No cash for a Caribbean jaunt? Then get away for just the night with the aid of this Camden newcomer. Bedecked with bright murals and beach shades, Ma Petite Jamaica – on our Saturday night visit – even provided a tropical temperature. Like most venues on Inverness Street, it is long and incredibly narrow. However, while rows of tables and the constant brushing past of busy staff kills off any chance of intimacy, they don’t detract from the experience.
When ordering food, don’t mistake ‘small plates’ for starters: one is definitely enough to share, and friendly waiters are on hand to help navigate the menu. Our dumplings filled with jerk chicken were moreish, but the salt fish fritters were heavy and underseasoned.
Main course portions were consistently massive and generally decent. Curried goat was good but messy, as the meat was served on the bone (not that we minded getting stuck in). A main of fiery jerk chicken was moist and tender, smothered in hot sauce and served with rice and peas; while a side of coleslaw soothed the aggressive heat of the chicken.
Cocktails, unfortunately, were a disappointment. Average piña coladas were icy and the Killer Doppi (four types of rum, apricot liqueur, blue Curaçao and fruit juices) was choked with orange juice and so felt overpriced, especially when compared with the food. Still, at least there was Red Stripe on tap.
The odd let-down aside, Ma Petite Jamaica is a great-value, fun destination for lining your stomach and kicking off a night in Camden.