Jamaican food is admittedly the love of my life, I am not really sure how better to describe it. Its so near and dear to my heart, there is a very different level of critique and expectation, when I visit a Jamaican restaurant for the first time. The one thing, I never expect from a Jamaican restaurant (by this I mean Jamaican owned and run), is speed of service. Somehow, no matter where in the world you are service is never in a haste, and sometimes it is more than worth the wait.
The name of the restaurant does set an expectation of authenticity, as ‘The Dutchie’ is an alternate name for Dutch Pot, which is a cooking pot made from either cast iron or aluminium, which holds pride and place in every Jamaican’s home. It is used to cook anything from curry goat, fried fish and oxtail, and is probably the most common kitchen tool used to produce Jamaican food.
Having heard rave reviews of The Dutchie, I was eager to try the delights on offer. Upon entering the building, and walking down the stairs into the restaurant, I grew more and more excited, “The Gleaner” articles (a Jamaican newspaper, that my dad often read when I was a child), is plastered onto the walls to form a messy but tidy wallpaper on the staircase. The news stories seemed carefully considered, with nothing but good news showcasing the wonderful island that is Jamaica (yes I am admittedly biased).
Entering the restaurant itself, it is rustic, vibrant, colourful, and embodied the stripped back feel of the Caribbean, without the sun. Even though the restaurant is underground, the lighting is well lit enough for you to not even notice.
Keen to try as much as I could, I ordered the Jerk Chicken and Pork Mix (£9.95), The Jerk Lobster (£18.95), and the Curry Goat (£10.95). All of this nicely accompanied by Rice and Peas, Mac n Cheese (Priced at £4.50), and a portion of plantain (Priced at £3.50). The service was attentive and friendly, and the food was served after about 45 minutes, which I was prepared for.
It was worth the wait, the food was authentic, generously portioned, and quite simply delicious. The reviews were pretty much spot on, and so if you are wanting to experience some amazing Jamaican food, similar to that experienced in Jamaica, or at a elder Jamaican relative, The Dutchie delivers on all fronts. Just a word of warning, do not visit if your limited for time!
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