I asked, you responded and I listened! I’m back with another restaurant review.
I had the pleasure of going to Ma Petite Jamaica, a Caribbean restaurant in the heart of Camden. Camden is famed for being one of London’s most vibrant districts but not much emphasis is placed on the fact that the area boasts an offering of many different cuisines (South African, Asian etc). I wasn’t aware of any Caribbean restaurants in the area so I was taken aback when I discovered Ma Petite Jamaica.
Since 1985, the restaurant has been serving authentic Jamaican food and proudly calls itself ‘London’s first Caribbean diner’. As I walk into the restaurant, there is something about the atmosphere. Beautiful pictures of Jamaica and the country’s flag are complimented by brightly painted chairs and decor reminiscent of that in the islands made me feel at home instantly. It was a Friday night and the restaurant was buzzing and I couldn’t help but notice the fantastic cocktails that were on offer. In the meantime, I received a warm welcome from the manager and was shown to my table. As I waited for my cousin to arrive, I couldn’t resist trying a Pina Colada. Fruity, strong and sweet: it was everything a Pina Colada should be.
The customer service was very impressive. As soon as my cousin arrived, we were asked what we wanted for our starter. We chose saltfish fritters and jerk wings. From observing the menu, I knew that Ma Petite was a jerk specialist so I had very high expectations for my chicken wings. They were beautifully presented on a rectangular plate and they had a delightful taste. You could taste the mouthwatering spices and the sweetness of the jerk sauce – the combination was absolutely divine.
The saltfish fritters didn’t disappoint either and what I liked about them is they weren’t greasy and flat as they can be in some Caribbean restaurants (hey, I’m just being honest) but they were very soft, round and the fish was just quality. Personally, I loved that the fritters were not crispy and the mango chutney was a nice addition to the dish. My only recommendation would be to perhaps serve the mango chutney on the side as a dip instead of using it for decorative purposes. Either way, both starters were sublime.
All of the mains are served with rice and peas, coleslaw and plantain. I had the Quarter Jerk Chicken and my cousin had the Jerk Red Snapper (fish).
The jerk chicken was absolutely delicious. I liked that it was fairly hot and you could taste the lovely array of spices. It was very succulent. The rice was also full of flavour and paired with the sauce, it tasted even better. The plantains were soft and the coleslaw was fresh and crunchy. The whole meal was extremely appetising. I felt very full before I had even finished half of my plate.
The jerk red snapper was crispy and fresh. I didn’t get a picture of it but like the chicken, it was also paired with a tasty sauce. It was excellently cooked. By the end of our meal, it was very clear to see why Ma Petite was a jerk pit. You can feel the passion and expertise they have for creating jerk dishes from their mouthwatering food.
The cocktails served were all amazing. As mentioned earlier, my pina colada was refreshingly sweet. My mojito was also refreshing and I just couldn’t get over how fresh the mint was. I also liked that it had the right amount of sugar. None of these cocktails disappointed me so it was clear to see why the bar was full of people enjoying drinks after a week of working.
For desert, we opted to share a carrot cake. It was warm, sweet and the perfect way to finish our meal. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was how soft it was, it literally melted in our mouths. The icing wasn’t overbearing and it was beautifully presented on the plate.
Overall, it is clear to see why Ma Petite Jamaica is one of the finest Caribbean restaurants in London. Every dish was cooked to perfection, the atmosphere is relaxed and natural, the pictures and architecture set the mood and it is clear to see the friendly and attentive team enjoy what they do. It was an experience that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon and I highly recommend visiting this restaurant.
For more information about Ma Petite Jamaica, click here .
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