Time Out Melbourne

Can’t afford a summer holiday? Head to the Caribbean on the 112

What is it?
Jerk chicken. Here, the whole bird is marinated overnight in a rub of allspice and tongue-tingling scotch bonnet chillies (usually a thermonuclear 100,000-300,000 Scoville units on the pepper pain scale, though this mix is mild - ask for the house chilli sauce if you want to incinerate yourself ) before being blackened on the barbecue, and hacked up into smoky, aromatic and sweet pieces o’ bird.

Where can I get it?
Sassy’s Jamaican Kitchen. A no-frills homage to Jamrock in an old North Fitzroy shopfront. One long communal table for 30 runs through a slim room with a Cool Runnings colour scheme, charming family photos and a whole bunch of reggae paraphernalia. Face the bamboo tiki bar and pretend you’re on an island holiday.

Any drinks?
Stash as much booze as you like in the communal Esky near the kitchen, from a six pack of Red Stripe to a bottle of rum (there’s no liquor license yet so it’s full BYO). If you’re after a softie, order the hibiscus tea on ice with a fun cocktail umbrella ($6).

What else should I order?
Start off with deliciously crisp, salty, shallow fried slices of plantain (kind of like giant, unripe bananas) with just a hint of sweetness, then move onto your chicken or perhaps curried goat on the bone, all served with the staple side dishes of Jamaica - rice and black beans, and a pumpkin, capsicum and carrot stew, slow cooked until it's almost mush ($25). Don’t even think about leaving without a serve of pumpkin pie - a thin biscuit base holding velvety gingerbread-flavoured pumpkin filling.

Updated on 8 Jan 2013.

By Nola James   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

Sassy's Jamaican Kitchen details

376 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North 3068

Telephone 03 9489 8999

Nearby Stations: Merri; Rushall

Open Mon-Sun 6-11.30pm

Sassy's Jamaican Kitchen map

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