26 March 2018

Rudie's at Boxpark

Read this glaring neon sign and you'd be forgiven for thinking you were being casually insulted... But in all realness, the jerk refers to the seasoning, and what you're witnessing is the second branch of popular Jamaican casual dining restaurant, Rudie's.

Situated on the first floor of Boxpark, next door to Shoreditch High Street station, this branch is opting for a more grab-and-go, tapas approach to Jamaican cuisine. Whilst it still offers the favourite roti wraps and signature jerk chicken and beef, the menu has added 'Boxfood' (because it's in Boxpark, geddit?) such as the Yardi Box and Jah Love Box (the latter being vegan) to takeaway.

They've also added Rum Punch, which is humble in size but quite lethal.

The rum punch, er, packed a punch

We went for a selection of food, fully embracing the tapas style menu. I picked the mushroom and callaloo roti wrap - which was honestly delicious. I've actually never had a roti before, and if anyone is in the same boat and intrigued, I'd described it like an aromatic, tasty stew - chunkier and less saucy than soup - with potatoes and spices. Every mouthful was a delight, if a little messy. 

We also ordered the half jerk chicken, for the non-pescatarian in my party...

I was told the meat was tender and delicious, whilst the jerk seasoning had a mild kick but wasn't too offensive on the tastebuds.

We also had calamari...

Deep fried in jerk seasoning and drizzled with a chipotle aioli. It was more-ish, but there seemed to be more batter than squid going on.

Peppered prawns (with a warning of 'very spicy') which were indeed *too* spicy for me - I tried to remove most of the sauce before I ate them to protect my tongue - covered with chunks of cooling avocado and sweet cherry tomatoes. The prawns themselves were perfect, but the spice overpowered them.

Jerk fries, which are sweet potato based. They could have been saltier and a little crispier, but they're not bad as far as sweet potatoes fries go (I think SP fries are overrated; give me salted hand cut fries any day) and my guest enjoyed them.

And, slightly out of shot, rice and beans. Not incredibly life changing, but the side soaked up some of the potent punch.

The highlights for me were the roti - oh, that roti - and the rum punch. If only those prawns had been less spicy... I'd be interested in trying the original Dalston branch, I think, as the covered set-up is strictly for summer (I visited when it was snowing!).


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