What? Inspired by restaurants such as Palomar and Berber and Q; frozen margaritas and Middle Eastern dishes are the order of the day in this vibrant, little Battersea restaurant
New? Having survived the tricky first few months any restaurant faces, BabaBoom has now been opened almost a year.
Where? Just off the foodie hub that is Northcote Road you’ll find BabaBoom at 30 Battersea Rise, Battersea, SW11 1EE, www.bababoom.london
On the Menu: Making use of charcoal cooking, BabaBoom’s menu centres around proper kebabs with a few small plates to graze on such as rose harissa labneh and broad bean crisps; a couple of sides like Dukkah fries and avocado tahini. It’s succinct, but there’s plenty of variety with the spices and bold flavours.
The Look: Designed by Tracy Lynch at St.udio Leelynch, BabaBoom makes use of its small space with big windows, bright, bold colours and geometric shapes. Exposed rough brick is mirrored by smooth terracotta walls and plain wooden table tops sit upon mint green and burnt orange legs. An open kitchen is surrounded by grey patterned tiles and clusters of brass pendant geometric lights create a focal point in the centre of the restaurant. When full, as it was when we visited, it is a bit of a tight squeeze, there are a couple of tables on the pavement if you have to wait, but not much space inside if you’re waiting for a seat – so book ahead if you want to visit during a busier time.
What We Ate: We started with a plate of moreish dukkah whitebait – I’ve always had a thing for whitebait, ever since working as a kitchen porter, when confined to the kitchen for hours I’d snack on whatever the chef had extra off. Times have changed – I no longer spend my days washing up, but that love for whitebait means whenever I see it, I have to order it. Its flavour is subtle enough so that it wasn’t competing with flavours and fragrance of the dukkah. There was also a glorious, golden sweet potato hummus which we scooped up with warm flatbreads.
Kebabs come with either flatbread or fattoush salad, being the carb demons that we are, we both went for flat bread, do this if you’re hungry – the salad in comparison just didn’t look like it would quite cut it. There’s a fragrant saffron and orange chicken, served with charred sweet red peppers – orange and chicken, not that common, but it should be, we’re converts. For something heartier try the 28- day aged short rib and Kashkaval kofta with za’atar tomato- tender, caramel meat with red onions. Both flatbreads come loaded with meat and shredded fresh slaw, you’re not going to go hungry. Of course, just to ensure you really aren’t hungry add in the fries, again dusted with dukkah and the fresh tomato and feta tabbouleh.
We decided to share pudding but we could have gone without – pomegranate and hibiscus BoomMallows, whilst a very pretty shade of pink, had us wincing they were so sweet and the salted date caramel glory came without the honeycomb as they had run out, so it was just a glass of yoghurt and pistachio ice cream with hot sauce, the date sauce was undeniably good but it just felt liked it was lacking.
What We Drank: Forget beer or Prosecco on tap at BabaBoom they have frozen passionfruit Margaritas on tap. Exactly. Essentially a non-neon grown up slushy, they go down rather too well. With our meat, we could have gone with one of We Brought Beer’s choices of craft beer (you’ll find the local beer shop in Clapham Junction) and whilst a Brewdog Punk IPA would normally be my first choice, there was something about the balmy summer evening that had us reaching for a crisp glass of rosé – just one on the list it’s an Italian, Mirabello, Pinot Grigio.
Go With: The night we visited seemed to be girls’ night, every table was full, but only two of the diners were guys. Not sure why. There are a few larger tables, but it’s more suited for a catch up with a couple of friends and plenty of margaritas. They are also open for brunch and you can get food to go too – probably a good thing I don’t live in the area, there’d be nothing flat about me after all the flat bread I would consume.
Final Word: Middle Eastern food has, for a while now, slowly been growing more popular in London, and BabaBoom brings an easy, fun element, proving, with the likes of Le Bab that kebabs are not just the dirty, drunk food you get on your way home.
BabaBoom: 30 Battersea Rise, Battersea, SW11 1EE