Rudie’s has travelled all the way from Jamaica to drop down in Dalston where the new venue is primely located on the corner, a few minutes’ walk from Dalston Kingsland. Upon arrival we were greeted with a wall of smoke from the corner open plan kitchen, although the people inside seemed unaffected it wasn’t the best of starts. Once inside it eased off, or we adjusted but either way we settled in fine and started perusing the cocktail menu.
For such a new restaurant, it was quickly brimming with people, perhaps partially due to the great coverage it has already received that got people excited and perhaps also because of great design; the smell of the cooking seeps out into the street while the two wall windows give people a peek of what they could be enjoying. By no we’ve decided on the Jamaica Nice (orgeat, lime, nectarine, pineapple, Monymusk coconut and Appleton V/X rums) and the cocktail of the week which was infused with spices that gave it a slightly unwelcome kick – my advice would be to stick with the Jamaica Nice, no complaints there.
If you’re familiar with Jamaican food there’s no doubt you will have heard of their pastries, akin to a Cornish pasty in appearance with a slightly different pastry that gives it a yellowish tint. You can get a selection of Jerk chicken, goat or vegetable, the ever so slightly pricier option is lobster. I went for the vegetable one which came out in as a decent portion, bigger and more flavoursome than I had expected. A shout out also goes to the calamari which was like real squid not the cheaper, rubbery version you can often find in places.
Winning the main meal section was easily Rudie’s Spicy Cheeseburger, chopped jerk patty, smoked cheddar and salad in a milk dough bread, which came with a special sauce that had much more welcome kick to it. There is a jerk section which gives you options of chicken, pork, lamb or vegetable but be warned if you get the vegetable one that it is only a selection of vegetables in seasoning and a salad.
The desserts are minimal with options of only 3 but sometimes less is more. A Jamaican favourite, rum found its way even to the puddings with the inclusion of Rum Cake served in a Rum butter which turns out to The Banana Brulee had the typical burnt sugar crust you would expect of a brulee whilst the custard was reminiscent of caramelised bananas. The dish it comes in is very shallow so you don’t get too much in a serving which would be my only gripe.