Caribbean Spice Jerk Centre

September 8, 2010


Jerk Chicken

***Edit December 2011: Caribbean Spice Jerk Centre has now been taken over by new management and I’m sorry to say, is no longer worth visiting***

I’ve been working my way around the jerk shops of Peckham. Some have been soul destroyingly pants. Spice and Nice Bakery, I’m looking at you. Gabby’s takeaway, you made me sad. It has not been a good couple of weeks on the SE London jerk scene and then, to top it all, I received the earth-shattering news from a friend that the chef at my favourite place, Smokey Jerkey in New Cross, doesn’t use scotch bonnets in his jerk marinade. I mean, what?! I’m still reeling.

It’s enough to plunge a woman into dark mental places but I’ve found salvation in Caribbean Spice, which has sprung up all happy and yellow under an arch near Peckham Rye station. As with most jerk shops and to be fair, most places in Peckham, it’s a no-frills outfit. There’s a kitchen where they cook stuff, a counter for serving it on and a few stools should you wish to hang about to eat it. No messing.


I was down there the day after they opened, default-ordering jerk chicken. It was very good indeed. Wet marinated and suitably sticky with sugar, it necessitated a good bout of finger-licking afterwards. The chilli heat made me sniffle. I wondered if it needed more allspice but when I looked down for my next bite to make sure, it was all gone. Caribbean Spice, welcome to Peckham. You’ll do a roaring trade in such a perfect location. So many times, I’ve come out of that station and before I know it, I’m standing in front of the counter placing an order. At this rate, I’ll need to start taking a different route home.

Caribbean Spice Jerk Centre
Station Arcade, Rye Lane
(It’s in the alleyway that is the side entrance to the station)
Tel: 0207 358 8491

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  • Avatar
    Reply James September 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Working your way round jerk joints – a tough job, but someone has to do it 😉

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    Reply Dave September 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Very impressed with your dedication ….. I wish there were decent jerk stores up here in the dizzy heights of Islington… Do you know of any ?

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    Reply Anna Johnston September 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Very cool spotting such a fabulous jerk shop, mouth watering stuff.

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    Reply Rich September 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Brilliant, just brilliant. I walked past there the other day but they weren’t open. I can see my Saturday lunch in front of me now!

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    Reply Catherine September 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I have been to their outpost in Bellenden Road. Tried the saltfish patties, bun and a goat curry.

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    Reply David Carnell September 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Helen, good work getting around to reviewing this place.

    A shame you didn’t try the pork though….it is, well, mid blowingly good. As in unbelievably good. Smokey, succulent brilliance.

    Sadly the side dishes aren’t quite up to scratch – rice and peas were a little dry. Lincolns Inn on Maxted Road however does those perfectly. And plantain from Suya Express.

    Are you allowed to mix-and-match?

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    Reply Anne Bowers September 17, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    we went there the other night when we just couldn’t figure out what we wanted – we loved it … and so much better than the kebab option…and we live on bellenden road – who knew the bakery did food as well???

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    Reply Tehbus September 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I am sitting in the Vic right now and I can see the 2nd one! It’s right next to Bellenden Brasserie.

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    Reply Chan April 4, 2012 at 1:35 am

    They only changed managers not cooks so the food should still the same as before the manager change. the cook has been their many years and knows what she’s doing.

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      Reply Helen April 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Chan, yes I thought just the management had changed. The food isn’t just the same, it’s totally different and not in a good way. The management could have changed things which affect the food which comes out of the kitchen, no? They might have tightened the budget or places different restrictions on the chef for example. It’s such a shame as I tried it again recently. Terrible. The meat was all bone and lacked the complexity of flavour it used to have.

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    Reply Terd May 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Tried the jerk pork here a few months ago. Didn’t really rate it. Chewy, difficult.
    BUT – I’ve had the chicken twice since and it’s been quite good. Not amazing, but worth a stop.
    Friendly staff too.
    Can’t comment on what it was like in the good ole days but I’ve been to a few jerk houses in SE5/SE15 and this is OK.
    Your friend

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen May 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Hello, Terd. The pork was nice and juicy last night…we rated it over the chicken. Probably variable, though.Love how you describe the pork as ‘difficult’ like it was a moody teenager or something.

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    Reply Terd May 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Shit, now I’ll have to try the pork again… 😀

    Also need to try the stews and curried goat at some point. It’s a convenient stop off for me after work.

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      Reply Helen May 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      Yeah I would have tried the curried goat last night had we managed to scrape together more cash between us. Bit unprepared and I decided I HAD TO HAVE Guinness punch. Good job I did quite frankly, as I would have died from hot sauce over-consumption.

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    Reply Dwayne May 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Helen, I’m the owner of DDK jerk center formerly known has Carribean spice. I have been reading your comments and it’s not coinsiding with what my customers are saying. Your comments are quite negative and at the moment we are the most talked about Carribean food shop in the area. I noticed you mentioned the food tasting different, the food and spicies are all the same the cook decides her own budget and what she needs nothing has changed in that area only our prices have dropped to make it more affordable to my customers!
    I would love to meet you in person at the shop for you to give me more feedback has you seem like a regular customer and I would like to hear your points.

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      Reply Helen July 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Hi Dwayne, I will pop in soon!

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      Reply Camilla September 2, 2015 at 11:08 am

      I used Jerk centre last year for my 50th birthday party, the food was out standing… more than enough for everyone, I had amazing comments about the food and service, my guest took doggy bags home.. I am having another event this year and there are my first choice…

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    Reply Cinetta July 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I love DDK I always get the Jerk chicken and I haven’t got one bad thing to say about them. Whenever I go in there I get excellent customer service. DDK is the only place I go in Peckham as I feel the other Caribbean places do not compare.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen July 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Really? Perhaps I should give it another go…

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