There are times that something catches your eye and sparks an interest, Caribbean Corner is such a place. At the beginning of the year, whilst driving around Swindon a colourful looking change was being made to a building, along Rodbourne Road in Swindon. For weeks as I drove past, I was desperate to see what this new red/green/yellow colour scheme was going to turn into.
Then one day, to the delight of all those in the car it was revealed. The Caribbean Corner sign was up and it offered a small light in the misery of the poor Winter weather we were having, especially during a lock down. Swindon was about to get a brand new Caribbean restaurant and takeaway, it looked like it was about to start trading, dishing out their food to the lucky people of Swindon.
Having watched it take shape, I was surprised there was so little fanfare of it opening but its location was its own advert. Still as soon as I knew they were taking orders, it got my mouth watering. To me it was a ‘must do’ adding a small pick me up meal. I had to try their offerings.
Of course things started to get in the way, as always the saviour was Facebook reminding me of my commitment to try the food. Caribbean Corner was touting their food to the people and it was a timely reminder that I really wanted to try it. Each day they posted their menu, simple but great sounding Caribbean food was on offer. I wanted to try it all, jerk chicken, curry goat and curry chicken were the main dishes on offer.
For those that have never tried Caribbean food, it is a very rustic style of cooking and packed full of flavour. There is no messing, meat is chopped and cooked in amazing spices and given enough attention to make sure it all binds together. Once cooked through, it is served on a bed of flavoured rice, full of soul and simple.
One Tuesday lunchtime, I finally took the plunge. Putting the laptop on standby, I decided it was time to try the food. They serve from midday to 10pm so turning up at 1pm was perfect timing for me. They were already in full flow, with a queue forming at the front of the place. The smell of the food made me want to push to the front and demand to be served first.
At the front of the building, they have placed several benches and in the sunshine, I could imagine walking there, grabbing the food and sitting out front to savour every mouthful. Making my way inside, it was simple and functional layout but it had an atmosphere. Ordering the food, I had a few minutes to wait but with a large TV pumping out Caribbean tunes and paying homage to the some of the reggae greats, I would have been happy to have waited a bit longer as I soaked up the vibe. As I waited and by chance I chatted to one of the co-owners, he told me that he was excited, not just about the food that they are producing, but also how busy they have been. Looking around they had done a good job, murals and the set up just seemed to work so well.
The Chef was at home in corner of the Caribbean Corner, he had a huge smile and seemed to love what he was doing (he was mask exempt) and seemed to be very comfortable in his open plan kitchen. I watched as he piled rice into a take away box and then scooped in the curry. As it dropped on top of the rice the smell only got more intense.
Saying goodbye, I grabbed the bag of food and hurried home. As I tucked, each mouthful was amazing. The food was top notch, having a chance to try the chicken and the goat, I have to say that I would highly recommend the goat. As it is rustic food, sucking the last bit of meat of the bones, it was a joy to do and the flavours only got better as I did it.
Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic choice for a lunchtime treat and that we needed to visit it again. Getting two more goat curries is now on the agenda and my only suggestion to Caribbean Corner, to make the experience better (and help to wash it down) are a couple of Banks’s, I wonder if Rusty Garage has a good pairing?
If this has floated your boat and you have a similar desire to try the food then there is one more tip to help you, whilst you grab a box. The Caribbean Corner is located on Rodbourne Road. There is no where to park out the front. However there is plenty of parking around the back, if you know how to get there that is. If you are using a Sat-Nav, the best Postcode to go for is SN2 1DL and this should bring you right up the side of the place.
When you do get there, make sure you mention that the Caveman sent you, perhaps they might give you an extra scoop of the good stuff.