Authentic, original, flavoursome: The Jam Tree’s Pop-Up Jamaican Menu, Clapham

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We Jammin’…

Would I like to try The Jam Tree‘s Pop-Up Jamaican menu, I was asked. I scoffed an excited answer about being ‘utterly mad’ about Jamaican culture, having grown up watching Cool Runnings and having thought Usain Bolt did a pretty above-average job at the Olympics. In truth, I loved the idea of Jamaican food and culture but soon realised I had very little hands-on experience of it all. In fact, I realised I had about as much knowledge of Jamaican culture as Snoop Lion. I needed educating and quick.

First impressions are so important, so to be wooed before we’d even sat down was a first. The Jam Tree in Clapham achieved this with a fresh take on fun interior design, including some super-sexy sliding automatic doors. Who knew doors could be so entertaining?

The bustling atmosphere and exceptionally friendly staff drew myself and my plus one Lucy (from Shiny Thoughts) in, but it was the eclectic cocktails and excellent menu which had us hook, line and sinker.

We went for peppered king prawns to start as well as fried pineapple on a miniature wheel of goats cheese. I’m fairly obsessed with Goats Cheese and I’ve tried it every which way you could imagine, so how surprised I was when a new spin was put on my favourite food of choice. The starters, for us, were the strongest dishes of the night; absolutely stunningly prepared and presented and the flavours evoked interesting, albeit borderline-seductive, facial expressions.

The main courses were fantastic too. Curried goat for me and Jerk Chicken for Lucy. Both were highly flavoursome and enjoyable, though be prepared for the fine bones in the goat if you order that.

Lucy did actually show Usain Bolt a good time …but it was her cocktail I’m referring to which was named after the medal-loving leggy sprinter. So yummy was it that she actually sunk the entire thing in a quicker time than his one hundred metre Olympic Sprint. I slow clapped her efforts.

Finally, onto our desserts which finished the night off perfectly. Having already slowly and sophisticatedly supped (Ok, I downed it) a Peanut Butter cocktail, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard myself ordering the Peanut Butter cheesecake. I would say my heart quickened from calorie panic, but instead it actually slowed down in preparation for the inevitable: drawing to a lazy stop as a result of all the atery-clogging Peanut Butter. However, cardiac arrests aside, I was in heaven.

Along came the cheesecake which encouraged more facial seduction such as this:

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We also polished off a Jamaican fruity jelly and a hot brownie with banana ice cream. Rude not to.

So, with full bellies and happy tastebuds, off we went with smiles on our faces having loved every minute of our trip to Jamaica. Plus, the cherry on the jerk chicken was those swishy doors, which delighted us as we left too. Get yourself to The Jam Tree -if just for the doors.

The Jam Tree, Clapham: SW4 0JT – @The_Jam_Tree

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