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By JON DEAN
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Undiscovered gem with Caribbean haute cuisine
Prior to this meal, my only experience of Coco Bamboo was staggering in for a late drink on a work night out in Camden.
So in my mind’s eye it has always been a bar, possibly one that serves the odd snack. This is definitely the wrong way round – the food is fantastic. This is not to disparage the drinks though. Our carpriahanis were strong, crisp and delicious, and there were plenty of inventive flavours, like chilli and berries.
The dining area, up the stairs away from the bar, was pretty well full when we visited on a Tuesday night.
48 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ
Tube: Chalk Farm
Tel: 020 7267 6613
Wine: From £16 a bottle
Children welcome: Yes until 9pm
Disabled access: No
Though the decor is fairly basic, there is a lovely-looking roof terrace – but it was far too cold for that caper on our visit.
The best way to describe the food is Caribbean haute cusine – my ackee and saltfish was very well presented, a neat aray of fish in the centre with individual fruit placed outside. It tasted great, but probably a bit blander than the street food variety.
My girlfriend had the gumbo which was truly excellent – a lively mixture with a strong coriander character and big chunks of spicy sea food. Suffice to say I was jealous.
For mains, we had a platter apiece. The meat for her, which was a huge dish including chicken wings, big ribs and a tender chargrilled picanha steak all smothered in a zingy barbecue sauce served with sweet potato chips. I went for the seafood variety, which was very good indeed. Succulent scallops, an absolutely massive prawn, tilapia and snapper, all in a light, but very well flavoured, butter sauce.
Coco Bamboo is an undiscovered gem offering quality food and drinks. I shall return.