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After a heavy night, it seems only appropriate that the first port of call is Jusu Brothers, a fresh juice bar. It’s then on to discover what West London tacos look like at Taqueria as Shakka fills his belly with several of the top menu items including the soft shell crab taco. Stepping back in time, Shakka meets Joe Rush, an upcycling artist who has spent time in the area right back to the 60’s, they discuss the crazy happenings in Notting Hill including a once independent state right in the heart of the area. After the stories and history musings with Joe, Shakka picks up a traditional Jamaican snack and browses some thrift stores as the day descends into night. Shakka wraps up his journey through his neighborhood by playing a jam with some locals and giving his final sign off whilst enjoying the ultimate late night food, the kebab.

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Transcript

- What's up? I'm Shakka, I'm a musician and food lover. For the next few days, I'm gonna be showing you around my neighborhood. I grew up here listening to the sounds of the carnival and smelling the flavors of Portobello Market in the air. I'm gonna be eating, drinking, and vibing my way around the area. I'm meeting the artists, musicians, creatives, and foodies who make up the real Notting Hill. This is pure West London soul, baby. This is Notting Hill, where west is always best. Last day, I'm feeling good but I'm also feeling very, very heavy. I've had a lot of meat, I've had a lot of rum, I've had a lot of gin. And don't get me wrong, I like that stuff, but I'm just a bit mash-up right now and I need something to cleanse my body. I heard about this spot and it's called Jusu Brothers and they're like the experts in making juice, so I'm gonna go check it out and sort my life out. - Jusu Brothers, a Pan-Asian eatery based in Notting Hill, West London. A juice bar, an LT restaurant. Jusu's also famous for our inspired Japanese dishes. - Hey, hey. - Hi, how's it going? - [Shakka] How you doing, Dan, you good? - Not too bad thank you, yourself? - Good, good, I'm very well. In fact not, I'm not well, my head's a bit mash-up. After rum and a bit of gin and a bunch of other drinks, I just want something that's gonna take care of my body. - Absolutely. We have different type of juice. Some of them are for detoxing, some of them with lots of vitamin C. We do also have some specials. One of the most popular is Komorebi. It contains broccoli, lemon, spinach, avocado, and apples. One of the most popular is probably Syo Ryu Ken. - So that's carrot, apple, and ginger? - Or the C-Focus if you like something to be more sour. - Everything here looks really really cool, but I really can't choose. - Let me bring a selection of three, and then you're gonna see what's best for you. - Perfect, let's do that, thank you so much Dan. - Fantastic, no worries, just take a seat. I'll bring it over to you. I always try to come up with different dishes to bring always something new to this area. Jusu means juice in Japanese but it's obviously, it's all about family. That's a Kyuri Cleanse, so it's cucumber, kale, and celery. - Right, cucumber, kale, and celery. Alright, let's try this. I do smoothies at home, they taste nothing like this. Can we live in the same house and then you just make smoothies all day, is that possible? - Absolutely, yeah, of course. - Sweet! I love you. - We'll do that. The second one is made with strawberries, ginger and apples. - I don't normally not say anything after drinking stuff but this is genuinely really, really nice. So this is carrot, apple, and ginger. I'm just gonna have some of this. These juices, they taste absolutely amazing and you've got good stuff. - Thanks a lot. - These are really good, really, really good. I don't want to keep you from your work so I'm gonna finish the rest of these juices. I'm gonna let you get on with taking care of this magical place that makes the sickest juices ever available. Thank you so much. - Hope you enjoy them. Thanks for coming. - Thanks so much. This is hard, and hard I mean sick and tasty. Jusu Brothers, come down here and expect your mind to be blown. Yeah, that's the feeling of the hangover just disappearing and leaving my body, I'm good. Next up, Taqueria, let's do this. - My name is Juan, I'm the assistant manager here at Taqueria, a Mexican restaurant in Notting Hill. - Juan. - How're you doing? Nice to meet you, Shakka. - Are you alright? - Yeah, nice to meet you. - Very well. - Taqueria started out as a store market in Portobello Road in 1993, and then they opened the restaurant in 2005. The reason why they chose Westbourne Grove is because it was close enough to Portobello Market. Everybody around there, they knew it. So it makes perfect sense to keep on feeding the hungry customers of this area. We love West End and then we love the West area, it's just a very good fun place to be there. Cool Chile is the sister company of Taqueria, focusing on bringing ingredients to the UK from Mexico and it was founded by Dodie Miller. The name itself focusing on cooking tacos. The more important ingredient we have will be the tortillas which are freshly made on the premises of Cool Chile. We focus on get the freshest ingredients as possible but also keeping in mind the local market. So we supply vegetables and things from a local shop here, also in Westbourne Grove. We strongly believe that as a community you grow stronger. We do have around 17 to 20 different tacos. They comes in sets of two, so we try to give the idea of the people can share between them in a table. Something to point out, we do free-range meat only. So we stand out in that way from what the competitors do. Margaritas, best in London. Come and try it, you'll see. - I just came back from next door and they've given me tons of juices and I've worked up an appetite that's now sky-high. So do you think you guys could help me out? - Of course we can, we knew you were coming. - Sick. - So we've got some great tacos for you today and we've got our head chef's gonna come to register it. - Sick, nice one! Let's do this. - No worries, thank you. - I've got some tacos for you. - Hola. - Hello. - This is mad, this all looks gorgeous. I'm just enjoying this right now, it's all mad. - This is our fish taco - Okay. - [Chef] Just deep-frying with the gluten-free flour. This is the steak taco. - Si. This one's slightly more traditional. Like I see you've got the salsa here, there the guacamole. That looked beautiful to me, but what have you got here? What's this one here? - Another one is milanesa. Chicken breast breaded and deep frying with pico de gallo, the very Mexican way. - What's that on top over here? - [Chef] On the top is a crispy cheese. Soft shell crab taco. I've never seen a taco like this before in my life. I've seen stuff like this and this lovely stuff, but this is like, it's literally coming out at me waiting to say "Eat me." - Yeah. - So this is the soft shell crab and it's got, I can see the same salsa that you have in this one. - Yeah we're using pico de gallo, fresh salsa, to be honest. - I don't know what pico de gallo is. - Pico de gallo is the calling the Mexican salsa. That's when I use a diced tomato, onion, lime juice, coriander. - And the cream? - The cream is the mayonnaise with-- This is other my recipe. - So you guys make it here? - Yeah, we do it here, everything, we no buy nothing from outside. - Sick. - [Chef] All the ingredients, all the salsas, all the things we prepare that here. - That must take a long time, no? - Sometimes it's difficult because our kitchen is quite small and we have acquired big manual. That's mean we need to do it mise en place and preparation every single day. We made it and we sell it, we made it, we sell it. In one way it's difficult, but another one way I'm happy because always it's fresh and I don't need to do it alone about different stuff. - Right, so I can't do this talking, talking, talking about food when good food is in front of me so I'm just going to dive in if that's okay. Is that alright? - It's perfect for me. - Cool. I've never had haddock or any kind of fish in a wrap before. But it tastes peng. The guac's there, the salsa's there, the salad on top's there, but the texture's like, it just easily breaks down in your mouth. I can't quite explain what it is but it's just very, very nice. Mm, mmmmmmm! This is so nice! Mm, you know what? I'm gonna concentrate on easting this food. We'll catch up back in a sec. Right, so my stomach's full. Probably had one of the best pieces of food I've had in a long while. Right now I am on my way to see this crazy artist-sculpture guy on Portobello Road. He's gonna give me a little bit of a history of Notting Hill, let's do this. Joe Rush is a bit of a legend. He's been living in Notting Hill since the '70s. As a young artistic 16-year-old punk, he squatted in some of the many vacant buildings with other like-minded creatives. Walking through Portobello Road now, seeing it full of excited tourists, trendy juice bars, and eateries, it's hard to believe that this place was once a slum and dumping ground. Mr Rush. - Hello there. - How are you, brother? - Alright, nice to meet you. - Likewise. It's actually very, very good to meet you. I've been told a lot about you. - I moved here when I was 17. I moved into a squat in Cambridge Gardens. For me, it was just like the feeling in of arriving here, the fun of all the street and the people, a feeling of freedom, and it was a much rougher place in those days. And there was a lot of really crazy people about. - My dad would tell me about what used to be called the Frontline, which is All Saints Road. You remember it vividly, I take it? - Yeah, no, I remember it, I mean, to be honest, it was like, it was a proper front line and it was quite scary really 'cause everyone that was out there was so wild, you know? It was worth going up there because the music was really good and there was a buzz going on. - And the beautiful of Notting Hill is the fact that we have these clashes of many different cultures. So on All Saints Road, you would have the Caribbean community, on Golborne Road you would have the Moroccan community, and so on and so forth. It was definitely like a, I'm a product of my environment. - The mixing pot you're talking about, it's like the song "Punky Reggae Party" was when Bob Marley arrived here and all of his mates were going, "Don't mess around with them punks" and that. But then he started looking at the punks here, right around Talbot Road and then, and he thought no, this is the same thing as rude boy culture and so he came out with that song and that was a big, you know, for us it was like we're alright with you and you're alright with us thing and it was lovely. - [Shakka] Talk to me about the history of Frestonia. - Over there about a mile further down the west way is Notting Dale, it was like these little two-story houses all joined together. They were damp, they were just like working-class community. And they moved everyone out of there and these places stayed empty all through the '60s. And then in the early '70s, some hippies squatted them and started to do the houses up. And started to build a community and it was like a bookshop exchange, there was an old pub called The Champion Dining Rooms that was of the sort of social sense, had a law center in it, there was a recording studio called The People's Hall, which is now a gallery. Then, what happened, they, for some reason, they decided to declare independence from Britain. So they started the Independent Free State of Frestonia. And then immediately declared war on Britain and then immediately capitulated and asked the UN to send in a peacekeeping force. - What? - The idea was then the UN would have to come in to set up a peacekeeping force around Frestonia. It was a great center of culture, but all the streets were full of waste. So everything was found on the street and used and utilized, so it was really an early beginning of the upcycling idea. - It's mad, actually, that you say the upcycling idea because we went to the Goldfinger Factory. It is essentially an upcycling spot, so they resell furniture that they have essentially built from old furniture or from scraps from furniture donated to them from all kinds of stuff. So this Mad Hatter tradition has carried on. - Everything we had was made out of waste. Everything we used was made out of waste. But I liked all the random aspect of it, being able to, you didn't know what was going to be there and so you'd sort through it and then it would give you ideas. And also with the Portobello Road is where the end of the market, people just left stuff, didn't bother taking it home. - Of course, yeah. - So I'd weed through that and we'd find the stuff and then, so I went on to buying trucks and putting all the stuff in trucks and then moving that into warehouses to building big environments in warehouses and then doing warehouse parties. We turned an old burned out bus into a giant skull on the front with a ribcage over the back, all open. And we took it in the carnival in 1984 with a giant skeleton puppet on the back of it and a band who only knew one song, which is "Magic Bus," so they played "Magic Bus" for eight hours all right around the carnival route. - That must have done your head in. - Yeah, but it was great, it was such a blast, you know? All the streets were full of people fly tipping, dumping, it was the scrap yards, but it was in order so for better or worse, really. But it was an interesting experiment, a social experiment, it was a lot of fun. There was just a lot of energy for creativity and stuff. You've made something, you feel better about life and it really keeps depression at bay. Any way that you can get that creative thing out of you will make you feel like your life's worth a bit more and you feel good about yourself. And so that's what we were trying to do with waste was show people how to use it. - [Shakka] Saving something out of nothing. - Yeah, totally. Me and a couple of my mates, we were punks. So this was a hippie sort of area, but we were the first generation of punk rockers. So one of the spots that they had and started this thing called the Apocalypse Hotel. There was nothing in that house that was fixed. Even the stairs came out one day, we pulled the stairs out for some reason. - You pulled the stairs out? - I can't remember why we did, but we ended up having to build other stairs in there. And then on the top floor there were so many leaks in the roof that someone had got a piece of guttering and they had hung it in the roof, inside to catch the drips and take them out the back window. And then, as more drips opened, more bits of piping were added until the whole thing was just this hundreds of things all catching the drips and putting them into the middle and dropping out of the back window and it was a creative, organic thing. It was nothing to do with galleries or art galleries or anything, just a creative art. And then we started painting the front of the building and painting the road outside. - Yeah. - You know, looking at it now, you'd say actually that's the beginnings of street art. - Even now, to date, in 2017 when you walk past, I don't know, Blenheim Crescent or even Lancaster Road and you'll see some of the different kind of houses and stuff, it's almost as if they've continued a sense of an unspoken tradition. Right, so we're here at Mike's Cafe. Why are we here, why have we chosen this spot? - Mike's have been here for a long time. It's the last surviving cafe from this area, really. Hasn't really even changed the menu much. He's just sort of managed to keep it all going. You know what I mean? But he's somehow managed to move along with the times. Mick Jagger used to eat in here when he was just starting off. - So this place is pretty important then? - It's important 'cause it's a milestone in life. A lot of things have gone. - You have no idea how much all of those stories and what you've talked about resonates with me as a creative person, as a human being born and raised in this town. - [Joe] People should hear these stories. Otherwise you could look 'round this and you'd think "Where did this all come from?". - [Shakka] Where did it come from? - Yeah, and why is it different from everywhere else? And the history of the area is the people. This is the whole thing about diversity, you know? Everyone's brought a little thing and added to the mix. And that's what this is a mix of, is this area. To get involved, you know, open your front door to people. Don't lock yourself away from this area. - Yeah, man. - Become involved. - Brother, it was a sincere pleasure. - Yeah, same. - Thank you so much, man. Have a good day, man. Top, what are you saying, boss? Everything nice? - Yeah, mon. - Cool, cool, cool, I just come in to get a quick bite, man. You guys got any pies, yeah? - Blessed. - Blessed. - Yeah mon, much appreciate it, how you doing? Ross, you're nice! People, I gotta sink 'em. Yeah yeah, in a bit. Right, so I'm a carnivore, yeah? So I don't really order veg patties too much, but see this, it's called a smile. I smile because I eat good stuff. Jay Dees make good stuff. And you've got to come early as well. You've got to come before five pm. If you're late like me, you'll end up with a veg patty. Which is still good, it's still sick, but when you get there earlier, before four or five, you'll get, what, brown stew chicken, sausage fritters, cornmeal porridge. They are the sickest at making cornmeal porridge. So yeah, I'm happy now, got my fresh juice, got my patty, I'm good. Yeah man, it's almost the end of our time together. I've had a lot of fun. I've had a lot of fun meeting all these people and hanging out in these spots and eating so much food, but there's one last spot that we've got to take you to. And that's a spot called Mau Mau Bar on Portobello Road. A very dear spot to me that I have seen a lot of friends perform here, I even performed here. They've got so many open mic nights, Jazz Refreshed, reggae nights, speaking of which it is Reggae Night tonight. My boy Alex is waiting for me inside there. He plays keys, he's so sick, and we might have a jam. Feels about right, let's do it. Yo Alex, give me the hops for the verse? Yeah, perfect, you're ready. - [Announcer] Hey hey, listen people, can you put your hands together for Shakka please? Show him some love. ♪ Oh baby when you come to me ♪ ♪ Yeah yeah, you love me right down to my knees ♪ ♪ Brown sugar baby ♪ ♪ I get high off your love ♪ ♪ So you'll have to behave, yeah ♪ So yeah, never ask me to do that again. - I don't know why you were aver saying stuff like that. - No, I'm joking. - You're not joking. I can see it in your eyes. - You just made me feel young again, like 16. - It made you feel young again? - Yeah, you know when not playing with people that you know, it just made me feel young again, yeah. - And it's just-- - Just like a 16-year-old kid. - I get it. For those of you who have no idea what's going on, this guy just killed it on keys. I didn't tell him about any of the music, I didn't tell him about any of the songs. Bro, we had a good time, man. - Brother, thank you so much for having me. - Yeah, pleasure, sincerely. It's my town, you know the guy who was playing drums? Yes. - He was my skating instructor four days ago. - [Alex] So I heard, this is kind of crazy. A man of many talents. Apparently skating and drumming go together, yes. - I'm going home, I'm gonna get a kebab and get some rest 'cause this has all been a bit much. Bro, shout me. - I'll see you. Feeling buzzin' after the gig, there's a tradition I have to share, the late night kebab. It's the perfect food to satisfy after a night of music and laughter. And when in Portobello, there's one spot you should hit. Zaytoun's, it's a Turkish spot with an open-call grill and all the trimmings. Hey Jay, how're you doing? - Fine, how are you? - I'm good. - How can I help you? - Yeah, let me get a shish kebab please, chicken shish. What salad would you like? - Some of the feta cheese salad, the standard salad, and some chili. Can I get chili as well please? - Of course. - Thank you, man. Sick, thank you brother. - Thank you. - Thank you so much, bro. - Very kind, thanks. Hopefully you like it good. - Trust me bro, if it's anything like you normally do I definitely will, thank you very much. - Enjoy, thank you. - Yeah man. It's funny 'cause most times I get kebabs they're not like shish kebabs. It's normally in a wrap, but whenever I'm in this spot it's kind of like just neatly laid out for you in some kind of beautiful array of kebab goodness I guess. If a full English is a good way to start the day then a kebab is the best way to end it. I'm stoked, I've learnt so much, eaten so much, I've drunk so much, I've spoken to so many people I've discovered so many things I had no idea about. Hidden gems that I didn't know existed and I've been here for 28 years. It's a beautiful time and it's a beautiful experience. I'm glad that I shared it with you guys. I hope you guys come down and check out my city and check out my town and really, really appreciate what real Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove tastes, look, and sounds like. I know other people are gonna disagree with me but west is definitely best. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I'll catch you guys later. Peace.