Is Caribbean food having a ‘moment’ in Surry Hills? Not Quite Nigella tells me that Jonkanoo has opened up a few blocks down on Crown Street towards Cleveland. Queenies is only a few blocks away on Riley Street. And now Rosie Campbell’s, opening where Chow Bar and Eating House was (which I loved) and before that the Bentley Bar (which I really loved).
What I really wanted to try were their Jamaican patties, since there was a Jamaican patty shop near my elementary school in Vancouver and it’s a foodstuff that’s wired into my brain since childhood. But they were out on the day, and paying $7 for a patty instead of $2 may have weirded me out.
I had instead slow-cooked ribs, served with a coleslaw and fries, and my pal D had a soft-shell crab burger. And coffee. I thought the service was fantastic; and they were trying hard to please and be nice. I found my food fine, but not special. Sauce a little heavy on the coleslaw. D. thought his soft-shell crab was nice but wasn’t sure whether he liked the concept of it in a burger. $50 for the two of us for lunch was perhaps a bit pricy. A sunny winter afternoon in Sydney; the decor trying to evoke a Caribbean beachside shack: it was a bit surreal. In the very tough and competitive market of Surry Hills, it will be interesting to see how their mellow vibe attracts customers.