Jerk Shack is a cozy Jamaican and Caribbean restaurant in Wuse 2, Abuja. It is located in the basement of the plaza that has Hooters. I heard about it from a friend, she told me it was quite pricey so let us just say I had no intention of visiting it anytime soon.
Fast forward to an impromptu to meet-up with some of my friends. The location was Jerk Shack and since it was the beginning of the month I decided I could treat myself.
THE JERK SHACK EXPERIENCE
The place is small and cozy, with a very cute and bright decor going on. It also smells pretty great as well. Going through the menu, I was a bit taken aback by the prices which were not very pocket-friendly to be honest. The main sauces and meats ranged from about 2,500 to 5,000 alone, without including the side to go with it and a drink of course.
Taking a tip from my “flexing on a budget” mindset, I went to the sides menu and was struggling to come up with a nice combo that suited my budget. I wasn’t trying to spend more than 5,000 NGN.
The owner then came to check on us and was super helpful and friendly in helping us make a decision. She answered all our questions, made suggestions, told us what dishes go best with each other. She even suggested the strong cocktails to go for (a little day drinking never hurt nobody). From her enthusiasm, it was clear the menu was curated with a lot of passion and detail.
Since we were a group of 3 she suggested we all tried different dishes to get a sense of the menu and see what we liked. One of my friends got the goat curry with rice and chickpeas while my other friend got honey wings and plantain dumplings. I went for the beef kebab and sweet potato fries. The price break down would be at the bottom.
When it came to drinks, August has been an alcohol detox for me so I asked for a sweet refreshing drink. The lemon and mint cooler was what the waiter suggested. My friends were up for some day drinking and the owner suggested the strong and sweet Elder flower gin cooler.
LET’S TALK TASTE
Now the goat curry was absolutely yummy, it was soft, well-seasoned and pretty much melted in my mouth. The rice and peas were well cooked, not too soft or hard, just right.
The honey chicken wings were actually perfect. I had been scarred by an awful experience of honey chicken wings at another restaurant in Abuja. This made me reluctant to try, but these wings delivered and came through on the taste. It had just the right amount of sweetness and flavour the honey gives. The plantain dumplings were kind of like plantain fritters, it wasn’t too oily which was nice. If you’re a fan of plantain you would like this.
The beef kebab was good, it didn’t blow me away but I enjoyed it and couldn’t even finish it. I would have preferred it if it were a bit more tender, as I really like my beef soft. It was well-seasoned and was not bland at all. Now I love me some sweet potato fries. I have gotten used to going to restaurants that have sweet potato on their menu but never actually have it. This is the second restaurant I’m going to that actually has it on their menu and have it in stock, so I was very pleased. The fries were crunchy, lightly salted and yummy just how I love it.
For the drinks, I had a little sip of the Elder flower gin cooler (did it for the review), it was lightly sweet but you could definitely taste the alcohol in it. Let’s just say by halfway through a glass, my friends started feeling it in their heads. So I guess we can conclude that it would be strong enough for you, if you’re a lightweight especially.
The lemon and mint cooler was actually very sweet, I expected a more subtle sweetness so I had to keep adding water to tame the sweetness. I honestly felt like my mum doing that, but overly sweet drinks don’t go well with me anymore.
The Jerk Shack has a very nice decor going on, it is vibrant and quaint like a glammed up shack actually. The presentation of the food is very unique and instagram-friendly (you should know what I mean). I love their cute rose gold tin cups especially, very vintage chic if you ask me.
The service was good, waiters were polite and helpful. It did take a while for our food to come, especially the food we ordered to-go, so going there very hungry might not be a great idea. The owner is very welcoming and friendly, so I absolutely loved that. Would definitely visit again and maybe not be on a budget when next I go.
I would recommend here for a date, work meeting or brunch/dinner with a small group of friends. If you want somewhere that isn’t noisy, where you can have a good conversation with an intimate feel, Jerk Shack is that place.
For our budget, all our meals cost around 5,000 NGN. The VAT would up your bill a bit so factor that in when you’re selecting your meal on a budget.
Curry goat – 2,500 NGN
Rice and peas – 1,200 NGN
Wings – 1,500 NGN
Plantain dumplings – 800 NGN
Beef kebab – 2,500 NGN
Sweet potato fries – 500NGN
Elderflower gin cooler – 1,600NGN
Lemon and mint cooler – 800 NGN