My Mom is Jamaican, so I grew up eating Jamaican food. Curry Goat, curry chicken, rice and peas, Jamaican patties…you get the picture. Miami is full of diverse restaurants from many cultures. Yet, it is not every ethnic restaurant that serves up authentic food. I’m always on the hunt for authentic Jamaican restaurants, so when I found Jamaica Kitchen in Kendall, I was thrilled to try it!
My first introduction to Jamaica Kitchen was a night watching a rerun of The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and dives, and I knew I had to visit:
So I rounded up some hungry friends, and we headed over to Jamaica Kitchen.
Striped off-the shoulder top (similar)
Blue Bag (similar)
Blue Jeans (similar)
White pumps (white pumps)
The restaurant was busy when we arrived, and we took time to look around. The only way I can describe inside of Jamaica Kitchen is that it felt like home. It was intimate and warm. I do have to warn you that seating is limited, so get there during low traffic times or order take-out/take away. Also keep in mind that similar to many Caribbean restaurants, they are closed on Sundays.
Each day they feature a new soup. On Saturdays, they serve Beef Pumpkin Soup.
Monday is Chicken Pumpkin, Tuesday is Red Pea, Wednesday is Peppa Pot (one of my childhood favorites), Thursday is Red Pea, and Friday is Gungo Pea soup.
The guy who introduced me to Jamaica Kitchen – Guy Fieri
There were symbols of Jamaica sprinkled throughout the restaurant.
If you need to restock or stock up on Jamaican grocery items, you’ll find many items to choose from.
In addition to traditional Jamaican dishes, you can also try Chinese dishes, that you may not ordinarily find in traditional Chinese restaurants. These type of restaurants are not uncommon in Jamaica.
Just in case you are wondering – a Chinese Jamaican? The short version of the story is that after slavery was abolished in the British West Indies in the 1800s, many Chinese and East Indian settlers were brought over as indentured laborers. As a result, there is African, Chinese, and East Indian influence (to name a few) on West Indian food.
So, what did I have to eat at Jamaica Kitchen?
I ordered a feast of 1 beef patty, 1 quart beef pumpkin soup, curry goat with rice and peas, and plantains, with ginger beer.
I spoke briefly with the main cook, Alfred. In this moment, I was telling him about my Jamaican and Montserratian background.
Later, I received a tour of their kitchen, and saw where all the magic happens!
Thanks to Guy Fieri for helping me discover this hidden gem restaurant in Miami. And I hope that through me, you have discovered a new Jamaican restaurant to add to your eat list. It’s definitely worth a visit for authentic Jamaican food! To visit Jamaica Kitchen Restaurant, check them out online or in-person at 8736 SW 72nd St, Miami, FL 33173 or call: (305) 596-2585.
Have you ever been to Jamaica Kitchen? Do you have other Jamaican restaurant recommendations in the South Florida area?