Another day. Another restaurant review. This time, I tried out something totally different and it turns out that I absolutely love Jamaican food. So excited to bring to you this review!
Located in Dalston on Stoke Newington Road (a 5 minute walk from Dalston Junction overground), is a Jamaican restaurant called Rudie's. Being such a foodie, I'm surprised at myself for never having tried Jamaican food before. However, when I was invited along to try out the menu, I couldn't say no to the chance at trying all things jerk.
50 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB
Book a table: 0207-249-9930
I went along with my mum and dad who were both very excited to try the menu too; especially my dad who has such a thing for spicy food. The restaurant has normal tables on the outskirts and longer bench seat tables in the middle, which is where we was seated.
The restaurant on a Tuesday evening at 7pm was quiet and comfortable; with the likes of Bob Marley playing in the background. I wasn't quite sure what kind of vibe to expect from Rudie's, but we was made to feel very welcome. Put a couple of palm trees in there and I could've almost been in Jamaica myself.
Whilst looking at the menu, we ordered some cocktails. My mum and I went for the Jamaica Nice, as it was recommended as the best cocktail for girls. It's the cocktail that resembles Jamaican beach life; with added almond syrup, nectarine, pineapple, Appleton and coconut rum. It was a slush type cocktail which was very much needed with the hot food!
My dad went for Ole Money; a man's drink with pimento bitters and Appleton reserve rum. He's not someone who usually drinks anything other than beer, but he said he really enjoyed the sophistication of this drink.
We then ordered our food and was very excited to watch the Jamaican chefs cook it in front of us in the open plan kitchen. I love that feature in restaurants!
We chose starters instead of sides with the desserts, so that we could try out more of what the menu had to offer.
I went for the Peppered Shrimps which were absolutely divine, but in a very, very, very spicy tomato sauce, so was almost impossible to enjoy to their full potential. It came with avocado salsa which was really nice and refreshing. These are great, but you definitely need a frozen cocktail or a very hot tongue to be able to handle them! I'm a medium sauce at Nandos, but these were a little too hot for my liking.
Whilst my mum went for the Vegetarian Flaky Patties in a golden pastry, my dad ordered the Rum Pork Ribs which were glazed in rum. The meat was very soft and came off the bone very easily. An excellent job for a very hungry man!
Our starters were delicious, so we was very excited to try our main dishes. Whilst waiting, I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the restaurant. By 7.45, Rudie's was filling up with a mix of locals who seemed to be familiar with the people and the menu.
Within 15 minutes, our main meals arrived. My dad was going for a traditional sense of mind and ordered the signature jerk chicken with a medium sauce. Rudie's jerk chicken is marinated for 24 hours in a secret blend of spices and herbs. It's then cooked over a charcoal and wood smoke on traditional steel drums. Whilst he could've ordered a side like rice and peas or sweet potato fries, he said it was actually more than enough on its own.
My mum was persuaded by the specials board and went for the Jerk Salmon, with a leafy Jamaican vegetable called Calaloo. Her comments was that it was well cooked salmon, with a slight spicy kick to it that wasn't too overpowering.
I made a typical Ashleigh Dougherty move and ordered the Boss Burger. With two beef patties inside, smoked cheddar, sweet honey mustard, red onion, tomato, pickle and jalapeño; I had high hopes for this bad boy and it went above and beyond all expectations. Again, it had a slight kick to it from the peppers, but it wasn't overpowering enough to completely ruin the taste.
The smoked cheddar in-between the beef patties was melted to perfection. It was certainly a beast to get through, but almost like a true man at heart, I did it. Mission accomplished.
Feeling very impressed with the menu and service that we had received so far, we was asked if we wanted to look at the dessert menu. Well, it would've been rude not to, right?
The menu is short and sweet (pardon the pun) and has a few different options for all you sweet tooth people out there.
My dad and I was tempted enough to both order the Custard Apple; an apple crumble dessert with Jamaican rum custard. I can't put into words how scrumptious it was. The apples weren't too soft, which we both really like in a crumble. You should be able to taste the cooking apples! We also both agreed that it wasn't sickly at all and the rum custard wasn't too strong. Instead, it accompanied the crumble very well; adding a flavoured moisture to the crumble on top.
My mum went a bit different and chose the Gizzarda; a Jamaican coconut tart, with vanilla ice-cream. She really enjoyed it as she loves anything coconut flavoured!
We was all left feeling rather stuffed, but satisfied. Rudie's food is really nice and we thoroughly enjoyed all of the dishes that we had. It's a great restaurant to visit if you love spicy food or at least like jerk chicken.
I definitely recommend booking a table if you want to visit. I think we left at around 9.30pm and it was starting to get really busy. Every table was taken, but I did see that people coming in were getting their name ticked off. It seems to be a very popular hotspot in Dalston to go to; so I would imagine weekends are rocking!
Disclaimer: I was kindly invited to Rudie's for a complimentary meal for an honest review on my blog. All words, opinions and photographs are my own.