Life in Trinidad and Tobago is a good roti washed down with rum. Life in Trinidad and Tobago is leaving Trinidad and Tobago physically but always being tied to your home country, at your core. For Sham Mahabir, both points ring true.
Sham is a Grande boy.
Born and raised in Sangre Grande, Trinidad and Tobago, he moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 21. Having studied marketing and public relations, Sham is now the founder of a trendy rum and roti pop-up-shop in London, aptly called Limin‘.
Started in October 2018, Limin’ offers patrons a wide variety of Trini-styled cuisine.
“Let me be clear, this was never my dream!” Sham informed us. Seizing an opportunity to run a bar in a space in Old Spitalfields Market for 10 weeks, Sham mulled over the idea of serving wine and cheese or even tapas, but those options just did not feel right to him. When the idea to do a rum shop hit him though, he knew that combined with Trinidadian food, it would be a tasty success. Considering he has not been able to find a Trinidadian restaurant in all his time in England, he applied his passion for the the food he grew up on to the food and drink scene in London, with an inkling that it would be a great mix.
He was right. In just three weeks, Limin’ racked up 39 ‘Excellent’ reviews on Trip Advisor and has 5 stars!
Spotlight on Trini culture
Sham asserts that the major objective of Limin’ is to showcase rum and food – in that order! Both integral parts of Trini culture. For him though, it has grown into so much more. Limin’ offers a ‘home-away-from-home’ experience and feel. It provides the food from sweet T&T and Sham is proud to take diners on a delectable taste journey to Trinidad and Tobago. Beyond delighting your tastebuds, Limin’ transports you to the island with its stylish, classy, relaxed ambience and pure Trini music, a mix of Soca, Calypso, Chutney, and Parang.
A true Trini menu
On the menu, Limin’ ensures the diner has access to everything Sham grew up eating and loved.
“We have created set meals like we get back home, Pelau and Macaroni Pie with Green Salad, Buss up Shut roti with curry goat, channa and aloo, Chinese Fried Rice and Chicken with vegetables. The food I MUST have when I go home.”
Sham loves creating new dishes in the kitchen and created Chinese chips and plantain wontons. Yum!
Naturally, the most ordered dish on the menu is DOUBLES! Followed by Bake and Fish, Roti and Curry Goat, Plantain and Wontons, and then another famous Trini breakfast staple…Aloo Pie.
First of its kind
Limin’ is the first independently run bar/restaurant of its kind in Central London (Zone 1). Liverpool Street is its nearest tube station.
“It’s a place where the older generation can come and, as they have said, be finally proud to have found a place that represents them. It’s also somewhere to highlight our culture to colleagues, friends and children too,” Sham shares with us at Life in Trinidad and Tobago.
When asked if Trinis have been frequenting the pop-up-shop, Sham exclaimed “Yes! Yes! Yes! We have our regulars who come for the after work limes on Fridays. They have been here every week and have booked an area till we close. Some people have come back three times in a week to enjoy the food and vibes! We even had one lady say, she’s not cooking again and she’s been back every day since she found us!”
From homesick University students to the foodies looking try new flavours, Limin’ has a touch of Trini for all.
“Where have you been all this time, please find a permanent location,” they’ve said to Sham.
Sham remains truly happy, and humbled, saying “This was never my dream, but maybe it’s my destiny!”
Continue to wave the Trinidad and Tobago flag high Sham. They say that Trinis are like salt, they’re everywhere and in everything. Continue seasoning the world.