Where to Eat in London....Jamaican at Rudies, Dalston!

Having been cited as having ' The Best Jerk Chicken in London', when I was invited for dinner at Rudies, a family run Jamaican in the heart of Dalston, I naturally had high expectations. Luckily, the engaging waiters giving excellent service, great home cooked food, and lively yet chilled surroundings, certainly didn't disappoint!

Visiting a chilly Sunday evening, my friend Ruth and I entered the restaurant to be greeted with a warm Jamaican welcome, and were shown to our table - set with knives, forks, and even a chilli plant!

The first thing that struck us was the fantastic ambiance - modern and clean decor, featuring a wooden palm tree/light installation, and chilled out reggae playing in the background. The restaurant was surprisingly busy for a Sunday night, and the number of Caribbean families tucking into their dishes told us we were in for an authentic experience!

Just as famous for drinking as it is for eating, Rudie's have one of the largest selection of Jamaican sipping rums in the country, all compiled into 12 amazing rum based cocktails for us to choose from. Never one to turn down anything coffee based, we went for the Selassie 1 - a Caribbean take on the Espresso Martini, made with Ethiopian coffee, Jamaican rums Appleton V/X and Tia Maria. And let's just say they certainly didn't skimp on the rums... it was a good thing we were about to soak it all up with a HUGE meal!

For starters, we decided to share the Shrimp Salad and Cassava and Cheese Croquettes. The salad was delicious - six fresh and meaty prawns, served on top of a bed of lettuce, tomotoes, red onions with a generous serving of creamy avocado on the side.

As for Croquettes. not only were they literally the size of tennis balls, they were filled full of creamy cheddar cheese with a strong Cassava flavouring. Not necessarily my favourite, but as I'm not a huge cheese fan I guess that could only be expected (this dish was Ruth's choice!).

However, the Mains were certainly no disappointment.... and when my gigantic board of Seafood Platter arrived, I was rather glad I hadn't filled up too much on fried cheese balls!

A delicious platter made up of oysters, two swordfish steaks, a calamari skewer and two shell on prawns, I certainly hit my protein intake for the day... in a very tasty way!

Having had oysters before, I claimed I wasn't a fan as I found them a bit like drinking salty water. However, with the ones at Rudie's having been cooked to a much more manageable texture with their special jerk grilling technique, I have now changed my opinion!

As for the two orange lines you can see in the middle of the board, I'd forgive you for thinking it's sweet potato.... I did too! And whilst I LOVE sweet potato, what I actually had - a warm, freshly baked, slightly sweet, doughy bread - was SO much better. I want to find out where I can get more of these!!

Ruth, meanwhile, went for the Rudie's Spicy Cheeseburger pictured above- a double jerk beef patty, oozing with freshly smoked cheddar, topped with a sweet honey mustard and seasonal greens in a milky dough bun. Served with crispy flavoured potato chips on the side, it was a meal fit for a queen!

The great thing about Rudies, which certainly came across in the rich flavours and tender meats, is that everything is made and marinated for at least 24 hours in house. Not only this, it is cooked right in front of you on jerk drums, with real coal (never gas!) and carefully selected wood chips, resulting in a faint, authentic smoky flavour, which leaves the meat succulent and tender.

Unfortunately, it was only after we'd both gobbled down our meals that we realised we somehow managed to bypass the Jerk Chicken specialty... but never mind, it gives us a good excuse to return!

Finally, it was on to deserts, and after being told we "weren't allowed to leave the building" until we tasted their special Rum Cake with Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream, we had no choice to indulge one final time!

"It's small, I promise you," the waiter informed us. Based on the previous portion sizes we didn't quite believe him, so choose to order one to share...

Well, turns out this time he was right, and it was the perfect portion size for one to enjoy comfortably..... and so tasty, we half regretted only ordering one between us!! Whilst the lovely waiter's offer to bring us another one was very tempting, we decided to restrain ourselves.... having already eaten so much, we decided the second portion could wait until we return for the chicken!

The prices at Rudie's are very reasonable, with mains ranging from £9.50 (for Ruth's burger), to £29.50 (for my seafood platter - trust me to want the most expensive one!!). All in all, a three course dinner for two, excluding drinks would cost around £55 - depending on what you order of course :P

Overall, I could not fault Rudie's in the slightest, and I certainly hope to be back again soon!

Rudie's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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    This. This is exactly why I decided to start blogging. It can be very isolating being home with babies, even if you get out and do stuff each day. It is so nice to read about another woman going through it too!


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