Food reviews are back people! Lately make-up has been my main concern with the campaign etc… but now I am back to what I do best, eating and moaning about it! And boy, am I ready to have a moan! Recently I took a (very hungover) trip to Bristol for lunch. Fed up of the food places of Gloucester and their limited veggie options, a friend called Kesh and I decided to go somewhere else. Bristol not being far from Gloucester is great for veggies, however I made a mistake. It wasn’t just that I got out of bed when I was dying, but I that decided to go to a Caribbean restaurant. Now, being half Jamaican, I hold a very high standard when it comes to Caribbean cooking. Turtle Bay is a massive NO. Nothing about it is Caribbean and sadly there was nothing Caribbean about Calypso Kitchen in Bristol either.
Calypso Kitchen based near the harbour in Bristol town is suppose to be a Caribbean eatery which will cater for all dietary requirements. That they do do. Is it great tasting? Yes. Is it Caribbean cooking? Hell to the no. First of all, they have outdoor seating as well as indoor but they do not have a greeter, which makes it difficult when they are busy because you have no clue where to sit or how to order, and there are no signs to indicate this either. So, you go to the counter and ask and they say order here now, they then give you a table number yet they don’t check if there are actually tables free so you have to hope in the busy place there’s a seat..
When you eventually find a seat there’s a rather big gap between being seated and your food arriving. And it came out separately to Kesh’s. So my main was on the table, however my side wasn’t… and neither was Kesh’s. We were sat right next to the kitchen and we could actually hear the kitchen staff saying to the waitress that the rest of our food wasn’t ready! So a good 6-7 minutes later the rest came out. This may sound like nothing but that’s a long time for your food to sit there and get cold.
Anyway, I ordered the Vegan Gumbo; chickpea, aubergine and caramelized sweet potato gumbo with rice’n’peas at £9.50, and a side of plantain at £3.00. It was (although now just mildly warm) presented beautifully. One thing about Caribbean food, as its mainly home cooking or, for me, comfort food, I know how hard it is to present a dish. Where do I start… Maybe the coriander? Gosh the coriander. Everything and I mean everything was covered in coriander. Was this for presentation? Possibly. Coriander has a very distinctive taste and is NOT a Caribbean herb! This was not an Indian dish! Its not that kind of curry. And why was the plantain served on a flipping bed of it! You want a herb use some Thyme! NOT CORIANDER.
And breathe… I am sorry but… who was cooking this food? It was definitely not anyone from the Caribbean. It was like Turtle Bay all over again. Sigh. Something I love about Caribbean cooking is the spice. And this gumbo
really failed to deliver. The flavour profile was… Well.. Nice… The sweet potato was beautifully caramelised, however the chickpeas were not existent. It didn’t pack a punch and, again with the herb situation, you would say it wasn’t a gumbo but an ‘ok’ executed Indian curry? As soon as I saw the white rice and black eyed peas I felt sad. If the dish was served with coconut rice then I would of said “wow”! It was perfectly cooked coconut rice, where was the seasoning?! Where was the all purpose and where were the kidney beans?! I would of even accepted black beans, hey, I would of accepted white kidney beans. This was not rice ‘n’ peas at all.
Then the plantain. Plantain is one of my most favourite things, I hate bananas but I love plantain! Two slices for £3? Raaah! 3 whole plantain for £1 at my local shop! So this plantain should have been the best god damn plantain I had ever eaten. First slice was beautiful. It was caramalised and crispy. The other slice was greasy and soft and mushy.. everything I hate about bananas. If they just cut that piece in half again it would of been perfect! sigh.
We took dessert to go, Calypso Kitchen has a range of vegan and gluten free desserts. Lemon and poppy seed was to die for! It was moist (yeah I hate that word too!) and sweet. The mango and rum cake however was a fail. Hardly tasted of mangoes just soggy chunks of fruit which was unrecognisable. We actually binned it! And throwing away food in this house is a very big thing! Haha The salted espresso and chocolate torte however was actually lovely! I even liked it and I hate coffee! So I suppose a dessert and a drink could be worth it? maybe?
Anyway off to my local Caribbean takeaway I go. At least I wont have to pick off the coriander!
So a very quick summary and rate (out of 5):
- Allergen menu 3
- My Meal 1.5
- Overall service 1.5
- Worth the money you’re paying? No