Bit of a mixed bag. The food is OK if you're having an informal meal with friends, but nothing special.
St. Ratford is an easy enough place to get to for east London-dwelling friends but CS isn't, I feel, a 'destination' choice.
In my experience the service has always been friendly, but slow (a reason I don't do Caribbean restaurants often - the service sucks) and, when I went last week, sometimes just plain clueless (the waitress forgot our drinks; Coke and sparkling water isn't that hard to remember, and it wasn't that busy, either).
Let's talk about the food: I had the sharing platter (2 fritters, 2 festivals, 4 fried shrimp, and jerk wings) and a side of macaroni pie, which was 'aight' but not better than anything my sister-in-law could make. The platter needs to have more on it to justify sharing, in my opinion; I'm not a big eater and it served well as a light main meal.
If you've not been before, unless you plan to eat 3 or more dishes of the buffet, order from the menu. A buffet meal will cost you £15, unless you go during the weekday lunchtime. Make sure your belly is bottomless and your legs hollow, though; there's a surcharge for leaving your plate unfinished. Is my dad running the place or something? I expect to be lectured about the Starving Children In Africa and get told off for 'wasting current' next!
A Caribbean version of Nandos, but cheaper! Serves good Jerk chicken in a very family-oriented setting. Always packed in the evenings and weekends, which is a testimony to the excellent quality and value of food served. I personally still prefer Nandos chicken, but can't help visit this place every once in a while!
19/01/09 Edit: It seems like the quality of the place has degraded drastically since I last went a few months ago. The chicken was horribly dry, the sauce nothing special. The service was also very slow despite it not being a full house. I think the only reason why its still in business is because there are no alternative restaurants in that area that people can go to.
18/03/09 Edit: Why did I decide to give this place a 3rd chance and go back again? I went at 11pm to get takeaway, the restaurant was empty, and yet it took me 5 minutes to be attended to. After placing my order, the chefs and staff were lounging around, clearly not preparing my order! After another 10 minutes I signalled the waiter over to ask where my food was, and it was only then that he went over to the chef to pass the order on.
I had jerk chicken and rice and peas. The rice and peas were ok, a bit dry, but the jerk chicken was hugely disappointing. Very salty, although to the point of being inedible.
I have dined at many places in London as I am somewhat of a food junkie, and this has got to be the worst one I have been to in the last 4 years.
A bit of a disappointing evening quite frankly - my companion's BBQ chicken was good and the portion was generous, but my curried chicken (which cost just shy of £7) was a few bits of stringy meat in a small bowl mostly consisting of bones :| We arrived at 9pm, and the sweet potato mash had apparently also run out, you think they'd plan ahead to have enough of one of the staple foods in the hard food dish of yams etc was also stone-cold when it arrived
Given the much more satisfying Jamaican meals I've eaten, I simply can't recommend this restaurant. A real shame given the nice atmosphere :|
I have been there twice. The first time in 2008 for my niece's 18th birthday. Poor thing! After 45 minutes of waiting to be seated and another 45 minutes to be served food which cold and was supposed to be hot. We complained and got complimentary drinks, for 18 of us...(wow!!!) the second time I went a year later for my 39th birthday with less of us. I liked it. The LCD screens and music was exciting however this time there was no video playing on the screens. I loved the happy birthday song the staff sang to me with some reggae tones. This was a lot better than TJ Fridays. The whole restaurant stopped to sing along because the music is nice and loud. I would recommend the oxtail compliments to the chef but will they have the same chefs and service when I go back for my 40th??? I'll let you know. 3rd time lucky I suppose. This time may be even a little better.
I liked the jerk chicken and goat curry. It was alright given I have tried jerk chicken at only one other place.
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