REVIEW: Rudie’s, Stoke Newington
WHAT? A properly authentic, buzzy Jamaican food joint ready to blow your head off with super strong cocktails and Scotch Bonnet – combine the two and you’ll forget what you ordered in the first place.
When Jamaican Independence Day rolls around, the only place to celebrate is Rudie’s. Popping by for the second time (having sampled their brilliant rum punch brunch menu in February) we craved jerk chicken, callaloo, Red Stripe and all the rest but weren’t expecting the likes of beautifully cooked swordfish steak with roasted yams, jerk mushroom gratin with Portobello mushrooms or pulled pork balls.
This menu is well developed and true to history – alongside charcoal and wood-smoked meats marinated for 24 hours in spices and herbs, you’ll find exquisite curry goat (deemed ‘excellent’ by our Jamaican plus one), ackee and saltfish (try it for breakfast) and crispy calamari – deep fried in seasoned polenta so it’s never soggy, but perfectly crisp.
WHERE: In the middle of buzzy Dalston just along from Birthdays and Beyond Retro. Even better, it’s a few minutes’ walk from Dalston Kingsland and well-placed for bus journeys.
WHY GO? After months of food and drink research in Jamaica, the people behind Rudie’s set up shop using techniques they learned in real Jamaican jerk centres – that means marinating meat for a day minimum, cooking in traditional jerk drums (never with gas) and importing rum from the famous Appleton Estate. Flavours are unmistakably Jamaican, and the service just as friendly.
Every Saturday & Sunday between 11.30am – 4pm you can boss the bottomless rum punch for two HOURS. All you have to do is order two courses from either the brunch or a la carte menu (not a problem, the selection is amazing) and come in a group of six or less.
DETAILS: 50 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB / 0207 249 9930 / firstname.lastname@example.org