Places To Eat In London: Booma, Brixton

Lamb Chops at Booma, Brixton

Concerned as I usually am with the hottest Central London eateries and everything new and exciting that arrives in my little corner of Kent, there is one category of really great restaurant I think I’ve been rather overlooking the past few years: the really great neighbourhood restaurant. This was really hit home to me yesterday when I was taken for lunch at Booma, a fantastic little Northern Indian joint smack bang between Stockwell and Brixton.

Booma, Brixton Lunch at Booma, Brixton Poppadoms at Booma, Brixton Booma House Lager

The menu at Booma is small and mighty – lovely for an Indian where there is usually too much choice, and a lot of the menu is paired with the equally small and carefully curated craft beer and cider menu, with food and drink pairings marked on the menu. We had 2/3 pints of their smooth, light and drinkable house lager with a pile of their poppadoms, finished with mango and tamarind chutneys – I loved this presentation, so much easier than dealing with little dishes of things that have to be passed around the table with messy spoons!

Crispy Okra at Booma, Brixton Achari Paneer Tikka at Booma, Brixton

Our Bhindi Jaipuri – crispy fried okra with gram flour and mango powder – arrived first which were tasty to snack on but not really what I’d call a side, and the Achari Paneer Tikka, which while I can’t actually eat a whole serving, the bite I had daubed in both of the chutneys it came with made it stand out as a menu must-order, managing to be firm, toothsome and flavourful, and still rich, creamy and very more-ish at the same time.

Lamb Chops at Booma, Brixton

My hero dish was the Pudhina lamb chops; double cut and smothered in spices before being served perfectly crusty on the outside and insanely tender and still slightly bloody on the outside, paired with a vibrant and punchy mint chutney, which they happily bought another bowl full of for me once I’d mopped up every last drop.

Ragda Patties at Booma, Brixton
Duck Rolls at Booma, Brixton

I did not get a chance to try the Duck Kathi Roll – roast duck and plum chutney in a garlic naan wrap – but it looked fantastic, and perfect if you’re just stopping by Booma for a light lunch, rather than the lazy Sunday lunch affair we were enjoying. However, I did have the Radga Patties all to myself – potato cakes topped with chaat, kachucumber and natural yogurt, and while the potatoes were not 100% to my liking, they were the understudy to the fantastic chickpea curry salad which I really, really loved. It’s a great dish for sharing.

Dal Makhani at Booma, Brixton

The dish I was most excited to try at Booma was the black Dal Makhani, served with a buttered naan – we also got an extra garlic one as we were sharing, but controversially I thought the plain buttered one was better. This dal was excellent; rich, earthy and creamy, not quite soup and not quite stew, it had a really, beautifully deep flavour to it like those subtle notes in demerara sugar, but without any of sugars overwhelming sweetness. Comforting but still complex, but also deeply satisfying; a real cure for the bitingly cold day.

After Dinner Mints at Booma, Brixton

A lovely little touch that came with our bill were these homemade after dinner mints, simply still chilled fresh mint leaves generously dipped in crisp white chocolate. A lovely little idea I’ll be trying out myself at home the next time I’m entertaining. They were also perfect in place of dessert, as there was no way I could manage any more food after that lot!

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