Jerk chicken is a Jamaican staple that has been fully embraced by Torontonians (in Canada). This Jamaican comfort food is found everywhere in Toronto at food courts, kiosks, cafeterias and restaurants.
I have no idea where to get the best jerk chicken in Toronto, having tasted it only twice so far. But, I can confidently say that the most famous jerk chicken in Toronto, if not the whole wide world, is at The Real Jerk.
Well, because Rihanna and Drake shot their music video "Work" right here at The Real Jerk 😄
So, Rihanna and Drake fans, if you are in Toronto, dropping by The Real Jake is A Must and you get to taste delicious jerk chicken at the same time too 😋
The interior of The Real Jerk is divided into three parts. You will notice glimpses of The Real Jerk which are featured in the Rihanna and Drake music video.
This is the brighter dining area with full length glass windows on two sides facing the street and car park. Furnishings are simple and casual but comfortable.
There is a semi-private room with a single large round table inside.
Further to the right, is another dining room together with the rum (what else?) bar.
The cheerful colours are contrasting dark, bright and bold in the Caribbean style while catchy Calypso music plays in the background.
The Real Jerk's jerk chicken is served with boiled rice and pea splashed with brown sauce and with crunchy fresh coleslaw on the side.
The jerk chicken is marinated in a blend of onion puree, spices, chili pepper, vinegar, soy sauce etc. It is then charcoal grilled to a golden brown outside with a slight char and crisp on the skin. The flavour is mildly savoury with a gentle spiciness which I feel is quite subtle. I can feel the feeble sting only as an aftertaste.
The flesh inside is tender, juicy and chicky sweet.
This was a tasty piece of grilled chicken 😋 And, that was about it.
The rice grains were boiled in stock till soft (but not mushy). It was naturally slightly sweet and was delicious with the gently-savoury-subtly-spicy brown sauce.
I enjoyed The Real Jerk's jerk chicken. (The Real Jerk also serves jerk pork as well as curry ox tail and goat i.e. I shall be back 😄)
If you like a little more kick in your jerk chicken, you can dip it in a bit of The Real Jerk's own brand of "Hot Pepper" sauce. It's salty, sourish with a slight spicy aftertaste (meaning, not much kick if you come from Southeast Asia 😜 ).
The Real Jerk is at the junction of Gerard Street East and Carlaw Avenue.
Limited parking is available right in front of the restaurant.
You can get to The Real Jerk by streetcars number 505 and 506. I walked from Queen's Park subway station heading east along Gerard Street East till I got to The Real Jerk. It's about 30 minutes.
I like walking as I get to see more things at the street level. This is the Toronto Chinatown Arch at Gerard Street East which is also known as Chinatown East. (That will be the subject of another post.)
Torontonians love life and tell the world about it 😄
Restaurant name: The Real Jerk
Address: 842 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Y7
GPS: 43°40'03.5"N 79°20'34.3"W 43.667649, -79.342851
Tel: (416) 463-6055
Hours: 11:30am to 11:00pm
Date: 24 Mar 2017