Sunday was gloomy as hell. The constant Sydney downpour of rain had proved too gloomy and dark; that was until we parked the car and stared up at this bright new corner establishment in the heart of Surry Hills! This is Rosie Campbell’s Jerk Diner & Rum Bar!
Bright colours ooze out of the walls of the latest Jamaican restaurant to hit the Sydney area, and as much as I wanted to take a lot more photos of the funky exterior, I was cold, somewhat rained on and doubly hungry for some Caribbean style Jerk Chicken!
Upon entering and speaking to the wonderful French waitress, we were aptly ushered to a booth and seated with menus firmly grasped in our hands. I already had an idea what I wanted to order (Jerk Chicken, just Jerk Chicken and more Jerk Chicken).
I decided to get a Red Stripe which is a quite well known Jamaican beer to get started. If you do get a chance, I do suggest trying this beer. It’s quite flavoursome and not too dry (unless dry is your thing of course!)
The menu proved to have Jerk Chicken and just so much more that we decided to get a bit of everything! Having ordered, I decided to gaze around at our surroundings and what I saw was actually very cool and refreshing. Bright colours gave off that Caribbean vibe whilst chill-out reggae came through the speakers somewhat making you feel like you were on that remote Bahamian island (except until you looked outside and saw a rainy Sydney evening).
In literally 10 mins or possibly less came out our entrees! Jerk Chicken Wings with home-made blue cheese and mango habanero dips along with Rudie’s Crispy Squid with Rosie’s jerk mayo and lime!
These jerk wings were actually far better than many I have had before. They had that spicy, saucy Caribbean infused flavour to them along with that awesome blue cheese taste! The mango habanero dip was very interesting to say the least however I did find myself constantly dipping in the blue cheese! The crispy squid was extremely fresh, I could almost smell the ocean as I bit into them. Generally, fried squid is quite oily and this actually wasn’t too oily at all and was complimented perfectly by Rosie’s jerk mayonnaise!
For our mains, we went with the Jerk Chicken burger, and the Soft Shell Crab Burger.
The Jerk Chicken burger was quite a mouthful packed with sunshine slaw, dill pickle, crispy fried shallots, habanero sauce with a side of fries. The jerk chicken as before was nice and juicy topped with a flavoursome slaw. The fries on the side came with a secret jerk topping that just made them ever so addictive!
The Soft Shell Crab burger was exactly what it sounds like! A whole soft shell crab deep fried bundled amongst a set of sweet, soft buns with sunshine slaw, tamarind sauce, turmeric and ginger mayo. The crab was fresh and deep fried to perfection, and the other ingredients such as ginger mayo & turmeric which I would have never thought would work, worked in perfect harmony together! With this burger, we also opted for the sweet potato fries as the waitress recommended it and they didn’t disappoint! Once again, cooked to perfection, soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside and once again, topped with that secret chefs topping that made them absolutely irresistible!
Along with our main came our two delicious sides that we had ordered! By now we realised that this is way too much food for two people as Rosie Campbell’s definitely does not let you down when it comes to portion sizes as they are all huge!
A Caribbean take on Mac & Cheese? HELL YES! Everyone loves a good mac and cheese and this Bahamian Mac & Cheese was literally to die for! Delicious macaroni draped in a cheesy sauce with panko crumbs is perfect for cheese lovers! It presented beautifully and tasted even better!
The other side we decided upon was a Bowl Of Corn. This is exactly what it sounds like, a bowl of corn. But it’s the best bowl of corn I have ever had. It came out in a bowl, fitting to the title topped with toasted coconut, boiled, grilled and then off the cob. Corn is such a simple dish that is often overlooked but they had made this into something spectacular! There was a delicious smoky island taste, and as it was already perfectly off the cob, this made for it being so easy and not messy to eat at all unlike traditional grilled corn.
By this point, having eaten enough to feed a small country, maybe in this context, a small Caribbean island, we were well satisfied! This is a fantastic little establishment in Sydney, considering it is only a couple of months old, it definitely has potential to being jam packed in the future with revellers as it is an awesome feed, with large portions, beautiful vibe and delicious food!
We actually ate so much that we were offered dessert and graciously refused as there was no room left in our stomachs. Suffice to say though, we will be back to try their Caribbean Cheesecake Mess. If it is a Caribbean take on a Cheesecake, just like everything else at Rosie Campbells, it is bound to be nothing short of spectacular!