Fish, curry chicken taste of Jamaica
Michelle Ferrier, who visited Golden Krust for lunch recently, says the place is colorful with bright yellow tile, and the walls are dotted with Bob Marley posters and information about Jamaica. Reggae music plays in the background. From previous scouting, she knew only two small cafe tables that seat four are in the eatery, so most of the business is takeout. “I bought lunch for me and my husband, Les,” she said.
Q. How long did you have to wait for food? Fast food and Caribbean restaurant aren’t phrases usually found in the same sentence. As a Jamerican, I’ve heard the phrase “soon come” plenty of times. But the service was friendly and fast.
Q. What kind of entrees did you order? I was pleased to see both curry goat and ackee and codfish on the menu, although the ackee is only made on the weekends. The menu is also sprinkled with other Caribbean foods, but traditional Jamaican selections dominate the lists. I ordered the curry chicken for me and the escovitch whole fish for my husband. Since I had been explicitly ordered by my children to bring home leftovers, I thought the chicken would go over better. Each entree is served with sauteed vegetables, fried plaintain and rice and peas. Peas are actually not green peas, but in this case kidney beans. In Jamaica, gungo peas are traditionally used in this dish.
No alcohol is served, but there is a good selection of DG and Grace soft drinks including champagne cola, ginger beer and even Irish moss. Pepsi fountain drinks are also available.
I also ordered the rum cake after finding out they’d run out of coco bread and didn’t have bulla cakes that day. You may need to be a bit flexible as the menu is a guideline and certain dishes like fish are served on Fridays.
The food was aromatic and filled my car. When I arrived at my husband’s office, I found the portions generous and appetizing. The curry chicken was delicious and prepared almost as well as my Auntie’s that I remember from the island. And, while the rice and peas were good, they lacked the fresh, ground coconut that I remembered my mom grating to cook down her rice.
My husband dug into his fish with the escovitch seasoning — a kind of pickled vinegar garnish of carrots, ginger, onion and pimento seeds that I had been craving. He let me sample a bit of the fish, which was infused with the taste. Yum! We both wished the fish was a bit bigger, and we left none for the kids.
I sampled the rum cake later that evening. The texture was a bit different than the dense cake I was used to eating. The Golden Krust version is lighter with a heavy icing. I didn’t care for the icing but was pleasantly surprised as the rum flavor slowly intensified in my mouth. Even though the texture was a bit different from my childhood, the flavors were just the same.
For the large portions of the curry chicken and fish, plus the rum cake and two DG sodas, we paid $20.11. Lunch specials are available for $4.99 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Q. Would you dine there again? I went back the next day to get patties and the ackee and codfish, Jamaica’s national dish. The ackee was served with boiled green banana, cassava and two fried johnnycakes, enough carbs for about a week. I would have liked more of the ackee and codfish . . . it was delicious and so were the johnnycakes. I wasn’t fond of the shrimp patty my daughter ordered, but the golden crust of the chicken patty was flaky and a great namesake for this growing, popular chain of Caribbean fast food.
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill 1330 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach (at the intersection of Clyde Morris Boulevard)
ACCESSIBILITY: Abundant parking in the Kmart shopping center parking lot
HOURS: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
MISCELLANEOUS: Cash and major credit cards accepted
WEB SITE: Menu is available online at goldenkrustbakery.com. Local menus do vary by day