Restaurant Review: Jodi's Jamrock

This was an anonymous review which was paid for by the diner
This was an anonymous review which was paid for by the diner

Jodi’s Jamrock advertises itself as a bar and grill offering a taste of the Caribbean. It manages to do this from Wellingborough town centre, which to my mind is about as far removed from the Caribbean as you can get. I’ve got nothing against Wellingborough, but since moving to the east side of the county I’d never actually eaten there. In fact I’ve eaten in Wellingborough just as many times as I’ve tried Caribbean cuisine, so my experience at Jamrock was full of firsts.

If you close your eyes, put on some reggae music and picture a Jamaican-themed restaurant in your mind, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll know just what to expect. Bob Marley art: check, giant Jamaican flag: check, plenty of red, yellow and green: check. But it takes more than an aesthetic to make a theme successful and Jodi’s Jamrock absolutely embodies the Caribbean spirit. Relaxed Jamaican vibes radiated from the moment we were greeted at the door.

I can’t emphasise enough how laid back and genuinely fun our experience at Jodi’s Jamrock was. The welcome was warm and the Jamrock team were funny, attentive and entirely authentic throughout the meal. We’d arrived after a particularly challenging week at work feeling tense and on edge, but were put at ease in record time by a combination of good humour, chilled reggae and tasty home-cooked food.

Speaking of food, the menu is surprisingly diverse offering grill favourites like wings, burgers and a selection of jerk-seasoned meats, alongside ‘jammin island favourites’ like goat, saltfish, ackee and plantain. A decent vegan selection and crowd favourites such as dirty fries, loaded nachos and mac n cheese should mean everyone can find something they like, just don’t expect to know what something is by the name alone; Boom Shakka Lakka Tukka fries anyone?

Keen to get the weekend started with some Caribbean cocktails I ordered a Jamijto (a mojito with a twist - the twist being pineapple and an ungodly amount of mint) which was a taste of the sun, delicious and delivering the fruity flavours and rum punch you’d expect. My husband, ever the long suffering driver for these adventures, picked cream sodas for the evening, happy to see paper straws in our glasses instead of plastic.

After a complimentary bowl of moreish savoury popcorn to munch on while we waited, we tucked into our starters of sweetcorn fritters and crispy calamari. Now I admit, before dining out at a restaurant I usually starve myself so I can be sure to finish every plate. On this occasion I was feeling less hungry than usual so I’d ordered the fritters as a lighter option. What I wasn’t expecting was six giant deep fried cannonballs! Crunchy, sweet with a cakey texture, the fritters were complemented by a ‘hummingbird’ sauce that was also sweet but mildly spicy. The calamari rings were a generous portion as well, perfectly light and crispy, this time served with a seasoned mayonnaise. If I had my time again, I would’ve shared a starter considering their size and left some room for pudding.

“What I wasn’t expecting was six giant deep fried cannonballs! Crunchy, sweet with a cakey texture”

Feeling somewhat intoxicated not only by the rum but also the atmosphere, I felt brave and ordered the curry goat main served with rice and peas. I mentioned the night was full of firsts, and this was the first time I’d tried goat. By reputation I know it can be a tough meat in the wrong hands, requiring lots of cooking. I thought it might have a similar texture to brisket or pulled pork. In reality, the goat held its shape on the plate but melted deliciously in the mouth. The sauce was deep in flavour, thin but savoury and spicy in all the best ways. A generous serving of herby rice filled me up soaking up the fantastic sauce.

My husband chose the indulgent lobster mac n cheese, which delivered on the cheesy flavour with a wet sauce that didn’t overpower the lobster. Attractively served with the tail shell, it was another massive portion that came with two slices of toasted bread and a side salad for those wanting a little greenery.

Feeling a little bit of regret about being too full for pud, we declined the dessert menu on this occasion. This was only made worse when we heard the table next to us ordering a rum and apple crumble which led us to wonder what other delights were available. Ah well, one for next time.

We have some ‘foodie friends’ who live out-of-town and we’re always on the lookout for fun and interesting experiences which we can share with them when they travel down to see us. Jodi’s Jamrock is absolutely one of those and the chilled laid back vibe will be perfect for a catch up with friends. After a run of ‘serious’ meals out it’s a refreshing change of pace to eat somewhere that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still puts tasty food and good service first.

The meal for 2 with starters, mains, 2 cocktails and soft drinks came to £57.85

This is an anonymous restaurant review paid for by the diner.