My co-worker Carly is getting married in 2 weeks and going to Hawaii for her honeymoon. To get her in the mood, a bunch of us went out last night to celebrate 'island' styles at Irie Food Joint which is the closest thing to Hawaii even though it's more Caribbean styles. There is a stained glass multicolored garage door that opens up freely to the street, and a nice casual dining area inside with an old school typewritter welcoming you inside and a wall of Red Stripe Bottles you can't miss.
I love this place on a hot summer day, drinking a cold Red Stripe and having some good Caribeean food. Irie has a tiki patio in the back which is where we all sat to enjoy the beats and atmosphere.
To get the festivities started, we ordered cocktails ranging from ting-a-lings (Ting is a carbonated grapefruit softdrink that is popular in the Caribbean) - ting + vodka which was light and thirst quenching; teese squeeze which according to Carly was was a nice combo with the lemons and a bit of gingerale and a big splash of appleton rum to non alcohol bevvys like the refreshing mango spritzers.
Let's get to the food- I ordered the jerk chicken served with rice and peas, apple chutney and red cabbage slaw. I thought the chicken was tender and had a bit of a bite but not too spicy. It also had a good balance of sweet flavour from the molasses that sweetens the dish and I thought it was paired well with the sweet apple chutney and rice. Carly and Sophia both got the veggie roti- it was huge! The roti had sweet potatoes, zuchiini, carrots and peppers in it and Sophia needed more heat as it was a milder curry flavour.
When we asked them to bring out their 'hot sauce'- it was a creamy red hot sauce - and let me tell you - this sauce has zing! It's hot with those fiery peppers and vinegary. Sophia claimed that it enhanced her dish to her heat level as she started to sweat a bit and her face reddened!
Stephanie had the chicken curry and it was delicious! It was a buttery curry mixed with potatoes served over rice and peas. This is the dish I would go back and get that next time. Diana ordered the peppered shrimp served over mango salsa- she said that those shrimp had kick but finished the dish no problem. For our sides we ordered candied plantains and they were so good- sticky sweet and tender. We also had the corn and potato mash which was a creamy mash of goodness. Every time my mouth would get too hot from the spices- i would spoon a handful of the mash to soothe it!
Just a remark- if you are in a rush - I don't recommend this joint. Everything is very laid back especially the service which seems to be on island time. They walk to the beat of their own drums and sometimes can completely ignore your requests.
Irie Food Joint 745 Queen Street W (Queen just west of Bathurst)