BANGKOK — Bangkokians can now try a different kind of tropical at a Carribean eatery delivering to most parts of the city.
Doughy pies with beef filling and bouncy roti with chicken jerk are just some of the stepping stones to the region’s cuisine on offer at Jamaican Eatz.
“It’s Caribbean fusion, not strictly Jamaican. There’s a mixture of American soul food with Cuban, Puerto Rican, Bahamian, and Trinidadian influences,” co-owner Phillip Akers said.
Undoubtedly the pies (or patties) headline at Jamaican Eatz, filled with various sweet and savory fillings. We tried three savory pies: pork, chicken, and beef. They’re all flavored with Akers’ secret 17 herbs-and-spices blend, but we felt the beef brought out the spice rub best.
Although we were warned the pies would be spicy even to the Thai tongue, we only felt warmth in our tummies post-meal rather than the hot-tongue spice we’re accustomed to.
Large pies are 100 baht each (or 6 for 500), while three mini pies go for 100 baht (12 for 400 baht). The apple pie was our favorite, filled with apples, cinnamon, and raisins. The pina colada is filled is coconut flakes and pineapple. Sweet pies – including Akers’ favorite, the very filling sweet potato pie – are served with ice cream if eating in at their W District branch.
We were impressed by the pie pastry. Forget the flaky, dry crumbs of supermarket pies. The pastry at Jamaican Eatz is thick and doughy, and carries filling without becoming soggy. But, beware: a pie or two is enough to fill you up. Try a trio of three different minis before committing to a big serving.
Akers explained that Jamaican food has been influenced by European colonists as well as Africans who migrated to the region. Hench the pies (or patties) – British-style, but with minced, flavored meat.
To Thais, the cuisine may bear similarities to Indian food, especially when it comes to the spices and the roti. We tried the jerk chicken roti (120 baht) – think a soft taco, but with a roti shell and what tasted like chicken-and-sweet-bell-pepper filling (emphasis on the sweet). The Super Combo Plate (320 baht) includes the jerk roti, a pie, coconut and garlic rice, beans and cabbage coleslaw. But to the Thai tongue, the most curious part of the Combo Plate will be the pan-fried plantains, a member of the banana family.
“It’s savory, eaten to break up the spices,” Akers said.
Plantains also line the Caribbean Box (160 baht), a vertical takeout box stacked with coconut rice, and topped with coleslaw and spiced beef. Try it if you want to boggle the mind with the taste combo of beef and bananas.
Akers has been bowled over by the reception from expats familiar with the cuisine, from Jamaicans, Brits, to Americans. The biggest compliment, he said, has been repeat visits from a Jamaican New Yorker.
This review is based on a hosted delivery.