When it comes to music, Jamaicans are never short of a banger (or more), so it goes without saying that when it comes to their cuisine they favour a zinger there as well. Rudie’s in Dalston, east London, is that kind of place where you can get a piece of real Jamaican grub at a decent price in comfy and homely surroundings.
Meals on Two Wheels rocked up there recently and after struggling to find a parking space for its bicycle (this is east London after all!), it rested its muscular behind on one of the establishment’s straight-backed seats. A gloomy and nippy winter Saturday afternoon was the only excuse needed to tuck into a plate of Peppered Shrimps and a (as it turned out) very generous portion of plantain (by the way, the correct pronunciation of "plantain" might be reason enough to start WWIII. If you don't believe me put a West-Indian and an African in the same room.). The prawns were king-sized and bathed in Boston sauce. They were accompanied by a welcome committee, made up of cherry tomatoes and avocado salsa.
Whilst over the years Meals on Two Wheels has gone from no-hot to vindaloo-hot, nothing could prepare our regular, bicycle-powered section for the might of Jamaican hot. The Old Jamaican Ginger Beer that was ordered with the bite was not enough to quell the fire. Luckily, a very helpful Italian waitress brought over a glass of milk. This went some way to mitigate the inferno caused by the Peppered King Prawns.
However, do not let this small incident put you off Rudie’s. Pound for pound, it is one of the better eateries in east London today. The shrimps were well-cooked and tender. They were also plentiful. The plantain was of the as-Mama-cooks-them-back-home variety. And at just under fifteen quid for a dish that could have been a main (their platters range from £7.50 to £12. They also cater to vegans), Rudie’s is a snip. Meals on Two Wheels has since been back with a couple of friends.
Just a piece of advice, though. Make sure that if you do go to Rudie’s, you’re not out marathon-training the next day. Your stomach might disagree with your choice.