In a rapidly changing world, Jerk City’s short but punchy menu of Caribbean classics is reassuringly consistent.
Jerk City takes the idea of not changing a winning formula maybe a little too far. We’d say the menu hasn’t changed in years, but it’s more likely that it hasn’t changed since the place opened.
The decor and furnishings still feel like the student-flat section of an Ikea showroom. And the prices would still appeal to most students, though on a busy weekday lunchtime – the best time to come – the clientele is less uni, more workers after a taste of home-cooking.
And they get it: this is proper Caribbean food on a menu that’s short but delivers. Choose from chicken (jerk, barbecue, brown stew or curry), curried mutton, oxtail, peppered steak, ackee and saltfish, stewed fish, roti (chicken, mutton, prawn or veg) or rice and peas. Jerk chicken comes, unusually, with a sauce rather than barbecued, but was extremely tasty, while mutton curry had the requisite richness and deep flavour produced by a well-sourced curry powder (the base of a West Indian curry, rather than the individual and separate spice flavours you would expect of an Indian curry).
When everything around Wardour Street is changing so fast, there’s something reassuring about Jerk City’s refusal to move with the times.