Continuing with my current obsession with all things jerk, here is a review of one of Leeds' foremost Caribbean eateries.
I've been to Maureen's before, what must be getting on for five years ago. It was here that I got my first proper introduction to Caribbean food, thanks to my ex-girlfriend's Jamaican Mum. I've been partial to a bit of West Indian cooking ever since. I wouldn't put it up there with the greatest cuisines of the world, but it's usually generous, hearty, spicy, packed with flavour and very good value, all worthy attributes.
Having made my first return visit last night, I can safely say I won't leave it so long next time. This was quite possibly the best jerk chicken I've ever eaten.
The chicken was just marvellous. Crisp, smoky skin with a lingering fruity, tingly spiciness from the Scotch Bonnets. The flesh beneath was moist, even the breast portion. The rice and peas were cooked perfectly. Star of the show overall though was the jerk gravy. At many places this is quite a thick, sweet sauce, sometimes almost like a barbecue sauce with added spice. This was a much thinner, stock based gravy, with a really deep chickeny flavour yet still packing a jerk punch. I can't think of many better things to pour over rice. I gnawed the bones and licked the plate dry.
Service with a smile is provided by Maureen herself, and the small jerk chicken with rice and peas costs a fiver. Yes this was a small. Large costs an extra quid and will be very large indeed. In case coconutty rice and peas doesn't provide you with enough carbs and fat, macaroni cheese is available for an extra 50p. Splendid, and very much worth a trip from town despite the less than glamorous surroundings.
105 Roundhay Road