In July 2015, I was ambling my way home from the mall when I noticed a massive sign going up, announcing that a restaurant called Ting Irie would be opening soon. Well, they may have been on island time, but they got there in the end and as soon as my stomach would allow, I headed in to gorge myself on jerk chicken!
Only I didn’t. Even better, I had their iftar so I could sample a little bit of pretty much their whole menu! Genius. Until that moment that I announce my allergy to coconut and discover that I can’t have the goat curry. That was not a happy moment for me.
But, as you can see, there was plenty else to get my teeth stuck into!!
First to our table was the plantain chips. Perfect, as an fyi. I had to sit on my hands to stop me from eating the whole bowl.
Next up was lentil soup and patty crust tortilla/croutons. I am really not a fan of soup. I never have been and doubt I ever will be. That said, I could appreciate the soup was a very nice flavour and I dunked a good few of those delicious little crouton thingies in there! I think it’s the most soup I’ve eaten in years!!
Next up was the Rasta Green Salad. It was a salad. I like salads. That’s pretty much all I have to say, except watch out for the slices of ginger! They are very strong, and a bit overpowering if you eat the whole slice in one to see what it is! Not that I did that, of course… ok… that’s a lie… I totally did! It’s ok though because there are giant chunks of fresh watermelon to cool your mouth down with again. Genius!
The salad was nice, but I just wanted to get through to the meat by this point. That jerk chicken was calling my name.
But first was the Oxtail Cocobread Sandwiches. I would go back for these absolutely any time! I have always had a little issue with oxtail. The idea of eating a cow’s tail is a little much for me really. But, when it’s done right, it is just so good you don’t care! This was absolutely the case here. The bread was soft and a little sweet, which was in perfect balance to the very savory oxtail. On top of that they put in a little bite of coleslaw for crunch. Seriously… So, so good!! Everything balanced out so well. Just beware of the teeny tiny bones that can sometimes get through no matter how well you check.
Finally, it was time for the chicken! Not only did I get to try the jerk chicken, but also the fried chicken! But first, lets talk about the sides…
Due to the aforementioned coconut allergy, I wasn’t able to have the coconut rice (funnily enough!) or sadly the rice and peas. Thankfully the coleslaw was still available. Anyone who knows me knows I have a weak spot for coleslaw! Then I also had the Grandmas Potato Salad. I also have a weakness for potato salad. Perhaps its basically an addiction to creamy mayonnaise dishes?! Whichever way, both were superb! I had to physically stop myself from finishing all the potato salad. I really didn’t want to stop! Yummo!!
So, the chicken…
The fried chicken was quite nice. It was crisp on the outside and moist in the middle. There may have been a second helping ordered. Ok… you got me… there was! I don’t quite get why the breadcrumbs, but it didn’t get marked down hugely for them. I definitely prefer mine with just a spiced flour rub though.
And now… the thing I had been looking forward to the most… Jerk Chicken!
I have to very sadly say that I was hugely disappointed. It was a nicely cooked piece of chicken, with a thin jerk seasoning crust on the skin. Maybe this is a traditional one and I am too used to the London or the Bermuda equivalent? Also, I used to make a mean jerk chicken on the bbq. To me, the flavours should infuse the chicken and not just sit on the skin. Not the case in this instance.
One of my friends was similarly disappointed (the other had never had it before but wasn’t fussed by it). She had a Jamaican friend back home who used to cook up a storm at the weekends. It makes me think that maybe it’s just a disappointing dish here.
You have no idea the level of sadness I feel typing this up. I so wanted to love it. I so wanted it to become my ‘go to’ place. I will just have to cook it myself next time I fancy it, I guess, but is just isn’t the same when you have to cook it!
The only other huge disappointment of the evening was that they were out of orka.
BTW, before I go any further, the girls said the goat curry was amazing. They tried to lie and say it was pants so that I didn’t feel I was missing out too much, but it was obvious in the way they were going back for more and more, that this wasn’t the case!
Back to my thoughts…
By this point of the meal, we had all had to loosen off our buttons, and had to sit in a way that is comfortable but stretched to let the food go down a little bit. It’s a delicate slouch balance! Time for cigarettes and digestion. But not for long as my little piggie eyes spied the puddings on their way out to another table. Somehow at that moment, I knew I could keep going!
(Yep… my diet is going exceptionally well, thanks for asking!!)
First up was a beautifully presented fruit salad and sorbet. I want to be one of those people that dives straight in because of their love of fruit, but I’m not. I eat it because it’s good for you and you have to. I do not waste precious stomach space with it when I am out to dinner…. especially when I know that there is fried goodness on it’s way!
If you had thought the meal was good, then you just hadn’t gotten to the funnel cake yet…
This thing of beauty blows the rest clear out of the water! It is absolutely amazing! So amazing that there has to be two pics – on with and one without the sauce poured over!!!
I don’t know what to say about this really. I don’t have the words for a mouth orgasm. Am I allowed to say that?! I don’t know. But it’s true. It makes your mouth the happiest place on earth. It is sweet and sticky and gooey and warm and cold and sharp and salty and pure tasting, all in one. They achieve this by having the warm funnel cake drizzled with a strawberry compote type thing, and then soft serve Madagascan vanilla ice cream, and then a warm white chocolate salted caramel sauce served on the side originally, but you know that all got emptied out onto the plate!
This really was the icing on the cake. The meal had been fantastic but also a little disappointing, but this really tipped the scale for fantastic. I would be back in a heartbeat for this. I am surprised I haven’t been back already with the amount of time I have spent thinking about it! I also want to try out the burgers which look amaze. I love going into a restaurant and being able to see the kitchen. It gives you a list of things that you have to go back for. Bit of a genius ploy to get you returning really!
Anyway, despite the sadness I felt for the jerk chicken, we really did have a very good meal and an enjoyable evening. The staff are all so lovely and smiley, and there is the added advantage of the lovely Bonita, formally of Tesoro at the Taj, being in place to really make the atmosphere warm and friendly.
If you haven’t been already, get your butt to Ting Irie on the Boulevard. Just don’t blame me when you keep going back and your butt just keeps getting bigger!