Chicken Dirty Bun, 1 x BBQ Pulled Chicken Slider and 2 x Fried Chicken Dirty Bun. I have reviewed all the above, except the BBQ Pulled Chicken Slider, in our previous review as I only had 3 of these delicious mini burgers last time, so I will still give them a mention but not go so in depth.

Last time I visited I ranked them in order of favourite as, 1st: Fried Chicken Slider, 2nd: Fried Chicken Dirty Bun, 3rd: Marinated Grilled Chicken Dirty Bun so I’m glad for the opportunity to see how each ranks this time round and where the BBQ Pulled Chicken Slider fits in my assessment.

The BBQ Pulled Chicken Slider simply consists of pulled chicken in a smokey BBQ sauce, “topped with crispy onion” (as per menu description) in a mini brioche roll, but the crispy onion was more like mini battered onion rings. It was an average option for me but maybe that’s because I expected the crispy onion to be the chopped up version you would get on a hot dog so was inadvertently disappointed.

This time round I ordered the Fried Chicken Slider without the pimento cheese. I thought I did that the last time too and was shocked to find I didn’t. lol Although it was still very tasty and I liked the combination of the well fried chicken with the salt / sweet taste of the bacon jam in mini brioche roll, something was missing… I know now that it was the lack of the pimento cheese.

I remembered the Marinated Grilled Chicken Dirty Bun also being nice and this time it didn’t disappoint. I was still pleasantly surprised at my enjoyment of the inclusion of honey mustard mayo but I can be excused because the combination of the mayo with the other ingredients together (lightly tenderly grilled chicken and Asian slaw all inside a mini version of those soft white Japanese buns) still worked.

It’s strange reading back the previous review that I ranked the Fried Chicken Dirty Bun as 2nd as that’s the one that I remembered the most from our previous visit and why I ordered two this time. I feel like I might have mistyped last time and listed them in the wrong order of preference! 🤦🏾‍♂ Anyway I digress… this “bun” with the lightly fried  succulent battered chicken, pickled cucumber and onion with that sublime sriracha sauce is still the most delicious concoction of them all and now definitely ranked number one for me! 😍👌🏾

PEPPER MAN: Well I’m definitely not going for the crispy fried chicken burger. Forget that! I remember from last time that that was a huge disappointment. I recall Cheese Lover ordered the sliders and he was banging on about them for ages so I thought let me do the same and if it’s not great I can blame him. I ordered the fried chicken slider, buffalo slider and fried chicken dirty burger slider.

Earlier from the wings we ordered, I really enjoyed the buffalo wings. I’m not usually a fan of them but these were just right. Not too tangy or hot, just Juicy and flavoursome. That being the case I had high hopes with the buffalo slider but how wrong was I? It was like I bit into a lemon. It was completely different to the wings I had. It literally made my eyes squint. I couldn’t even finish it. Horrible.

Next up was the standard fried chicken slider. Another disappointing burger. I took more bites out of this one but I couldn’t finish it. The bacon jam they used isn’t nice at all. I must say though for sliders they are very generous in size. No complaints there.

My final slider was the dirty fried chicken burger. WOW! That’s all I can say. If you’re going to Absurd Bird, just order the dirty burger sliders. They are beautiful. Forget brioche. What ever this bun is, it’s the new ting, the real ting…THE ONLY TING!!! I was vex I didn’t order 3 of these. I am definitely going back just for those sliders. They are THAT good!

THE VEGAN 🙄: I am still in relapse mode so i thought why not give it another try,
I know what to avoid this time… the Barbecue pulled chicken burger is defo a no go after last time! 🤦🏾‍♂ and we’ve attended on a quieter day of the week this time so the possibilities of errors should be minimal…. or so we thought! 🙈

This time round I decided to get a selection so I went for the sliders. Seeing as it was 50% off. I went innnn for the big 5! Yezzer!!! I chose the black bean, buffalo, barbecue chicken and 2 dirty fried chicken sliders.

I was impressed at the black bean slider. Very tasty. The buffalo and barbecue were average nothing to shout about.. but the dirty Fried chicken sliders… now these just made this relapse worth it!!

The texture of the bun and the tender chicken melting in your mouth after one bite was just awesome. I didn’t even feel guilty again after that…. I was happy I had the relapse! Hello meat!! 😍🤫

If I do have another relapse in the (near 👀) distant future it will be for that slider! 😋 P.S. Veg I still love you… sorry I cheated!

SERVICE: So let’s talk about Sweet Tooth’s invisibility. After waiting patiently for someone to acknowledge him whilst standing on his own at the entrance, the lady greeting customers (who he swears saw him standing there alone slightly before) completely bypassed him standing at the front of what was by then, (some 5mins later), a group of 4 people which was actually him by himself plus a group of 3 people behind him that only just arrived, to ask the tall white man of that group if they had a table / booking etc. The woman of the group then said “I think he’s before us” referring to Sweet Tooth.

“The cheek of it is that the member of staff then said she thought we were all together!! #bruh My thing is even if she did think that, why bypass me? Let me be clear here, I mean why physically walk around me like I’m invisible, like I‘m a stationary object in her way to ask the other guy, if i’m at the front of the group and you think we’re together? #dpmo 😐🤷🏾‍♂ “ he says once we were seated. He was not happy!

However, once we got our table the service improved as the waiter was polite, friendly and knew his way around the menu. He had good banter and made for a good enough experience to put the negative beginning to the back of our minds. Oh yeah, we almost forgot… the food arrived quickly this time round but they still got some of the order wrong and still didn’t have any milkshakes! #fail


OVERALL: The experience on the whole was an improvement on our previous visit. Although it was deemed a quieter day the restaurant was bustling with people and fairly busy for a Wednesday, probably due to the fact they were offering 50% off the food bill… well, Man Dem had to take advantage of that!

#AbsurdBird is definitely a place to go for a meet up with friends for a casual bite to eat, especially if you‘re in the mood for chicken but bear in mind it’s not your Michelin star establishment so don’t expect to be amazed.

SCORE: 3 out of 6 mandems.

Fireman Sam

Based in the Old Fire Station right next to Tottenham Town Hall, #ChickenTown has apparently been open for business for almost 2 years! The concept (taken from their website) states “because we’re a social enterprise: we serve up our affordable, healthy and tasty food not for a profit, but for the benefit of the local community.”

We like to support our own so with this in mind the @ManDemVFood decided to check it out and show some community spirit.

SWEET TOOTH: I was the first to arrive at @chickent0wn (ha ha in your face #PepperMan) and the place was rather dull and completely empty. Not sure if that’s a good or bad sign for a Thursday evening. I was seated by the waitress Kyra, who was polite and welcoming, offering me a drink straight away and brought over a jug of water and some glasses and menus for the table… she seemed on the ball. Most of the #ManDem arrived shortly after, except #TheManager who was quite late, unusual for him.


Once he arrived we ordered the starters straightaway… wings of course! At chicken town there were two types, BBQ wings and Korean style, we had both. Each was tasty, but the Korean stood out for me as the flavour was more intense, plus I could manage them as they weren’t hot as their description suggested but had a little kick, more like what a generous addition of black pepper tastes like.

For my main I opted for the pieces (you get the leg + breast part of the chicken with a choice of crumb) rather than a burger and chose the “Fancy Pants”, which is a rosemary salt and lemon crumb flavour. This came with 2 sides for £10, so I added sweet potato wedges and onion rings. The presentation left a lot to be desired but hopefully that wasn’t reflected in the taste. The chicken had a good flavour coating but the meat itself, although succulent, was flavourless. The sweet potato wedges were basically a bowl of mashed sweet potato pieces with their skin on, no solid form or shape to them at all.  The onion rings also had a nice flavour coating but were too greasy so I only ate one. I was deeply disgruntled with my meal. I am undecided whether I should give them another try or just add them to the “at least I tried it” pile.

THE MANAGER: I arrived late, but hey ho! I’m the manager! I wish, got a cussing because the mandem were hungry, as Bob Marley said ….. “a hungry man is an angry man”

We all looked at the menu and regardless of where we go we order wings, whether they are hot wings or bingo wings. We seem to be turning into chicken wing experts!

Wings arrived and looked promising, not well presented I may add, but maybe it was a no thrills ting, and it was all about the taste like the wings we had at #Boomburger. I dived in, and first thing was the wings weren’t hot, as in freshly fried, baked, cooked (however they prepare them), but I can’t say they lacked in taste. I will say that the Korean wings were awesome, mentioned to #CheeseLover that these wings were on par with those that we had at #clutch! Man shot me down quick (but they are imo).


I went on to order a side of Macaroni cheese, cheesy jalapeño chips, and an SAS (smokey and spicy chicken burger with coleslaw, lime mayo and a slice of cheddar). Sigh! was I disappointed, the chips and the burger again were not fresh to the point that they were not hot, possibly below Luke warm, I mean how can chips not be hot when they come straight out of the kitchen? It’s not like the restaurant was full and the place was bustling with people and vibes! The macaroni cheese was OK, I can’t say more than that, very cheesy and yes it was hot, but no wow factor, nothing that makes me want to tell you “Go NOW and taste this dish from Chicken Town”, it was just ok. Would I have it again? Yeah, if Nando’s wasn’t close.


On to the SAS Burger, for me anything that is named after the Special Air Service should be dangerous, spicy hot like a #whitemencantjerk chicken wing, or the taste profile should be soooooo intense due to secret ingredients that my mind is blown away! But no, it was just a chicken sandwich, the bun was burnt, and as stated before the chicken in the burger was warm, not hot. It was supposed to be smokey and spicy, tasted neither, SAS more like Dad’s Army if you ask me!

PEPPER MAN: I was going to order the SAS chicken burger, but when I heard The Manager order it, I swiftly changed my mind, kept it basic and chose the classic burger. This comes filled with coleslaw and a slice of cheese. As you already know, chicken and cheese doesn’t make sense to me so i made sure they didn’t include it in my burger. As soon as my burger came I was surprised of how basic it really was. It reminded me of one of those 1 minute microwave burgers. It was a fat piece of chicken (the thigh) but the circumference was small. I took a bite and it was nothing special. If I’m being totally honest I would have preferred a fillet burger from #KFC. A couple more bites and the burger was done. Very disappointing. I didn’t order fries so that was my meal done. They’re just lucky their Korean wings are banging otherwise I would have been fuming.

CHEESE LOVER: Chicken Town… it was so poor I don’t want to write about it! I have had better burgers from a disposable BBQ! Probably the worst burger I’ve ever had! I’m never going back! They should sack the chefs, close down the restaurant and let the firemen back in to make better use of the building!

“Manager intervention”

He refused to comment further on the food and the restaurant, and stands by the idea that it should be turned back into a fire station, however for the insubordination he will face a formal investigation!

OVERALL: The Man Dem love the idea of the concept of Chicken Town, especially the Junior Special options, where they use the profits for the main meals to enable them to provide meals for the young people in the area at a price similar to the more ‘traditional’ chicken shops in the area from as little as £2 for a more healthy version of what these young people love. Great idea!

However, we feel they need to work on the taste of the food as if it stays as it is, they may not last long in this battle for the young people’s custom. Granted we attended in the evening which is outside the timespan that the Junior Special is offered so we have no idea how busy it gets during that time on a daily basis, but considering it was a Thursday evening it didn’t get much busier as the night went on, which isn’t a good sign. We hope, for the young people, the community and the sake of the business that the empty place in the evening isn’t a mimic of it’s daily custom.

SCORE: 1 out of 6 mandems

Lucky Dip

This is becoming a regular ting… another trip for the #ManDem south of the river, #Brixton again! This time the destination is @dipflippo – a burger joint with a difference, a burger joint where they dip your burger in gravy!! Wait… what? They do what now?!? Yep, you read correctly… let us explain.

There are 3 main options…

1. Dip & Flip burger is a burger that has a topping of meat (beef or lamb) dipped in gravy with gravy served on the side for extra dipping.

2. Dip burger is a roll with the meat (roast chicken, roast beef or slow roast lamb) dipped in gravy with option to double dip it, which means you can dip the roll in gravy too!

3. Flip burgers are your normal every day burgers with gravy served on the side.

Ok, sounds interesting… let’s do this!!

**Sidenote: We decided to skip starters as we didn’t have the full team out on this occasion and they only had wings which only came in one flavour choice, which the waitress described as very spicy and #PepperMan wasn’t up for the challenge today!

PEPPER MAN: I ordered the dip and flip lamb burger. I chose the lamb because I thought I would have something different rather than the usual beef as it’s not like me to take risks with my food very often. 👀
I also pushed the boat out and had the milkshake of the month, which was chocolate & banana crumble. The crumble part was digestive biscuit mixed in with the shake. It was actually really nice, so nice I finished it in one gulp! The consistency was perfect. Not too thick or too runny.

Although the restaurant wasn’t that busy, there were quite a few people dining whilst we visited. There was only one waitress covering the whole restaurant but amazingly my burger came in record time… It was so quick! I definitely weren’t complaining I was just surprised at the speed. It was hot all the way through and the cheese was dripping all over the lamb dipped in gravy sandwiched between a luke warm
brioche bun. I took a big bite and it was a total mess. There was gravy and melted cheese everywhere but WOW! We have another contender for best burger! Seriously, it was heavenly. The meat was tender and moist from the gravy. I wasn’t too keen on dipping my burger in a gravy. I couldn’t work out the link. The meat in gravy made sense but not the whole burger. Anyway I gave it a try and I can honestly say, I won’t be doing that again. It was disappointing and almost spoiled my experience of eating this fine tasting burger. It literally just makes the whole burger soggy. It was foul. Sorry. Stick to the basics. There’s obviously a reason why no one else does this.

Life is NOT better when dipped in gravy.

THE VEGAN 🙄: I got the potato Rosti Burger with a fried egg and squeezy cheesy fries. I was a bit hesitant about getting this burger. The fried egg had me scratching my brow like… Uhhmmm, how is this gonna work? But the mandem don’t get shook easily so on that note… I’m going in! When it arrived, it was presented well. The brioche was lightly toasted (just how i like it) but I was watching the egg as if it was watching me.. 👀.. man was #cautious dread! But I thought, I am not letting this egg deter me. Soooooooo… The first bite was a BIG one, just to get the flavours moving around the mouth so I can gage the full extent of this weird combination. Well! As I was chomping on the medley of rosti, fried egg, gherkins and ketchup I had an outburst (I even surprised myself!) ‘this burger is actually nice!’ …aannddd it was tasty! The rosti did come across a bit dry but the gherkins compensated for that so it was not that bad…. Yes, I can definitively say “The burger was nice dread!”

The squeezy cheesy fries were well seasoned and topped with a mixture of cheeses. However, I must say after a while I found the cheese too much, in fact it became overbearing, almost all cheese and no fries. Not so much cheese is needed in my opinion, it should compliment the fries not drown them. But all round it was a good eat. Yo #SweetTooth what was your meal saying?

SWEET TOOTH: So I decided to go for the “Dip” which isn’t actually a burger, but more of a sub as it were. On the menu described as “Our daily roast meats served in a freshly baked bread roll with cabbage slaw and pickles along with your choice of sauce and dipping preference.” #decisionsdecisions

Out of a choice of roast chicken, roast beef topside or slow roast lamb, the chicken wasn’t available so for me the only choice was the lamb #favouritemeat n all that, the beef had no chance! In fact, who am I kidding, even if the chicken was available it still would have lost to the might of meat that is lamb!! Of the 3 sauce options (mint, horseradish cream or garlic lemon mayo) I chose the mint… like who doesn’t choose mint sauce with lamb anyway?!? Anything else would have been a sin!! I also decided to have it ‘dipped’ – where just the meat is dipped, rather than ‘double dipped’ – where they dip the meat AND the roll!! Yeah, I can’t get my head round it either! I ain’t risking it, i’ll leave them tings to man like #PepperMan 👀 I ordered my standard sweet potato fries for my side (if they’re on the menu I’m ordering them) n a special order strawberry & banana milkshake. Special shout out to our waitress Andrelina(?) for the hookup. The milkshake had good flavour although it could have been thicker for my preference.

The food arrived in record time n it looked relatively standard in appearance when it came. I tried the sweet potato fries first… wait a minute… What is this? They are AMAZING!! I’m confused… they are just sweet potato fries… why is this my reaction? #calmdownbruv Well these are not just any sweet potato fries… these are the best I’ve tasted in all the #MDVF visits BY FAR!! They were the colour that good sweet potato fries should be, (you know that ‘golden orange’ lol) and had that light crisp n crunch on the outside and were slightly fluffy on the inside but that’s not even the best bit! The best bit, the bit that lifted them from Premiership to World Cup level was the delicate sprinkling of salt n some other herb that I wanna say is rosemary but I can’t be sure. I was so mesmerised by the taste I forgot to ask our waitress what it was. All I know is, if you go there, get them. #thatisall

Now, for the #Dip. Oozing an overload of meat n gravy dripping down the side of the bottom half of the bun it looked a hot mess! But don’t let looks deceive you cos a hot mess it was not! The top of the bun seemed hard to touch but when you bit into it “Oh man!” it was perfect! It was just how you want a bun/roll to be (if it’s not brioche) the light crisp, flaky crust then complete soft n light bread underneath. It complimented the succulent n tender lamb perfectly. The lamb was doused in the mint sauce which had a nice ratio of mint flavour to gravy/sauce consistency and made the meat simply juicy. The mint flavour wasn’t overbearing so provided a nice compliment of flavour and as I continued to devour this tasty dish discovering the pickle and cabbage slaw as I bit further and further into it just made for a plethora of flavours that was intense to say the least. I did dip the roll into the accompanying gravy for one bite but surprisingly that lessened the pleasure as it made the roll taste more of the gravy than anything else. I would definitely recommend this dish to anyone but don’t dip #justeat

SERVICE: The service was not outstanding but (as mentioned earlier) for the waitress to be covering the whole restaurant and the service still to be a fairly high standard is commendable. Our waitress was very polite and bubbly. Marks for her knowledge of the menu and guidance on how the dip concept works. Had certain man #baffed
The restaurant was simple and neat with not too much going on in the decor department. The atmosphere was moderate but maybe that’s because of the time we attended. Location suggests weekends would be busy.

OVERALL: The concept of Dip and Flip may be confusing at first and it will need an explanation for some, The Vegan 🙄 was struggling! But the food was well put together and some of their experiments seems to work. The dishes we had were flavourful and we would definitely recommend them if you were to visit #dipandflip. The restaurant is a good destination for any casual meet up whether a date, friendly catch up or for a group occasion. If you’re in the area or wanna try this concept of gravy with your burger, why not pass through and take a dip!

SCORE: 4 out of 6 mandems

Boom Shake The Room

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Still excited from the #NottingHillCarnival vibes the mandem wanted one more taste of their Caribbean heritage and @boomburger seemed just the place! Located in the heart of the carnival route it is calling out to be visited and what better time than now in the bask of Carnival week.

As soon as you step inside you can clearly see this is more of a take away place rather than a dine in restaurant. They literally only have 2 booths in there that can seat about 7-8 each. They don’t take reservations so you have to just turn up and hope you can get a seat or failing that just take it away. They do have outside seating for about 15-20 people but who wants to be sitting outside in this confused English weather.

Luckily for us, both inside booths were available for us to utilise so we were able to eat in. The music was so loud though, we couldn’t hear each other speak. Clearly another sign that this isn’t for dining.

Anyway on to the food…

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STARTERS: After the #hotwingchallenge evening we did with @whitemencantjerk some of the Man Dem have a lust for the heat of a well done chicken wing!

Both our mains and starters all arrived at the same time, and as much as we wanted to tuck straight into our burgers, we started slowly on the wings. We ordered two types, Jerk Wings, they called them sticky wings, and Boom wings.

We all tasted the Boom wings first… they were dry and crispy, perfectly fried chicken, piping hot, made from a quality grade of chicken. The first bite could only be described as dipping your full body in a bath that was set to just the temperature you like it and as you enter you make that “Ahhhhhhhh” sound. The wings were actually “boom”!!

The other type was the sticky wings, we were expecting these to blow off our heads, but no, these wings were the same as the Boom Wings but with a Jerk sauce covering them, the sauce was perfect, if you’re not one for very spicy food these are for you, but in saying that if you like a little kick and love the jerk flavour these are also for you, we’d actually visit Boom Burger just for the wings, that’s how good they are in our view.

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SWEET TOOTH: The ironic thing for me is that I passed @boomburger on Carnival Monday and thought to myself “aahh this is where it is… I must come n visit soon” so imagine how immediately enthused I was about finally visiting there as I’ve heard nothing but good things about the place. I arrived at this Reggae Shack looking place 30 mins late (bloody #TfL 😤) and had to stop n check I wasn’t in sunny #Jamaica as it reminded me of many a roadside eatery out there. #Dancehall playing in the background n a jovial greeting from the man dem already inside. Two two fist bump n a couple of nods later The Manager said, “Boy you better order quick, man dem have ordered already star!”

A quick peruse of the menu and I knew I wanted the Stamp & Go (aka saltfish fritters) for starters but unfortunately they had run out of the fritters #KMT #vex and the rest of the #mandem had already ordered both sets of wings to share so that was that!

For my mains I ordered the Jerk Boom (a burger highlighted as ‘popular’ on the menu) with plantain fries… wait, what… Wha ya mean plantain fries?! Do you mean actual fries made of plantain or do you mean plantain chips… man needs to know! Actually, who cares I’m ordering them same way… will see what they are when they arrive init!

The food arrived and to my surprise the chicken in the Jerk Boom was not a breast fillet/burger as expected it would be better described as pulled jerk chicken. #levels The meat was tender and succulent and seasoned VERY well. It was so full of flavour I had to pause and ask myself “Did i just die and go to #foodheaven or what?” then combined with the bed of fried plantain and rocket and topped off with the mango and paw paw sauce, it was like my taste buds were still chipping down the road in carnival holding the #sweetestwhine lol #amazing

The plantain fries were… #drumrollplease …actual fries! Think hand cut potato fries but made of plantain! I know it’s hard to comprehend but that’s exactly what they were. They were not too greasy, as you might expect when plantain is fried and had the crisp outside and soft inside you’d expect from a potato chip shop chip but of course slightly sweet, being that it was plantain. An innovative dish that I would easily have again.

In fact, writing this review I think I’m going back today!!

PEPPER MAN: Obviously I was there first as I’m always on time. The reggae music was blaring out at carnival decibel levels which kept me entertained until everyone else arrived. I came to boom burger a couple of months back and since then I’ve always wanted to come back. I managed to sneakily persuade the mandem to venture out of the manor to #NottingHill, well #PortobelloRoad to be exact and try it for themselves.

I know we covered the starters already but I have to mention the sticky wings were a little bit spicy but after man recently completed the #WMCJ hot wings challenge man can deal with that no problem. I think they were the boom wings with jerk/BBQ sauce. Weirdly enough I would still choose the boom wings over the sticky wings though. Not because of the spice but because you can taste the chicken flavour more in the boom wings. The sauce on the sticky wings takes away the succulent chicken flavour.

Bacon Boom Burger – absolutely delicious. I asked them to add plantain for the sweetness and…mate! It was amazing. I didn’t order chips (on a diet) and I was seriously considering buying another one. It was that good. The sweetness of the plantain, the salty flavour from the bacon and the creamy melted cheese over the medium cooked beef Pattie was truly delightful.

If boom burger was local to me I’m pretty sure I would forget the diet and be ordering every week!

CHEESE LOVER: Pepper Man looked at the menu and told me what I was ordering the ‘Cheesy Boom’. He was correct, although the ‘Mad Boom’ did catch my eye.

Presentation was nothing special, but let’s not judge a book by its cover! The Burger arrived in a healthy size, but not too big to pick up with my hands, which I prefer to cutting it in half.

This was probably the softest brioche bun ever! Soft that the first time I picked up the burger, the patty almost slipped out because my fingers just sunk into the bun without a firm grip. Very good start once I trained myself to hold the burger. Please can any other bun type be banned! #Brioche only.

So the ‘Cheesy Boom’ looked ok, the bun felt deluxe, but how did it taste? In one word #marvellous! On a par with some of my favourites over at @byronburger and @pattyandbun. Slightly messy like #Pattyandbun but manageable. Succulent with every bite, well seasoned bun, every bite was a delight.

The piece de resistance was the plantain strips, which gave the burger a tangy sweet after taste. The first time I had experienced plantain in this fashion was in the #legendary @dubplateskitchen Curry Goat Slider, which is still my first choice Caribbean influenced burger or slider.

The ‘Cheesy Boom’ comes close to the #Dubplateskitchen’s slider, I would return for more.

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THE MANAGER: For me carnival was still in the air, a lil back pain from whining a few females but hey, BOOM BURGER, let’s be honest nothing to look at from the outside but we had heard lots about this spot.

I was starving (as always) but was taken by two burgers on the menu, the Jerk Boom burger, and the Boom Cheese burger! I was in two minds to order both but I’m on a diet, and not the “see food” diet either. I was also interested in the wings, after the Hot Wing challenge we did with @whitemencantjerk I have a lust for the heat of a well done chicken wing! Talking of the starters the wings were that good to the point that in the portion I probably ate more than my fair share, (shhhhhh don’t tell them, bah I’m The Manager I don’t care!)

On to the Burger, I watch as they lightly toasted the burger bun and my immediate thought was “they’re not gonna be soft”, but how wrong I was, considering the food arrived at the same time and we started on the wings first, the burger bun was still soft, light and purposeful.

I have one rule when it comes to food that I rarely break, and that is no fruit in food, but the Jerk Boom consists of a bed of plantain plus a Mango and Paw Paw sauce! First bite…… remember what was said about a perfectly run bath that you slip into? It was that sensation for me, for a second or two with all the flavours in my mouth I found myself contemplating the universe, understanding the end of inception (he was awake) due to the fact that the taste combinations complimented each other perfectly thus unlocking a part of my brain that enabled me to see food (or that burger) in the same way Neo saw the matrix! Amazing!

The Jerk part of the burger was chicken, lightly jerked so not over bearing and it was almost chopped so I couldn’t say it was a whole cut of chicken which was in the burger, but it worked none the less. My one critique would be the fries, again perfectly fried BUT a little bit too much salt for my liking, hopefully the fries were a one-off and the chef was a lil heavy-handed with the salt.


SERVICE: The venue doesn’t really have a waitered service to speak of, more of a #Nandos type setup where you basically go up to the till to order and the food is brought to you at your table, and cleared for you when finished or you can takeaway if you wish. With that in mind the staff were not overbearing and still asked if we needed anything else.

Nothing like the generally stereotyped Caribbean establishment, service in Boom Burger was quick iyah! #roundofapplause The wings and the rest of the man dem’s orders arrived promptly, piping hot and at the same time with the last order arriving only a few minutes behind the rest even though it was ordered a good 10 minutes after the first set. The man dem hadn’t even finished the first set of wings by the time the last order came! To the guys @BoomBurger, the @mandemvfood commend you!

OVERALL: The food in Boom Burger is just as the name suggests… #BOOM
Whether you’re a local to the area or live further out, there is no excuse for you to not go there! Even vegans and vegetarians can get a munch. #MDVF give their seal of approval so go grab a bite. You won’t regret it… trust the man dem on this one!

SCORE: the 5.5 out of 6 Man Dems