Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sassy's Jamaican Kitchen, Fitzroy
Although I am obviously very inclined to fine dining, sometimes you just need somewhere like Sassy's Jamaican Kitchen. Somewhere where you know and accept that the music will be too loud and the service will be almost non-existant, but the food will be amazing. Somewhere you can wear trackies too, and BYO your drinks and store them in the esky at the front of the restaurant, and bop along to Jamaican music whilst you draw on the paper table clothes with the textas in a cup on the table. Somewhere where whilst you go to the toilet, you may just run into a lovely Jamaican man smoking up some Jerk Chicken on a massive BBQ out the back.
If you can't tell yet, I have a massive soft spot for Sassy's, and have since I first discovered it whilst driving along St George's Rd early last year. Since then I have probably recieved some of the poorest service in Melbourne at this restaurant, but I don't even care because the food and atmosphere is that cool. Most reviews describe it as 'Island Time' and it is as if the wait staff actually don't find any need to rush at all. For example, it took them an hour and a half to make me a cup of tea this evening, but I didn't seem bothered by it since I was drawn into this chilled out zone that is Sassy's.
And the food? Well yes, it is the food that keeps us coming back. Its such clean, simple, yummy food. Presentation isn't amazing, and yes you can sometimes wait for up to an hour whilst they freshly grill your jerk chicken for you but then you dig into your Sassy platter ($48 for two people) and start to rip the chicken off with your fingers, or feel soothed by the flavours in the Veggie stew and the wait just seems to disappear and you are lost in the Caribbean eating homestyle flavours that actually make you feel somehow nourished.
Tonight, as per usual I shared the platter with a friend. There are heaps of cheaper options at about 11 or 12 bucks a meal, but the platter literally gives you a taste of almost everything on the menu as well as a couple of corn cobs. The platter tonight featured a decent piece of Jerk Chicken (the chicken just falls off the bone and the smoky marinade is so good), some marinated fish and vegetables, vegie patties with beautiful beans and rice, and my absolute favourite (that yellow lump on the picture) Sassy's Veggie stew. I long to know what is about this stew that makes it so good. The sauce is a little bit curry, a little bit coconutty and despite asking once again tonight what is in it, we are still yet to find out an answer. All I know is that I always end up coming home with a big container of this Veggie Stew as it is just that amazing.
So if you are feeling stressed, rushed or sick of recieving the normal standard of service at a restaurant and feel like kicking back and relaxing in a very cool environment whilst some very cool looking men slowly but surely cook you up a feast, head to Sassy's. Head there with an open attitude and be ready to sip on your BYO drinks and doodle on the table cloth whilst you wait up to an hour for your food. Be prepared to want to eat with your fingers, and lick them afterwards too.
It is worth it.