Ting Irie: Dubai's first Jamaican restaurant
The Downtown joint has plenty of soul and is just so...easy.Robert Chilton July 14, 2016
This is happy food. Cute cubes of watermelon with a drizzle of coconut cream (AED 55) helped put out the fire from the hot Jamaican empanada-style patties (AED 65). Half a jerk chicken (AED 105) had crispy, salty, spicy skin that made the lips tingle; and the curry goat (AED 145) was a silky, gently-spiced stew.
Deliberately ramshackle. Wooden walls have been sanded down and painted shabbily, while a string of flamingo fairy lights dangled from one corner. Ska record sleeves lined the walls and ceramic roosters in gold, red or yellow stood on tables. The ceiling was a psychedelic blur of tropical plants in greens, yellows and reds.
The soundtrack to this Jamaican restaurant was mostly Beethoven. Just kidding. A sleepy stream of – what else? –reggae oozed from the speakers, lulling diners into a chilled frame of mind.
Fantastic. Hailing from Jamaica, our waiter Alex made good suggestions without being pushy and chatted happily about football (he’s a big Liverpool fan). All the staff seemed to seemed to be having fun as they laughed, joked and danced when the mood took them. The vibe is super friendly.
Ting Irie is just so… easy. It’s a unique restaurant for Dubai in terms of food, style and décor, all of which have been blended nicely. Eat here and you will leave a happier person. In short, Ting Irie has got soul – and plenty of reggae.