Kingston 11 Reggae Cafe, located in North Vancouver on the lower Lonsdale Neighborhood, is a reggae cafe serving hearty Jamaican favorites.
A girlfriend tipped me off about Kingston 11, raving about their jerk chicken and ackee with salt fish, the national dish of Jamaica. I remembered watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain eating ackee and salt fish during his visit to Jamaica. It looked tasty and interesting. Since we’ve never had the pleasure of trying real jerk chicken, (although Tre makes a fiery one) it was time to pay a visit to Kingston 11.
The cafe is decently sized. Brightly coloured walls adorned with pictures of reggae celebrities (including one of Bob Marley’s sons) makes the place warm and inviting. Even though the atmosphere is laid back, dining to Reggae tunes makes you want to get up and boogie.
(Above: A plate of Goat Curry.)
We were disappointed, but not surprised to find the jerk chicken sold out by the time we arrived. Prince — the owner — was kind enough to give us a quick run down on the menu. It was short and simple, but surprisingly difficult to choose. I knew what I wanted — ackee and salted fish. Tre opted for the goat curry, and we had a ginger beer to round out the meal.
The ackee and salted fish was a nice bright, yellow colour. The saltiness of the fish paired perfectly with the subtle, sweet ackee complete with rice and beans — the perfect comfort meal. The salad on the side was dressed in a mixed mayonnaise dressing: good but a tad heavy for my liking. The goat curry was tender and succulent. It was stewed bone in, which gives it more flavour, but also means you’ll be picking bones out during your meal. The dish had a nice, light kick from the curry.
(Above: Jamaica’s national dish: the brightly coloured and scrambled-egg like ackee with salt fish.)
Our bill including taxes and tips came to just under $37, a bit pricey but well worth it. Kingston 11 was like a neighborhood hangout — the owner and his friends were really friendly and laid back. Everyone was just having a good time enjoying some great Jamaican food. We’ll definitely be back for more. Maybe next time we’ll get to try out the jerk chicken.
Perfect For: a hearty Caribbean meal on the North Shore.