By Rob Mcwhirter
Blasting out reggae beats and flying a Jamaican flag, this is Hoxton’s own little 12 by 6 piece of Kingston. The Shades Jerk Chicken van serves out tasty, authentic Jamaican food from a bright red van that has a puzzlingly tall chimney emerging from it. All orders come with a warm reception and friendly chatter.
Onto the food: the chicken is excellent; barbequed on the bone in front of your eyes and marinated in sauce of your choosing. We went for jerk – it is very good, not all that spicy for the chili heads amongst you, but the flavour, complemented by the barbeque char, more than makes up for this.
Pick a meal deal and you’ll get a quarter chicken, rice and peas (again very good) and a bit of salad all for £4.50. Not bad. They also serve up fish, patties plus a whole load more if chicken isn’t your thing. As a jerk chicken van, unsurprisingly there’s not a great range for veggies and vegans, but there are a few things on the menu that might tickle their fancy.
If you head down at lunchtime do expect a queue, this is a testament to how good this little red van is. Despite this warning, whilst the line often looks long, the fast service means that it usually doesn’t take as long as you might think to get the front, so bear that in mind before you decide to go elsewhere.
Excellent food, decent portions and all at a reasonable price mean that this stall is one of our favourite eats in the area, street food or not.