If you go

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

Gail’s Caribbean Cui­sine that her jerk chicken and Trinidad curry chicken are not go­ing to scorch the roof of my mouth.

In fact, the dishes pack plenty of the roasted chilies earthy fla­vor with­out be­ing in­cen­di­ary. If you want the full-wattage pep­per, how­ever, she pro­vides it on the side. A lit­tle goes a long way.

Jerk is a style of cook­ing na­tive to Ja­maica but widely adapted across the Caribbean. If it looks like bar­be­cue, well, it is: Meat is dry-rubbed or wet mar­i­nated with a spice mix that’s pri­mar­ily all­spice and those sneaky Scotch bon­net pep­pers. The sea­son­ing is tra­di­tion­ally used on pork and chicken, but it finds its way to fish, beef, sausage, veg­gies and even tofu.

Other jerk-spice in­gre­di­ents may in­clude cloves, cin­na­mon, spring onions, cin­na­mon, nut­meg, thyme, gar­lic brown sugar, ginger and salt.

An­other hard-to-find fla­vor is sor­rel ( ja­maica in Span­ish), which comes from a small type of hibis­cus flower. It packs a dis­tinc­tive tart punch and a rich red glow, which find their way into a ro­bust rum cock­tail now on of­fer at her ven­ture in The Hatch­ery.

On of­fer are sharable plat­ters of Trinidad chicken curry with co­conut cream, pork-rib stew, cur­ried sweet corn and channa aloo (cur­ried chick­peas and pota­toes). You can also or­der i ndi­vid­ual meal plates for about 70 yuan ($10): choose one of the above en­trees (or jerk tofu) and en­joy with sides of stewed red beans, rice and peas, pick­led pineap­ple chow and coleslaw.

That’s a gen­er­ous amount of food that may not leave room for dessert, but we’re glad we were con­vinced to try it. Rum and raisin ice cream ar­rives on a round of spiced rummed pineap­ple and dusted with all­spice and co­conut. You’ ll want to lick the empty plate be­fore they take it away.

Con­tact the writer at michealpeters@chi­nadaily.com.cn

From 6 pm daily through mid-Jan­uary at The Hatch­ery, 88 Dongsi 9th Al­ley, Dongcheng dis­trict, Bei­jing. 010-8950-8065.

PHOTOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Above: Trinidad chicken curry with co­conut milk is a crowd fa­vorite. Left: Gail Ram­roop with Hatch­ery chef David Ball.

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