Jamaica House: Bringing the Caribbean to Newtown

Newtown is playing host to the authentic tantalising flavours and island life vibes of the Caribbean with Jamaica House. Since opening back in July of this year, Jamaica House has been steadily growing its community. Becoming a staple in the Newtown scene for authentic Jamaican cuisine.

Jamaica House bar cocktails

Jamaica House isn’t the same old clichéd island bar. Every detail from the artwork to the light fixtures, right down to the repurposed Red Stripe lager soap dispensers permeate the originality of this Caribbean cocktail bar. Owner Joshua McIntyre — himself of Jamaican heritage — wanted to set his place apart for the growing number of Caribbean themed bars popping up around Sydney. In the absence of an authentic venue, he created one. Jamaica House was established on the desire to showcase the tastes and delights of the Caribbean without exploiting it. A place where he could bring his father out to dinner without disappointing. A place for community, authenticity, and delicious eats.

Jamaica House bar

Jamaica House’s menu consists of a variety of delicious dishes including a whole rack of their stellar Jamaican amber rum BBQ and honey glazed pork ribs. We couldn’t pass up the jerk chicken — a staple of any Jamaican establishment — cheesy avocado baked potatoes, and the classic red bean soaked coconut rice and peas. The jerk chicken was quite possibly one of the finest dishes I have ever had. The juicy succulent chicken thigh was coated in their house-made jerk seasoning that had the perfect amount of spice. It had a nice smokiness to it with a hint of heat. If you go here and don’t try the jerk chicken, I will consider it a personal insult. Unless of course, you don’t eat chicken.

Jamaica House jerk chicken

They couldn’t call themselves a cocktail bar without some stellar offerings. The bar houses an ever-changing roster of tiki-inspired cocktails. They have the famous Red Stripe Jamaican amber lager on tap, which we were happily served when we arrived. As an avid lover of gin, I opted for the Montego Days, (house gin, cinnamon syrup, lime, white grapefruit soda). Served in a gorgeous blue tiki cup and tasted like Christmas (I’m guessing it was the cinnamon syrup). My partner went for the House Diablo. Served with a beautiful glass decanter of house-made ginger beer, which Joshua generously poured over the cocktail of house tequila, lime, and creme de cassis.

Jamaica House tiki cocktails

The venue marries the cultures of reggae and hip hop drawing influence from both Kingston and Miami. The walls feature amazing artwork by the Sydney based female artist collective Stay Fly as well as a selection of portraits featuring contemporary reggae and hip-hop artists. Weekends at Jamaica House feature exceptional line ups of reggae, hip-hop and dancehall artists.

Jamaica House Star Fly artwork

Authentic and delicious Caribbean cuisine is paired with hip-hop and reggae rhythms, tropical fresh-fruit cocktails, relaxed vibe and stylish decor. Jamaica House is shaping up to be the breath of fresh air that Newtown didn’t even know it needed. Head down next time you’re around King Street and order a plate of jerk chicken. You won’t regret it.

– Orlaith
F&B Specialist. Usually seen with a flat white in hand or on her way to a craft beer. Needs to stop buying books and start reading them.

Jamaica House
62/64 King St, Newtown NSW 2042
Open Tuesday – Saturday 5 pm to 12 am

Check out their Facebook page for weekly events, like Shantan X Fasmwa and The Starfly Honeys.

Photo credit: Jamaica House