Raggas Caribbean, Smithdown Road/Lark Lane *****

Being part of a family with origins in Trinidad, in the West Indies, means that Caribbean food has been part of my diet for years, and I know and love it well. Raggas Caribbean & Take-Away promises ‘the best in Caribbean cuisine’ and fully delivers on that promise. This is soul food.

I went for lunch here with my father, who is from Trinidad, and we found the food to be exactly what we had hoped. I tried the Vegetable Curry (£1.75 for a half portion which was plenty for me/ £3.50 for a large portion) and this included generous helpings of sweet potato, aubergine and courgette, all served in a delicious curried pepper sauce with rice and peas. My father had the Jerk Chicken (£3.50 for the larger portion) and found is equally delicious and packed with Caribbean flavours. The chicken dish included sweet red peppers and onions as well as the jerk seasoning, and was served with rice and peas and a side salad. Both dishes were full of hot, spicy flavour, and the rice and peas were perfectly seasoned. The portions are also generous, and I would be willing to pay a lot more for such brilliant, homely cooking. (Please note, the second picture below is of the Jerk Prawns, £6.50/£3.50 from the Lark Lane branch of the restaurant, which we visited on a separate occasion, and the food was of equal taste and quality).

To accompany our meal, we got a side order of Plantain (50p) which was sweet and well cooked, and Festivals (also 50p), better known as dumplings, which is sweet-fried dough and tasted delicious. The only thing I would change about our meal were the drinks: I had a Grace Fruit Punch and my father had a Mango and Carrot Punch (£2 each) and it would be great if Raggas could start making their own juices, as in the Caribbean, most cafés make their punch fresh each day, and this would add the last little touch of authenticity.

All in all, however, I have nothing to criticise about the restaurant, which serves delicious food, at totally affordable prices, and all dishes are also available to take-away. The menu is full of choice, and although there is only one Vegetarian main course, this would please any fan of West Indian food. The list of side orders is extensive, and provides a taste of all the flavours of the Caribbean, including many options for meat eaters and Vegetarians alike. As my father would say, it’s like a little taste of home, right here in Liverpool.

Raggas Caribbean 58 Smithdown Road 0151 2813241/ 27 Lark Lane 0151 2224176. Please note that there is some variation in menu options and price between the two restaurants.

http://www.raggas.co.uk/

This review was written for http://www.liverpool1578.co.uk/

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About teafortwotalk

Freelance writer @Pickwickmag @Corridor8 @Biennial / Editor @artinliverpool. Available for writing and copyediting.
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