Limin’ is a Trinidadian term for hanging out with friends over food and drinks, and at Limin’ Beach Club people can slip off their shoes and put their toes in the sand. When I was there, though, I was inside and sheltering from stormy weather. Nevertheless, the atmosphere that is created at Limin’ is an all-weather vibe so no visit can ever be rained off by a storm, writes Michael Holland.
I was there early so had a chance to speak to Sham, the Happiness Director, and the man who took the gamble of opening this Trinidadian restaurant in the middle of a pandemic lockdown. We did our talking over cocktails and I discovered that Sham was working in insurance when a friend asked him to help out at a restaurant: ‘I loved how people left happy and smiling,’ he told me while looking very happy and smiling. ‘I’m a people person and soon realised that I wanted to get into the restaurant business.’
He did, and after creating legendary pop-ups he is now in charge of Limin’ Beach Club where he plans to promote Trinidad’s best food, drinks and culture.
First off, Sham suggested the cocktails I should have, so the Tommy’s On Mezcaline came and woke my taste buds up with a lively mezcal and citrus kick. That was followed by a Classy, which very cleverly had star anise resting atop the ice so that with every sip you enjoyed the spicy aroma along with the sweetness of the drink.
Then the Boss Man lured me into tasting rum beer… and despite the weather outside it was suddenly sunshine in my head and heart.
Next, Sham talked food, but with so much passion we were both salivating. Him because he knew what we could expect, and me because I couldn’t wait to try. But first I had to wait for Michelle, my Trinidadian friend who works on what she calls ‘Caribbean Time’… When she did arrive she blamed her tardiness on me: ‘Why ya nah tell me it long walk from station?’ Which was a drastic change from her usual South London drawl. A rum punch soon sorted the accent out…
Annoyingly, my carnivorous companion refused all fish suggestions after Sham had highly recommended the grilled prawns and salmon marinated in beer, port, wine and beetroot! That left us with Limin’ Jerk Pork and Barbadian Rum and Smoked Ribs.
We were already informed that there are no fries, no rice and no bread by Sham when he explained he wanted the food to be healthy, but a good selection of interesting salads, sides and sauces were there to take people’s minds off their guilty pleasures. Therefore, deferring to Michelle’s life experience, we had Smashed Avocado and Mashed Sweet Potato, with the Limin’ Scotch Bonnet Mango Jam, a hot sauce to make your hair stand up and quiver.
For me, the Jerk Pork was the winner because its amazing marinade, created from an array of spices, had made it full of flavour. Plus, the ribs didn’t fall away from the bone as I like them to.
I tried to get a quote on the ribs from Michelle, but, between licking her fingers, she was gnawing away on them and would not stop to talk.
Limin’ Beach Club is not trying to be fine dining but is all about chilling with friends over good drinks, and food you can eat with your hands off paper plates in cool surroundings. And when the weather’s fine you can get to feel the sand beneath your feet.
Gabriel’s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PP London
Sun – Thur: 12pm – 11pm; Fri – Sat 12pm – 12am
Photos: Kathi Harman Sports PR Photography