Once you walk in off the street, it’s island time at Rosie Campbell’s jerk diner and rum bar. That island is Jamaica.
Rosie Campbell’s is located in Surry Hills, at the corner of Campbell and Crown streets, at the site formerly occupied by Chow Bar & Eating House and the Bentley before that.
The diner has a relaxed casual beach shack feel where you can enjoy that wonderful jerk food. Bright colours, posters, period photos and vintage rocksteady and reggae playing in the background put you at ease.
Head Chef, Adrian Poon has spent extended time in the Caribbean and is showcasing with his homemade sauces including Rosie’s Jerk Sauce. For the uninitiated, jerk is the native cooking style of Jamaica where hot spice mixtures, which are called jerk, are either dry-rubbed into meats or used in a marinade.
In the main part of the venue, you can sit in comfortable booths with table service. Or sit around the bar and order and collect your food and drinks.
Rosie Campbell’s bar has a rum focus and with a rum list of 40 and growing, there is a range of unique expressions to try such as Blackwell Black Gold from Jamaica or El Ron Prohibido Solera 12 year from Mexico to name a few. Tequila and mezcal also feature in the list as well as other spirits.
The spirit and cocktails list has been put together by industry veteran, Mike Enright of The Barber Shop and recipient of Time Outs Legend of the Year. The focus is on rum and drinks that take you to the Caribbean.
Mocktails at the Bar
You’ll also find a range of beer including Cuba, Mexico and Redstripe from Jamaica as well as Rosie’s Golden Ale and Pale Ale on tap.
L-R: Montego Bay Punch Mocktail, Rosie’s Estate
The Montego Bay Punch Mocktail is refreshing juice combination of pineapple, papaya, rockmelon, sugarcane and almond. For a taste of the island, try Rosie’s Estate ($17) with Appleton White Rum, Tanqueray Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, watermelon, honeydew, sugarcane, Peychard bitters which makes for a light-sipping sessionable drink.
At the media preview, sample sizes of the following dishes were served but for the purpose of the review, full prices are shown.
Jerk Pork Dumplings
Jerk Pork Dumplings ($16) come with house-made Rosie’s jerk sauce, chinkiang vinegar and crispy shallots. These are spicy with the chinkiang vinegar adding a hint of smoky flavour.
The Kingston Corn Fritters ($13) with Rosie’s sweet chilli sauce and sour cream have a light crisp texture, are spicy and pack a lot of heat hit. Full on flavour, the fritters are a definite winner.
Jerk Chicken Sliders
The chicken pieces in the Jerk Chicken Sliders ($16) are tender and spicy and come with sunshine slaw, dill pickle and crispy fried shallots. The habanero pepper sauce provides an added kick.
El Chancho’s Cuban Sandwich ($18) is a 6-hour slow-cooked roast pork shoulder. The meat is soft and flavoursome and comes with dill pickle, mustard, Swiss cheese and housemade mayo. The filling is a little light and could do with more of the delicious pork.
Lip tingling Jerk Fries ($7) are served with homemade jerk mayo on the side.
Jerk Salad with Chicken
The Island Jerk Salad ($16) comes with aromatic herbs, pickled vegetables, mango, black beans, coconut and lime salsa in a buttermilk dressing. The textural salad is fresh and vibrant, with chicken may be added for $4.
Rosie’s Sunshine Slaw
The homemade Sunshine Slaw ($6) consists of batons of carrot, granny smith apple in a spicy turmeric and ginger dressing.
For dessert, try the Caribbean Cheesecake Mess ($16), with pieces of pineapple, cheesecake cream, crunchy meringue, ginger cookie, rum caramel and a rum and raisin ice cream.
Alternatively, the Warm Caramel Rum Cake ($14) is a soft sponge drizzled with rum caramel so that it pools in the centre with a side of banana ice cream on whipped cream.
Rosie Campbell’s offers a vibrant and relaxed space with a casual vibe to chill, and enjoy share plates with friends. And remember, everything’s Rosier with rum.
320 Crown St (corner of Campbell St)
Surry Hills NSW 2010
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