Before Natty’s Jerk came into our lives we had never tasted Caribbean food. We had always associated food from this part of the world with spicy meat, rice and beans and with mum being vegan and myself rarely eating meat, we had no real reason to try. Now let me tell you, Natty’s Jerk is SO much more than that and has opened our eyes to the wonderful flavours of Jamaica and the Caribbean.
We first came across Natty’s Jerk at Outside In. We were one of their first customers (although they had been trading at festivals and events prior to that). Carlos ordered the fried-jerk chicken burger and me, the jerk chicken on top of a mac and cheese waffle. My god, it was heaven and I repeat – I am not a meat-eater! The chicken was the most tender chicken I have ever tasted, dry-rubbed and marinated for a minimum of 48 hours, then smoked and grilled over pimento wood. The mac and cheese waffle was pretty special too, I mean, who thinks up something like that? Whoever it was, is a genius.
Carlos said his jerk chicken burger was fantastic. Since that day, he’s had at least one a month – three times in January and counting! I jumped on the burger wagon too and I agree, this burger is something special. Imagine a boneless jerk chicken thigh dipped in Natty’s buttermilk and seasoned flour, served in a coco bun with apple and mango slaw, Natty’s Jerk BBQ sauce and plantain if you wish (you should!). It’s tender, it’s crunchy and it boasts some almighty flavours!
I’ve had the vegan jackfruit burger too which is essentially the same but with jackfruit instead of chicken. A winner in my eyes and fantastic for those who are vegan. Another great vegan option is the Ital Curry made by The Soul Bowl Club. This is a rich and creamy coconut, lentil and chunky sweet potato curry cooked with classic Caribbean spices. It really is tasty this one! If you’re after something sweet, order a vegan dessert made by Forced To Be Fussy too!
After a busy month or so at Outside In, Natty’s left to set up his own takeaway business in his family kitchen. We’ve collected food at his home in Southsea many times and we loved the hustle and bustle of all the family working hard together to feed hungry locals. I still can’t understand how such great food can come out of a small family kitchen and on that scale – Natty’s is hugely popular and he delivers quality food every time. Natty’s Jerk really is a family business and the whole crew chip in, whether it’s delivering, helping out in the kitchen, taking orders etc.
There was much suspense when Natty’s Jerk announced he would be moving out of his family kitchen and into his own place. Where would it be? We tried to guess without success. Good news Southsea, Natty’s have just relocated to Albert Road, close to the King’s Theatre on the corner of Duncan Road, where the Acapulco Mexican Bar used to be.
For now, Natty’s Jerk continues to offer takeaway and collection which you can order through his website and Uber Eats. My new favourite dish is the mac and cheeeezus and also the vegan cauliflower wings – marinated and then dipped in vegan buffalo milk – they are insanely good! Sometimes when we are feeling like we need an energy boost we order chicken wings. These jerk chicken wings certainly awaken the senses! We once saved them for lunch the next day. Holy moly these bad boys are hot!
We’re dreaming of the days when we will be reunited with Natty’s Jerk food truck down Southsea Beach. The promenade filled with glorious smells of roasted chicken, it really does make your mouth water. There’s nothing better than a Natty’s on the beach. Catch him this summer (hopefully) close to South Parade Pier, you don’t need the exact location – just use your nose!
Ambience n/a takeaway only
Loving life, loving Natty’s