Talk to me about Jamaican food, it brings back memories of my time with family in NYC where for the first time I tasted Jamaican lunch - dug into a spoonful, and i fell in love!!. That Jamaican sauce of their's will either have you in tears or hooked for life! It’s been a long while since I savored some of those, however, they are never forgotten flavors.

So here I am going through the course of my day and I get a special invitation to try the first Jamaican restaurant in Dubai, Ting Irie, a home-grown Jamaican concept! No second thoughts, this is my moment to live my Jamaican dream i thought and was off scheduling the first available date on my tasting calendar. We get there on a Tuesday night and we were least expecting a crowd. To our surprise we find ourself seated on a table between two large celebratory groups and it instantly brightened up our evening. The vibe here is fun, tropical-island-contagious and there is so much soul in the food, people and scene here. What make this place stand out is the Wait staff - bustling with an authentic personality and enthusiastic energy levels. You can’t help but admire them. The only low was when we discovered this was not a licensed space and it could do with a live band. The Caribbean play list made up for that loss,i should add.

We settle for ‘Ting King Feast’, a set menu suitable for parties of 6 people or more, priced at 195 AED per person. I’ll let you in on a lil ting “ordering for 3 could feed 6. The portions here are massive” ….sssshhh!! Don’t ever mention you heard a ting from me. With 5 appetizers to start off our Caribbean tasting journey, sharing likkle tings have left likkle room for mains. The Jamaican Patties, Oxtail cocobread sandwich with tender pulled oxtail and flavorful slaw is a winning start to big tings ahead. Next up is 4 varieties of mains.

Signet Ring seals : Spitfiyah Jerk Chicken crafted with a marinade to die for. Every bite saw chunks of tender meat falling out and this dish epitomizes the brilliant Jamaican cooking. We also loved the O.G fried chicken. The Carnival Funnel cake, Golden brown and slightly puffed doughnut base, topped with strawberry compote, vanilla soft ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. It’s like bringing a carnival fair to your table - A ting we are fans of! One ting to remember - come with an empty belly and you will leave filled up and satisfied.

If you have not had a chance to visit the Caribbean and sample local Jamaican delicacies, not to worry! Jamaica has come to you with a modern spin at Ting Irie.