The Real Jamaican Jerk

Story and Photos by Susan Pretty

Douglas and Odette, the owners of The Real Jamaican Jerk, hail from Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. Odette is a warm and friendly hostess and was pleased to explain the different dishes she put in front of me. 

No need to fear the heat, as Odette will ask you if you prefer your dishes spicy or mild. I opted for spicy, and at no time did my mouth feel on fire—it was simply extremely flavourful. There are also two kinds of hot sauce at each table should one feel the need to amp up! I tried them both—one was slightly sweeter than the other. Portions are generous, and plates come with a hearty serving of rice and beans as well as coleslaw.

I felt like a brave diner as I sampled the curry goat, and found the potatoes to be quite tender. The jerk chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender, and the jerk pork made my tastebuds delight in the myriad of flavours that go into this delicious sauce. And the beef patty is a steal at only $2.50! The oxtail stew was something I have never tried before, and has a hearty, flavourful tang. Also new to me was the festival and the fried plantain. Festival is a slightly sweet fry bread, and plantain is member of the banana family that is starchier and lower in sugar. I was also lucky enough to try a piece of Jamaican wedding cake, which is a dense and delicious slice made with wine, rum, and assorted fruits.  

The Real Jamaican Jerk is open from 11 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday. Check them out at 570 Red River Road. They offer dine-in, take out and catering, the prices are reasonable, and the portions generous. Your tastebuds will be happy you did!