Tag Archives: Caribbean

Jamaican Food in Radford (Part 2)

Red snapper in a delicious sweet and sour sauce with callaloo rice.

Just a quick entry to whet your appetite a bit. So, after arriving at the ‘Jamaican Ways’ Carribean food joint in Radford this Sunday only to find it had closed for the afternoon, I made it my mission to go back there at some point this week when it was open. Today’s balmy weather and the blissed-out summer vibes were all indicating to me that it was the perfect time to head out and get some equally feel-good Carribean grub. The omens were good and I had the instinctive feeling the food was gonna be even better…

Jamaican Ways was open and was in full-swing during what seemed to be a busy lunch hour. The place had a varied menu which featured sea bream with polenta and red snapper with callaloo rice as the day’s specials. Something made me fancy the latter more (more vibrant-sounding perhaps) so I went for it. It was amazing, I mean really amazing: freshly cooked and packed full of flavour – it tasted every inch as good as it looked.

I was only in there very briefly, but this place truly lived up to the internet hype I’d been reading earlier and seemed like one of those enduring, unpretentious and authentic eateries you can’t help become fond of. Needless to say, I’ll be back very soon…

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Jamaican Food in Radford

Chantel B's Tasty Bites, Radford

In the depths of Radford – a rather drab and oppressive inner-city district just a stone’s throw from the manicured, rarefied and slightly bourgeois atmosphere of the Nottingham University campus – you can find some of the most authentic and exotic foods this country has to offer. The area is hardly salubrious and you’d do best to avoid it most of the time but it is to it’s credit, an absolute hive of multiculturalism – with Carribean, African and Asian communities mixing it up and contributing to an abundance of foreign influences and foods within a confined, yet densely packed square mile.

Nottingham has a small but visible and long-established Jamaican community and, despite the fact I’ve been living here for some time I’d rarely taken time to venture out into the grittier neighbourhoods in town for a bit of island cuisine. However, the sun was out and the congenial summer feel of a lazy Sunday disolved my somewhat priggish suburban suspicions of the area of Radford which has quite a substantial population of Jamaican settlers and their descendents.

10 minutes into my journey and I’d arrived at Hartley Way – but I’d hit a snag: Jamaican Ways (AKA the place recommended to me by my trusted friend Google on account of it having a wide and varied menu and a long list of praising reviews) was shut and so was seemingly everywhere else. Thankfully, directly opposite me stood a cafe which, despite having a more limited and in some ways a more stereotypical Jamaican menu than the other, looked instantly convivial and appealing. Jamaican staples like jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, red snapper and curry goat all featured on the menu and I must admit to being a little despondent after having psyched myself up beforehand for the lively and extrinsic-sounding lime-escovitched sea bream at the other place, but I guess this was going to be as good as any.

Curry Mutton with rice and peas.

Chantel of “Chantel B’s Tasty Bites” recommended the curry mutton (a variant of the massively popular Indo-Jamaican dish curry goat) with the obligatory side of rice ‘n peas (a ubiquitous Jamaican side dish of long grain rice with black-eyed peas and soaked in coconut milk to counteract fiery meat and poultry dishes). Done well, this is a wonderfully hearty and filling meal and in a way I was glad I’d ended up with something more traditional to sink my teeth into. The mutton is eaten off the bone and remains delectably tender after having been cooked slowkly in a blend of ingredients reflecting Jamaica’s myriad mix of foreign influences. I thought it only suitable that I washed it all down with a sweet Carribean soft-drink, so I opted for a grape soda in favour of the ultra-sickly Bigga Fruit Punch.

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