This is Jam Hot *apologies for naff ’90s music reference
Jodi at Jamrock should probably be knighted for services to Jamaican food (and for just being a thoroughly lovely human being.) She started life (well Jamrock did), in the salubrious surroundings of Homebase car park; a veritable, er, hot bed of culinary talent! After a particularly cold and windy winter, when Jodi feared for the safety of the Jamrock trailer (and the jerk chicken), she decided life needed to be a little more stable, and opened very solid premises in Cambridge Street, Wellingborough.
Now Welly locals know there’s some fierce competition on that street. There’s the wonderful Ali’s, The Akash and Voujon, but since Jamrock is channeling West Indian cuisine, there is a point of difference that makes it shine (and this is true food outlets, so please listen, we love Indian cuisine, but you CAN have too much of a good thing)! Anyhoo, it’s always a lovely change to have change. Towns sometimes need it. Once upon a time in Wellingborough, there was a Thai restaurant (many moons ago), and briefly, I recall a delicious Vietnamese where I spent many an afternoon ‘working from home’, but it’s been a while. So it was with open arms the locals (and I) welcomed something different.
Jamrock’s ‘Jam’ is homemade classics with seasonings and sauces made from scratch (but really, it’s a whole lot more than that)! I’ve had dreams about the jerk pork; and the sweet potatoes have caused a Generation Game style competition in the Muddy household, where sadly, none of us seem to replicate the crispy, yet creamy texture! Another thing that’s really good about Jamrock’s offering is the food appeals to EVERY member of the family. Don’t like spicy? Fine, have a burger and fries. But it’s not just any old burger; it’s seasoned enough to make grown men beg for more (I’ve seen it happen).
I’ve had a few takeaways from Jamrock (notably when I was at Hart Brewery for my review there : ) but I haven’t really eaten inside much since they’ve expanded into the premises next door (yup, once Jodi got those firm foundations, she grew her empire very quickly (***EXCLUSIVE there’s soon to be a chill out, drinks bar upstairs; a balcony and an outdoor space for summer)! Eating in the restaurant is actually a real pleasure; the decor is funky, colourful, and just that bit different, but welcoming for all (my plus one had a buggie, and there was more than enough room to avoid awkward reversing).
And the food…it ain’t just curry goat, rice and peas here (not that we’re knocking that, because quite frankly dear reader, I could eat it most nights); but there’s burritos, jerk pulled pork, Guinness and molasses, marinated steaks, a selection of homemade burgers, grilled garlic lobster (YES, I had it – picture below), AND vegan options. There’s also kid friendly selections, breakfast and Sunday roasts (still to try, but I’ve heard good things)! In a nut shell the food is bloody lovely. It’s not overly spicy (I love spice personally, but here it’s a little more family friendly – i.e. I mean there’s no huffing and puffing from the kids – or the dog with the left overs). The fried fish is so light, I could have probably eaten it until the next day. The curry shrimp and lobster were really flavoursome and juicy, and were soaked up swiftly by the roti bread and festival dumplings (making you hungry yet?).
There are lovely Jamrock cocktails made to order, because what’s this cuisine without a splash of rum, so get yourself ready for Jamrockoladas and their very own We Be Jammin (there was mention of allspice berries with the rum, yum, but we plumped for the house red, which was actually pretty scrummy). I kind of ended the meal with another ‘just one more spoonful’ of prawn curry and homemade colelsaw, but hey, it was February, and a girl needs sustenance to get through a Wellingborough winter.
All in all, I can’t say enough good stuff about Jamrock. It’s everything you want in a chill out restaurant that brings a bit of the glorious caribbean sunshine to a sometimes rainy part of Northants. To Jodi; your glorious staff, and your ever-smiling effort to feed us your tasty offerings (if I eat another festival, I’m officially going up a dress size); we salute you!
(One love, everything IRIE).
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Meat eaters, sociable groups, families and anyone who likes to eat out of the strict 12pm until 2pm time slot (it serves all day).
Not for: Overly strict carb watchers. You can do meat and salad, but with all that dumpling goodness, why would you?
££: Mid priced. Jerk chicken £6.50 to £8.50, Jamrock burger £7.50, fried dumplings £1.50, bottle of house wine, around £12.
Jamrock 31-32 Cambridge Street Wellingborough, NN81DW