29th November 2017 6pm
Trenchtown caused a bit of a stir on social media upon opening – being something a little bit different. They offer Carribbean food – what’s not to love? A group of us headed there before a film at the Cameo (a Chocolate Tree taste-along to Willy Wonka!). As you may expect, the place was brightly coloured, with murals on the wall, including one of Bob Marley. We ordered cocktails and salivated over the menu (figuratively, of course). The menu had something to offer most palates. They also offer three levels of jerk heat – classic (spicy), coconut (milder) and pineapple (fruity). I opted for the whitebait to start followed by island jerk salmon with the classic jerk. My friends chose the squid and the kind prawns to start followed by the babi bak ribs, the mashup jerk chicken burger and the trenchtown goat curry.
We had a little wait and then the starters arrived. Presentation isn’t at the top of the agenda here but don’t let that put you off. My whitebait was crispy and the saltiness really came through. I would have perhaps liked a little more of the lime mayo but then I am a condiment fiend. Across the way from me the squid was piled high and was lovely in flavour. Those who chose the prawns were raving about them. The prawns were massive and the sauce they were in was delicious. Not for those of you who dislike having to peel prawns though.
We had to wait a little while for our plates to be cleared and we were asked if we were ready for our mains. However, when they came out, there was the most beautiful, heady aroma of jerk spices. Again, difficult to make beautiful on the plate but tasted great. My salmon was cooked well and the spices tingled my mouth without making it explode. It was accompanied by rice and peas (rice and kidney beans). This took me back to my first year at Uni where I had a Jamaican landlady who used to cook this every Sunday for us, amongst other things. The ‘greens’ declared on the menu turned out to be rocket and a slice of cucmber, plus some strips of carrot. The goat curry next to me spelt wonderful and its consumer had nothing but high praise for it. Served in a big pot with a side of Jamaican dumpling, this was a comforting dish for a dreich day. The babi bak ribs were a colossus of meat and bone. This was a really good value dish as the ribs had plenty of meat on them but my friend was unable to finish the dish. The burger was also satisfying and came with a side of spicy fries (you can go for greens if you prefer, if you’re that kind of person). The burger wasn’t quite what she expected but she enjoyed it anyway.
We were absolutely stuffed so couldn’t manage dessert and as it transpires, we wouldn’t have had time anyway. Two hours is a long time for two courses. I know we were probably being served in the Caribbean relaxed style and I would have been less bothered if we didn’t have somewhere to go to after. Just be mindful that if you visit, make sure you have no plans afterwards, then you can enjoy the experience to the max.
Food – 8/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 32/40
Would I eat here again? Yes, when I am not in a hurry
Cost around £110 for four starters and mains, four cocktails and three beers