Jamaican food and rum? Sure thing. There was no better way to see yourself into a weekend than Friday night at the Surry Hills eatery. Slogans adorn the cute setting at Rosie Campbell's and there's plenty of jerk chicken, rice and peas as well as tropical cocktails.
When Mr NQN told me that he was going to Rosie Campbell's for an after work do, I perked up. "Can I come?" I asked because if there's anything I love, it's meeting people, eating food and trying new restaurants. "Sure," he said shrugging his shoulders.
At Rosie Campbell's, there are all sorts of nooks and crannies to sit in. There are booths, table and high tables as well as a couple of outside tables. Rosie Campbell's is located where Bentley Bar used to be. I take a seat at a high table, wish I was taller and meet all of Mr NQN's friendly colleagues.
Drinks wise, I start with a cocktail. The Island time Coco Colada is served in a coconut shell and is made up of pimento infused Fiji bati dark rum, pineapple, banana liqueur, coco lopez and it is sweet and tropical with a lovely hit of coconut.
The good old fashioned joint cocktail is like a sweeter version of an old fashioned. There's pear, porcini reduction, house barrel blended rum, spiced maple and cinnamon.
A platter arrives with a pile of Island Jerk tacos with sauce laden jerk chicken, sunshine slaw, salsa and kale. The flour tortillas are soft and the filling flavoursome. I could easily have a couple of these.
The jumbo jerk wings (jumbo as in they've got both parts of the wings instead of being cut in half) are twice cooked wings with their signature jerk sauce and a gorgeous creamy blue cheese sauce that I could eat all night long.
Because it was a work function, a lot of the items were from the banquet or function menu so we ended up with a lot of jerk chicken (which actually made me very happy). The jerk chicken is moist with a lovely crust from the range of spices. The coconut rice and peas has kidney beans and is a mild flavoured foil to the spicy jerk chicken. I prefer a bit more coconut flavour to the rice but that's more a personal preference.
The beef meatballs are saucy and made with beef and panko breadcrumbs. On the menu they're served with coco bread but these comes as they are.
The "soul greens" are broccolini, string beans with goats cheese and tangy pomegranate molasses.
While mac and cheese may at first seem random, it is a popular accompaniment in Jamaica and Barbados. It is made the traditional Caribbean way with three cheeses and a lot of cream and it is topped with herb butter breadcrumbs. It needs a bit more seasoning and perhaps it's there to be a mild contrast to the jerk spices.
And one day I'll be back for the desserts with coconut and rum!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you eaten much Jamaican food? Have you ever been to Jamaica? Have you met your spouse's work colleagues?
This meal was independently paid for.
320 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Open 7 Days
Monday to Thursday 5pm–12am
Friday to Sunday 12pm–12am
Tel: +61 (02) 9356 4635