Thursday, 21 December 2017

VEGAN CARIBBEAN ROTI AT JERKMAICA




Vegan Caribbean Roti at Jerkmaica


I visited Jerkmaica* in Finsbury Park in London to sample their vegan friendly menu but I specifically went to try their delicious Caribbean Roti.


Why ? Why did I need to sample their roti ? 



Well growing up in West London where there is a sizeable Caribbean community I have sampled lots of jerk chicken but roti is a dish which people really take pride in cooking, serving and critiquing . I always enjoyed eating Caribbean roti and my friends would also tell me their opinion on what makes a good roti.  Yet since I turned vegan over a year ago I have never had a vegan roti.  


Even though though I am aware that Caribbean cuisine offers some of the best plantbased meal options for vegans and plantbased eaters, therefore this had to change. 









WHAT IS JERKMAICA?


Jerkmaica was founded by lifelong foodie Gary Bailey. He sought to revive his childhood memories of home cooked Caribbean cuisine of the kind his mother and gran used to prepare for the family as well as the local community in Harrow – the town his parents migrated to from Jamaica in the sixties and the area in which he was raised.

Although the name suggests that it's a specialist of Jamaica’s most famous food, jerk chicken, Jerkmaica actually pays homage to Gary’s ‘happy dish’ – the roti. 



LOCATION




I visited the Stroud Green Road branch in Finsbury Park which is one of three London branches.  It is walking distance from the station and it is easy to find.  The other branches are also located in North London in Crouch End and Angel.



ATMOSPHERE 



As soon as I walked in, I felt extremely welcome to this lovely restaurant due to its cosy yet relaxed vibe.  The background music made me feel like I was back in the summer time and not in the midst of a frosty English winter .  A member of staff kindly greeted us and followed by the owner Gary.  We were led to the seating area we were asked what drinks we would like.  Whilst we waited for our drinks and food I decided to have a look around the restaurant, I loved the interiors and the Jerkmaica branding.











WHAT IS ROTI

Roti pronounced as Roh-tee (also known as Chapati) is a flat bread which originates from the Indian subcontinent.  It is widely eaten in South Asian, South East Asian and East African Countries.  Where it is eaten as accompaniment to a meal which helps to soak up a sauce, stew or curry. 

CARIBBEAN ROTI

In the Caribbean the Roti is a popular dish which is mostly eaten by hand as the Roti is stuffed with a delicious traditional filling such as a spiced meat and / or vegetable curry.  This form of roti also known as the roti wrap is a renowned street food sold to locals and tourists in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Guyana. 


If your wondering why you have never heard of it (if you have never heard of it before), it is because it is underrated in the UK.  Yet I have a feeling that this will change in the very near 
future.  As how many burritos and wraps can we have
without getting bored? 





Right !  













VEGAN FRIENDLY FOOD OFFERING 





DRINKS 

There is a wide range of cocktails to choose from but there are currently no mocktails available.  Don’t worry there is a wide choice of juices/ soft drinks available for non drinkers. The cocktails are also part of happy hour which has a great 2 drinks for £10 offer available.

I asked for a rum punch (of course) whilst my guest had a Ting (a popular Caribbean Grapefruit soft drink).


RUM PUNCH 

Rum punch is a cocktail made from Wray & Nephew rum (a strong vegan friendly rum), mixed fruit drink and bitters (also vegan friendly) . I had a Rum Punch and I will definitely come back to have one soon, as it’s not to strong whilst it's also not too sweet.  It’s just perfect and it's the best punch I have ever had. 















FOOD

TURMERIC SPICED SOYA CHANA AND CORIANDER CURRY 


I enjoyed the Turmeric Spiced Soya Chana and Coriander curry with rice and fritter as the flavours work so well together.  Especially the melt in your mouth fritter, I would be happy with a plate full of those fritters if it was available (or is available in the future).  The fritter is also quite filling as it has a thicker and meatier texture than what I had initially expected it.














AUBERGINE CAPONATA OLIVE ROTI AND CREOLE MUSHROOM ROTI 



We were served two roti’s which were the Aubergine Caponata Olive roti and the Creole Mushroom Roti.  Which as shown in the image above myself and my guest split the roti’s in half to sample the two varieties . 

















I had the Aubergine Caponata Olive Roti on my tray and it was my favourite out of the two.  It had a familiar taste to me so maybe I’m a little biased as I love aubergines just one look at my Instagram page can tell you that.  Yet I doubt this is the case as my guest enjoyed their meal as much as I did.  Probably because the sauce is deliciously rich and full of vegetables such as chickpeas and aubergines. The Mushroom Roti was full of flavour served with pickled red onions but I never got to taste them as my guest finished it before I finished my half of the food. I would order the Mushroom variety again but as mentioned I am a fan of aubergines so the Aubergine Roti has my heart. Yet I would order the Soya curry fritter roti as I enjoyed the curry and rice so much. 








SWEET POTATO FRIES AND FRIED PLANTAIN

The plantain was delicious not too sweet not too sour so perfect for plantain lovers or those who are looking for an alternative to chips/ fries.  I would recommend this side dish and would order it again.  The sweet potato fries where cooked to perfection and I would also recommend this dish to anyone who visits or orders from Jerkmaica.










CONCLUSION

I enjoyed my time at Jerkmaica, it is a gem hidden in North London and this West Londoner will definitely make the time to visit this warm and vegan friendly restaurant in the near future.  Everyone needs to try the delicious food available at Jerkmaica and if you live in North London don’t forget that you also can order Jerkmaica’s delicious food.

Have you been to Jerkmaica ? Have you had a vegan roti ? Let me know what think in the comments below.

Thank you for reading and  hope you enjoyed my review.


Bee
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Thank you to Jerkmaica and ASP PR for your service and for providing our meals free of charge in return of a review.  I have given my honest opinion of my experience in my review 




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