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Jamaiquita: Authentic Jamaican Cuisine to Medellin

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I think we can all agree that Medellin is a paradise that we all have chosen to either visit or live in. There are enough amenities from the home countries of most of us to satiate our lives. You can watch the same shows, follow sports teams, and even tastes of home in the culinary world here. Sometimes, it’s not as good as the food back home but it is something. I’m side-eyeing you, Chinese food restaurants. But one of my personal favorites was nowhere to be found in Medellin – Jamaican food. 

If you’ve never tasted Jamaican food, you are truly missing out. Jamaican food is emblematic of the culture it comes from. A unique and hearty mix of natural, tropical flavors that culminate in sweet and spicy dishes that appeal to all palates. You will be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t like Jamaican food, people either like it or have never tried it. 

Ambiance

Jamaiquita is located in the Premier park area of Laureles, but tucked away from the main street, so you can comfortably enjoy your meal on the patio with limited issues and distractions. You are elevated off the street, so the likelihood of a street vendor bothering you is next to impossible, which is something that happens frequently in this area. The restaurant is tastefully decorated with Jamaican accents, but not overdone, so it feels like a theme restaurant. There is fast wifi, so you are able to get work done while there. The staff is incredibly friendly and many of the staffers are fluent in English, so you won’t have to rely on a translator. Another pet peeve of mine is when a restaurant blasts music loudly, and Jamaquita has a reggae soundtrack playing to suit the mood, but also can easily blend into the background if you desire.

Food

While ambience and service are extremely important, the most important thing is the food, and you will not leave here disappointed. The menu is not overwhelming for first timers, but it is robust enough for Jamaican food aficionados. The real stars of the show are The Curry chicken and of course the Jerk chicken. Your meal will come with 2 sides as well, and the side options have a wide variety of options, including rice, beans, avocados, coleslaw and potato salad. The last two are polarizing, I know, but I will start there. I have to say, I’m not normally not at all a fan of coleslaw, but I figured it was a chance to try something new. This was the first time since visiting cookouts back home that I have had coleslaw that had the correct mix of flavors. With that said, I have a true love for potato salad. Just a side note, there is no place for raisins in potato salad. If you put them in your potato salad, how does it feel to be wrong? A huge issue with potato salad from here is that the consistency is too thin and the ingredients don’t mesh well together. This is not at all a problem here. The texture is perfect and the flavors are all traditionally correct and blend perfectly.

The true star of the show was hands down the jerk chicken, as you’d expect talking about a Jamaican restaurant. One complaint many Paisa have is the amount of spice on food, however the sauce comes on the side. So if spice isn’t your thing, you don’t have to use the sauce, and you can just enjoy the tenderest, juiciest chicken you’ve ever had in Medellin. Yes, that is a bold statement, but as what I would consider a chicken aficionado, I’m willing to die on this hill. You will not find a better seasoned, better cooked piece of chicken in Medellin. Hands down. I’m telling you all of this before we even talk about the jerk sauce. Speaking of the belle of the ball, I have tried many local restaurant’s attempts at jerk sauce, just to be left disappointed. Jamaiquita is the first place outside of Miami and New York that I’ve had a jerk sauce that truly makes me take notice. The melding of sweet, savory, but with a little kick is achieved masterfully. It’s freshly prepared and tastes as natural as can be. I asked if they would be bottling it to sell, and that is coming. They have a life long customer when they start this. I savored every bite of this moist chicken and you should too. 

Natural High

In the four months since opening, Jamaiqiuita has prided itself on staying true to it’s roots and providing healthier options. If you are looking for healthy, delicious faire, this is your place. There are even many vegan options, including jerk mushrooms. The Jamaican inspired drink options are the perfect complement to your meal, including a delicious ginger beer, flor de Jamaica, and several fresh juices which will finish your meal well. All of their food options are baked and not fried with the exception of their patacones, but this is impossible to prepare any other way.

Because of the commitment to quality over quantity, the family recipes that adorn the menu are all prepared with the same love and care you’d expect from a Jamaican family dinner. The food has a similar flare to the food in San Andres, which truly shines through in the tastes you will experience. 

Starting At The Top

Jamaiquita was the brainchild of owner, Anasia Reid who has spent 6 years in Medellin, coming from her native UK and Canada grew unimpressed by the amount of unique culinary experiences in Medellin. This paired with the complete lack of Jamaican food, she knew she had to do something. Her love language is deeply rooted in feeding people and this provided the perfect backdrop to share the family recipes that she grew up with, being from a household with two Jamaican parents. This was enough for her to take a huge risk and start a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Medellin.

The gamble has paid off, Anasia has amassed a cult following, and has incredible future growth plans. To suit the Colombian palate, she will be introducing many non-spicy options, but staying true to her roots, all while placing healthy options where quality allows. An example of this is that she insists on growing the vegan options, as well as sweetening all beverages with agave instead of sugar. 

Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?

If you are in Laureles or close, you should definitely make the journey into the restaurant. The friendly staff goes out of their way to make you feel at home and the vibe is incredible. However, this is not always an option, and they make every possible effort to bring you a taste of Jamaica to go as well. While they are on Rappi if you are close enough to the restaurant, they have their own delivery people who will deliver to just about anywhere in the Aburra valley. You can reach out to them via Whatsapp, in English or Spanish at wa.me/message/FLVSH3FG5RPFJ1 and place your order directly with the restaurant. This is the preferred option, because you will be able to ask any questions you may have. 

If you feel like going out and eating, they’re located at Calle 40 #74-35 in Laureles. Their business hours are Wednesday through Monday from 12pm-10pm. They are closed Tuesdays. I encourage you to follow them at @jamaiquita.co on Instagram, where you will see the best food examples as well as get familiar with the menu. 

Flights to Kingston and hotels are expensive. You can enjoy the flavors of Jamaica here in our own little tropical paradise. 

Address: Calle 40 #74-35 in Laureles (Primer Parque)
Instagram: @jamaiquita.co
Direct Order: wa.me/message/FLVSH3FG5RPFJ1
Hours: Open 12pm – 10pm (Closed Tuesdays)
Medellin.co: medellin.co/restaurant/jamaiquita

3 Responses

    1. That is a long commute! However if you’re in Jamaica, you’re covered for now! Ven a Medellin!

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