My First Experience Trying Caribbean Food at Calabash Bistro

Ethan always craves for Jamaican food because Toronto, his hometown, has some authentic taste. Yet, you can barely find any in Vancouver. He did some research and found Calabash Bistro. It has a high rating, and it offers Caribbean Food, which is a similar style to Jamaican. So we decided to give it a try. It is my first time trying Caribbean food, so I am excited to explore new flavors!

The restaurant can get quite busy throughout the night, so reserve a table ahead of time. The restaurant is spacious, with dimmed light. So we chose the table closest to the window, so we can take some nice photos. We ordered 2 dishes to share, Oxtail Stew and Jerk Chicken.

Oxtail Stew is the highlight of the night. Slow-braised oxtail is tender and flavourful. The sauce is absorbed fully into the oxtail. On the side, it comes with rice & peas, ripe plantain, seasonal veggies, and coconut dumpling. The coconut dumpling is like a baked shredded coconut ball, with a crispy shell. I wish there are more on the plate!

Oxtail Stew / slow-braised oxtail, rice ‘n’ peas, coconut dumpling, ripe plantain, seasonal veggies / $26

Ethan is excited for the Jerk Chicken because he has been craving it for a while. Jerk Chicken is a classic Jamaican dish, which showcases an authentic cooking style in Jamaica. The Jerk Chicken is marinated in house, but Ethan said it should be spicier and more flavourful. Though the chicken is tender and juicy, the jerk sauce is not fully absorbed to the meat.

Jerk Chicken / house-marinated chicken, rice ‘n’ peas, ripe plantain, seasonal veggies, jerk sauce / $19

Overall Impression

My first experience of Caribbean/Jamaican food at Calabash Bistro is amazing, and I really enjoy the Oxtail Stew. Ethan did mention that Toronto has better Jamaican restaurants, but right now, this can satisfy sudden crave. I have never tried other similar dishes, so I can’t tell how authentic they are. Overall, I really enjoy the food, service, and vibe here. So if you pass by Chinatown, give them a try! It is always fun to be adventurous and try out new cuisine!

Taste : 4.5/5 • Service: 4/5 • Ambiance: 4.5/5 • Quality-Price: 4.5/5

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  1. The coconut dumpling isn’t a Jamaican dish but it sounds interesting! Can’t go wrong with coconut.

    1. oooo I didn’t like that! but yes, def a great addition snack to the dish!

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