riaz phillips

Riaz Phillips’s Top 5 Caribbean Restaurants in London

Writer and photographer Riaz Phillips, author of Belly Full: Caribbean Food in the UK, shares his top 5 Caribbean food stops in London.

smokey jerkey

Smokey Jerkey. Riaz says, ‘Deep in the heart of South London, New Cross’s infamous Smokey Jerkey uses a lengthy jerk seasoning and grilling technique, honed by a lifetime of lessons from owner Louie McPherson’s hometown of Portland in Jamaica. Smokey Jerkey’s simplistic menu offering is a refreshing change. Led by jerk chicken, pork, lamb or even a mix for the brave, there’s really no bad choice to be made.’

Smokey Jerkey, 158 New Cross Road, SE14 5BA

Roti stop

Roti Stop. Riaz says, ‘With fresh roti made on a traditional southeastern Tawah, the choice of fillings at Roti Stop are abundant, from pumpkin, spinach-like callaloo, curry goat and jerk chicken to a rare salt fish roti. Meat, fish or vegan: there’s something for you. All meals definitely should be chased by owner “Roti King” Bernard’s wide range of fresh vegan juices.’

Roti Stop, 36B Stamford Hill, N16 6XZ


Peppers & Spice. Riaz says, ‘With so much choice on a daily basis, newcomers who don’t already have their favourite meals down pat should perhaps just roll a dice on the menu. With everything made from for their own nearby warehouse, for those on the go or perhaps not ready to jump into brown stew curry or smooth red pea soup, a baked flaky pastry patty which whatever filling tickles your fancy is a great shout.’

Peppers & Spice, 40 Balls Pond Road, N1 4AU

Ochi. Riaz says, ‘The bastion of Caribbean food in West London. Anyone who proclaims to be a fan of island food that resides to the west of London should already know about the legendary Shepherd’s Bush outpost. The incredible shrine on the wall of signed photos, forming a who’s who of Afro-Caribbean superstars, is enough to suggest Ochi should probably be Grade II-listed at some point.’

Ochi, 226 Uxbridge Road, W12 7JD

True Flavours. Riaz says, ‘Brixton’s True Flavours is a relative newcomer on the scene but the regular queues out the door suggest otherwise. Owner Junior’s name brand as a renowned chef has travelled well to his South London outpost. Whilst versed in the most advance cooking techniques, his kitchen remains decked with rows of traditional charred Caribbean “dutch” cooking pots that churn out an incredible peppered steak, fried fish and herby rice’n’peas.

True Flavours, 101 Acre Lane, SW2 5TU

Honourable mention…

Ital n Vital. Riaz says, ‘Find it in South Tottenham, for all the vegans.’

Ital n Vital, 134 High Road, N15 6JN