How now, what luck that I should be able to bully St Nick out of his routine Friday luncheon restaurant. Once he accepted that we simply could not go to Coffee Tales for yet another all day breakfast, the real fun began.
Just two doors down from Coffee Tales is a true hidden gem. 24 Carat Bistro is a Anglo-Caribbean restaurant. To be clear, they do not offer a ghastly fusion of English and Caribbean food. Au contraire, they offer both or neither, depending on your desires.
Our starter for ten were the jerk chicken wings. For me they were quite lovely. They were not the star of the show but provided an excellent flexing of 24 Carat Bistro’s culinary muscles. Nonetheless, they were thoroughly enjoyable and the sauce tasted phenomenal.
Curry goat & rice
A West Indian favourite with generous chunks of tender goat meat infused with garlic, peppers & onions, together with a few secret ingredients.
That being said, the real showstoppers were the mains. I ordered the curry goat and rice. What a rare treat! The last time I had goat was in the middle of Selous Safari Park in Tanzania. I remember it arriving seated upright on the back of a motorbike. Then, they killed it right in front of me! This curry was a close second in terms of flavour. Excellent throughout.
Juicy oxtail pieces slowly cooked with thyme, our secret herb blend, and garlic. And simmered till it’s literally falling off the bone delicious!
Nick, in his infinite wisdom, opted for the braised oxtail. This was a showstopper if ever I saw one. Truly stupendous, it burst with more flavours than this humble reviewer can describe. The dish, as well as the dumplings which accompanied it, were a force with which to be reckoned.
Dessert, too, was a spectacle. The victoria sponge rolly polly with jam and custard transported me right back to year 4. I was new to England and amazed at the peculiar dishes which the British considered food. I grew accustomed to the soggy mess of a dessert and in the end was quite fond of it. I had not eaten this for almost ten years. But goodness me was I glad to tuck in once more.
A few closing remarks ought to be made. This fits the bill for my most excellent restaurant guide. 24 Carat Bistro is family-run. It is secluded and has fewer than 15 tables. Ergo, it fits all my criteria for a sterling eatery. The service is unquestionably brilliant. We were treated like cherished friends throughout the six hours we stayed. That is deeply important in any eatery.
If you need waking up but also feel a little feline and feminine, ask for a Rum coffee. Their selection of excellent rums is striking. Combining this with a coffee made for a delightful cherry on top of the impressive cake that is 24 Carat Bistro. I recommend it most thoroughly.