By Eden Ramsay (@EdenRamsay)
Like many people disgruntled with Winnipeg’s seemingly, never-ending cold weather, I’ve been dreaming of warmer places. I’m talking crystal-clear, blue waters and swaying palm trees. Not that I’ve actually ever seen such a sight in-person, but one can dream right? These daydreams brought me to Joyce C. Kewley Caribbean Cuisine at 839 Henderson Highway. I thought maybe I could at least dine like I’m in a Caribbean paradise.
The place opened up earlier this year and has an inviting, casual vibe. Large murals beautifully illustrated in coloured chalk, including one depicting the restaurant menu, are visible when you walk in. Framed prints of paintings showing scenes of Caribbean life, line the seating area wall.
I started off by ordering the doubles appetizer, a common street food in Trinidad and Tobago. Curried chickpeas were served inside two homemade, fried, flatbread pieces. The chickpeas were cooked nicely in a deliciously creamy, curry sauce.
I decided to go with the jerk chicken dinner special. The jerk chicken breast had a thin skin, cooked in a smoky, jerk spice rub. The meat was non-greasy and incredibly tender. The jerk spice used in the rub was not overwhelming, but definitely kicked this dish up a notch. The side of fried rice included spinach and kidney beans in the savoury mix. The curry vegetables were also delicious and included broccoli, peas, chickpeas, carrots, and baby corn in a creamy yellow curry sauce.
The way the restaurant cooks their meat is really outstanding. I sampled the beef roti which came in a soft, homemade pastry shell. It gave way to an extremely flavourful, tender beef and potato filling. The beef was juicy and had an exquisite tangy, piquant flavour. I ordered it with a side of creamy coleslaw made with freshly chopped carrots in addition to red and green cabbage.
The portion sizes are huge and it’s safe to say you won’t be leaving hungry. With dinner entrees ranging in price from $11 to $16, they are an excellent value.
Let Joyce C. Kewley Caribbean Cuisine’s friendly hospitality and incredibly flavourful menu options temporarily take you away on a tropical restaurant vacation.
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Eden Ramsay is a Creative Communications student at Red River College. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and majored in graphic design. She loves culture, design in its many forms, and exploring the world around her.