Saturday 23 July 2011

Jamaican food on Deptford Market

Deptford Market has a new food vendor selling home-cooked Jamaican food on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

I noticed the stall on Wednesday but didn't get to try the food as I had already eaten. Today I made a special trip to try it out for lunch, and decided to sample Jamaica's national dish, ackee & saltfish.

There's a range of dishes to choose from, including curry goat, beef & pepper stew, and curried chicken, as well as jerk chicken (which I have to say is next on my list to sample!) and some kind of fresh fish (perhaps it was red snapper, I'm not too sure) cooked whole.

For a fiver you get your choice of the dishes with rice & peas, a couple of slices of fried plantain, and some salad.

Portion size is impressive, and although there was a lot of rice, there was also a good helping of the ackee & saltfish. It was my first taste of ackee in particular, which I found extremely moreish (so much so that I've already looked up a recipe for making it at home!); the rice & peas was perfectly cooked and tasty, if a little more spicey than I'm used to, and the fried plantain added a lovely caramelly sweetness to the dish. To be honest the salad was rather dull, just a few slices of cucumber and tomato, and could have easily been omitted from my point of view, although would probably be a welcome companion to the jerk chicken.

Overall...? The following picture probably sums it up nicely.

The guy running the stall was very friendly and keen to explain the dishes and their ingredients, and overall the food hygiene seemed to be of reassuringly high standards.

At a fiver, it's a little more pricey than the other takeaway stalls on Deptford Market, I worry that they might find it difficult to attract the penny-wise shoppers in Deptford. They might want to consider making the jerk chicken available at a price per drumstick if they don't already, for those people who only want a small snack (and who might be persuaded to buy the whole meal if they like what they taste). I will certainly be going back to try the other dishes.

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