Sunday, 29 November 2015

Levi Root's Caribbean Smokehouse, Westfield, Stratford

I grew up in West London, which boasts a thriving afro-Caribbean community.  Caribbean street food, including curry goat, was always widely available.  Travelling regularly to Shepherds Bush, to see my beloved QPR, means access to the same,   I love it, and often cook it myself

Levi Roots burst onto our TV screens on Dragons Den, and his Reggae Reggae sauce was backed by Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh.  You cannot say Reggae Reggae sauce without a smile on your face.  It was clear that Peter and Richard were as enthralled with Levi's enthusiasm and charisma, as well as his sauce, Sainsburys were quick to list the product, which has grown into a great range since - I had the fab crisps recently too

Today, we were invited to Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse, his new venture which is due to open on the 30th November in Westfield, Stratford.  We were met by very friendly staff, who directed us to our booth - gotta love a booth!   The interior is kinda beach-housey, with interesting decor, pictures and quotations on the walls, but the first thing that hits you is the beautiful smell coming from the open smokehouse kitchen, the reggae music playing and the total calmness and warm ambience.

We initially ordered some "popcaan" for nibbles - just beautiful. Would have had more but the kids inhaled them!!!!!

Regarding the kids, there is a fab, well thought out kids menu, which has hot dog, fish fingers etc., but also offers curry goat, great to see!

For starters, "street food",  we ordered the jerk mushrooms, bajan fish cakes and jerk chicken wings.   It was all fabulous, but I have to say the fish cakes were just outstanding, and nothing like anything I've had before - an absolute winner!   The kids ate all the chicken wings, fair praise indeed, and the mushrooms had a subtle flavour, with a slow heat coming through them.   Portion size was good, so excellent value for money.
For mains Chris had the lamb, I had the jerk chicken and the kids both had the short ribs.   They all came with 2 sides, so we had roti breads, rice and peas, sweet potato fries, slaw and a green salad.   The meat and sweet potatoes all came out together on one tray, which I thought was kinda sweet, with the other sides coming separately.  I would have liked to have seen a bigger portion of the chicken and lamb, but I have to say the ribs, breads, rice and sweet potato fries were huge portions! Way too much for us to finish, so again, as a meal, excellent value for money.

For desserts the kids had brownies with ice cream, Chris had the pecan and ginger brownie with ice cream and I ordered the rum and raisin brownie with ice cream for everyone to try.   I have to say, at this point of the meal it went very quiet as everyone tucked into their sweet treats.   Again, portion size was pretty large, hardly a complaint, but dare I say that they could afford to offer smaller portions and still have satisfied customers?

We didn't make the most of the drinks menu, which was pretty extensive, but I noted that the wine started at £15 per bottle, which is very good for a restaurant, or should I say #rastaurant!  There is also a good range of cocktails, smoothies, and of course Red Stripe!

We will certainly be back, as I'd like to try the one pot curries (including goat) and also the wraps which would make a fabulous lunch.   They also have burgers etc. to choose from, so something to please everyone's palate.

Good luck everyone, and thank you!
Annie x

Disclosure: Our food was complimentary


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