My Sunshiny Life

{December 22, 2009}   Cottons Rhum Shack

About a month ago I went to a cute little restaurant in Camden called Cottons Rhum Shack.  I know how much Koi-lee likes her rum, so I said we simply HAD to go back and have dinner there.  When I went the food was great, we had duck salad, ribs and goat curry.  The duck salad and ribs aren’t really authentic Jamaican dishes, but they were tasty.  The goat curry was delicious and tender, served with a fluffy roti.  The interior of the restaurant is charming, with a sprawling layout over several floors, cute kitschy decorations and open fires. 

When I went back with Koi-lee I arrived early and ordered a cocktail at the bar.  It took about ten minutes for the bartender to make my drink as he chatted to his friends whilst VERY slowly making my cocktail.  By this stage Koi-lee had arrived and we both watched him, slightly amused, as he laboured over a small piece of cucumber for my drinks garnish.  

The ten minute masterpiece

 Koi-lee ordered her rum and coke with lots of lime and the other bartender started assembling it, much quicker than her colleague.  When she brought it over Koi-lee asked for another piece of lime.  The woman looked at her and said ‘you’ve got enough lime’.  I nearly spat my cocktail over the bar at her rudeness and asked her if she was serious.  She stropped over to the limes and sullenly picked out another wedge.  She walked back to us and slammed it down on the napkin by Koi-lee’s drink and said ‘there you go’.  We were gobsmacked.  I was actually lost for words, just staring at her.  It takes a lot to make me speechless!

We used this as our cue to sit down at our table, moving away from the princess of darkness.   In contrast to her sullen and aggressive manner, our waiter was lovely, friendly and attentive.  Just what you’d expect in the service industry! 

Unfortunately he couldn’t make the food taste better.  We shared a starter of crab claws and he set the plate down on the table, almost apologetically and said that they were normally bigger than this.  We stared at the plate, trying to spot the crab claws.  When we did find them they were watery and tasteless, hardly worth the effort of finding them. 

Crab Claw Surprise

We filled up on bread and waited with some anticipation for our main.  I assured Koi-lee that our food had been delicious on the last visit so the main would be good.  Not wanting to risk food envy we chose the same dish, Adobo Rubbed Pork Knuckle roasted with ginger and spices with a ragout of black eyed peas and callaloo served with hot sauce and corn bread.  (I didn’t remember that, I just copied it from their site). 

Tough as Boots Pork Knuckles

It arrived.  After a quick blog evidence photo, I pulled the meat off the bone and popped it into my mouth and chewed, and chewed and chewed.  It was tough, stringy and microwaved.  The flavour wasn’t subtle, spicy and full of depth as I had imagined it would be.  It was so disappointing, especially as I’d set Koi-lee’s expectations high. 

We sat there poking the food around our plates.  The waiter asked if I wanted to take my leftovers home and I politely refused.  I’m normally up for complaining about food, but I just didn’t think this was worth it.  He knew it was crap, we didn’t really need to discuss it.  I won’t be going back.

Word of advice: If you go to Cottons stick with the goat curry and don’t ask for more lime.

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