If you’re a vegetarian, chances are you should just skip this article altogether. After all, a review of Scotchies in Kingston without an ample dose of meat-infused language is akin to describing basketball without mentioning a hoop. In other words, virtually impossible. That said, if you’ve read this far and you’re still interested, chances are you’ll love this unique and rootsy restaurant.
Widely known as THE BEST place for authentic Jerk chicken, Scotchie’s has several locations throughout Jamaica, including Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. As soon as you step into the parking lot, the aroma of spices and smoke bathe you as Jerk chicken grills nearby. True to Jamaica’s reputation, what this place lacks in fine dining quality, it more than makes up in ambiance. Sitting in a hut encircled by green foliage, you begin to understand why there is often a bit of line up even for a simple bite to eat for lunch by both tourists and locals alike.
Grilled over sweetwood and pimento wood logs, authentic Jamaican Jerk chicken is an unlikely find anywhere other than this island. With a grill made and grown in its natural environment, the taste of the chicken is richer with a bit more tang than you’re apt to find elsewhere. While Jerk food has a reputation of being spicy, Scotchies dishes up food that is flavorful and a bit on the hot side, but definitely not too overwhelming for the average palette.
Marinated in a lemony herb, the dish serves up a smattering of thyme and peppery spices. Dripping in chicken juices, the meat is moist and tender without being greasy. Unlike the Jerk chicken often found stateside, this meal didn’t mask the true Jerk flavors in unnecessary spice, nor was it drenched in sauce, rendering the flavors indiscernible.
Of course, Jerk chicken isn’t the only item on the menu, but it does happen to be the one that affords this restaurant its terrific hype. However, you can order flaky fish fillet, Jerk pork and roasted breadfruit to play with varied flavors. And of course, there’s the added satisfaction you get when all this is paired with delicious coconut water, or a Ting, a unique Jamaican grapefruit soda, or the world favourite, an ice cold Red Stripe beer. Regardless, there doesn’t seem to be anything served at Scotchie’s that isn’t a true treat for the tongue.
Scotchies Ocho Rios
Address: Drax Hall, North Coast Highway, Ocho Rios
Scotchies Montego Bay
Address: Coral Gardens Villas Rose Hall, St. James
Scotchies Kingston has been closed