[AD – Gifted] This was a complimentary meal in exchange for a full honest review. Please see my disclaimer for more information.
My, oh, my, Jamaican me crazy with food at June Plum!
June Plum, originally known as Jamrock, brings all the ultimate island vibes with their small, central Wellingborough location that has LOTS to offer; from perfectly spiced food, a fruity colourful decor and yummy mocktails and cocktails!
Wellingborough is a location, I admit, I haven’t navigated to much in Northamptonshire; purely for the reason, there are not many independents. But June Plum is the hidden gem that is well worth the visit!
Walking inside, you are greeted by one of the laid back, smiley waitresses, who are incredibly friendly, upon introduction which continues to be the theme throughout the whole night.
Jodi, who is from Jamaica and has always had a background in cooking, is truly remarkable not only for her charm and her warm welcome but for her passion for home cooking that radiates off of her.
She took the time to see us and chat to us about the menu and June Plum’s overall ethos, even when she was busy in the kitchen!
Think Turtle Bay, but an independent alternative that is much classier, with better service and better food!
Rarely, I find myself stumped over what to choose off of the menu; as there was so much, it made our decision very difficult! However, we were offered a range of drink options…
Sadly, we were doing Dry January during this visit, so it was a non-alcoholic malt beverage; Supermalt, for Josh, which is a Jamaican malt, whilst I went for a super zesty Fruit Punch accompanied by a sunny pineapple – I could have easily drank more of these!
However, whatever we were going to choose, we were open-minded over enjoying a new cuisine for a Wednesday night.
Prior to our starters arriving, we were treated to a small sharing bowl of Boom Shakka Lakka Popcorn (£1.95), which Josh was nibbling at far too quickly! You can order this prior to your starters arriving, or as a side, but the first bowl is always on them – a nice initiative!
The popcorn was covered in dusty orange spice and it was literally popping with spicy, paprika flavour, which was sweet and savoury all at the same time – I could see myself having this as my cinema popcorn snack!
Then, our starters swiftly came within immaculate timing and we chose two that were ‘authentic Jamaican’ dishes, as we wanted to ensure we had the full experience.
We ordered Pulled Pork Dumplings (£5.95) which were stuffed with 8 hour slowed cooked jerk pulled pork, served with house slaw and hummingbird sauce.
The dumplings were big, bold and beautifully golden brown on the outside and soft, light and fluffy on the inside.
The whole flavour was meaty, succulent and dipped in the hummingbird sauce gave it that extra zing! I wish I knew the recipe for the sauce as it was sweet and distinct!
Alongside that, we also got a plate of Saltfish Fritters (£5.25) which was a dish that we were highly recommended by the waitress; and I can see why.
Crispy and flaky in texture outside, then soft and full of mashed up ingredients on the inside but with just the right amount of salty flavour to really enjoy it.
The lime mayo on the side cuts through the sharpness of the salty fritters and on it’s own tastes really fresh and zesty!
Everything we were served was a great way to get the taste buds sizzling and we were very excited about our mains…
After our starters were taken away, we were getting even more excited over the prospect of our mains, which had already been hinted were going to be BIG portions!
Once again, we both went for authentic Jamaican dishes, but two different ones so we could try each others! Two very different dishes, but all round Jamaican goodness!
Josh opted for the Jerk Chicken (£9.95), which you could choose as a quarter or half; which has been marinated for at least 24 hours in their house jerk marinade, then smoked in their jerk barrel.
Something worth noting is that the smoke makes the meat pink, so don’t worry, it’s not undercooked; it’s just their way of making sure you get the full island experience. The smoke gave the chicken a different type of vibe.
From the taste of Josh’s dinner, it was super succulent and full of jerk juices which flowed really well throughout the chicken, making it really tender.
He commented that it was really moist, had no dryness to it and was absolute perfection when it comes to chicken.
I went for the Curry Goat (£11.50), which I was thrilled to find out was NOT on the bone – as Curry Goat is something I have enjoyed in the past, but detest on the bone! So already – a big improvement!
The meat was juicy, thick and tender from the touch of my fork, through to every delicate bite. I didn’t want the experience to end, which was made even greater by the Caribbean veggies!
You can tell a lot of love has gone into the cooking here at June Plum.
After our mains, we were stuffed to the brim full – BUT can you really resist dessert? Never.
The dessert menu was surprisingly varied and they had a lot of options; including alcohol-infused desserts!
We managed to fit in two desserts and had a bite of each others; Josh went for Carrot Cake (£6.95), whilst I went for the Boozy Banoffee (£6.95) which consisted of layers of buttery biscuit, rum caramelized banana, toffee and rum with Chantilly cream finished with pecan brittle and dark chocolate.
Oh my god. How indulgent was my boozy banoffee! It was slightly hard to crack through the biscuit base, but it was worth the wait once you cracked it open. Crumbly, sweet, saucy and full of banoffee rum flavour. A true taste of paradise!
Overall, I came away with such a warm and fuzzy feeling over our experience that is one I couldn’t fault.
The staff were all genuinely lovely and it’s clear to see they love working with Jodi, who is 100% passionate about the food she cooks and the establishment she runs.
They have lots more going on here than just their dinner menu; from traditional English Sunday lunch, cooked the Jamaican way, to lunch and plenty of cocktails and mocktails to wash them all down with.
Plus, they thrive on supporting local and getting their ingredients from local businesses, which is clear from their board of independent businesses they gather their products from.
A new menu is going to be launched in February and I’ll be sharing more details about it soon when I go back to visit.
Coming to June Plum certainly kicked the January Blues away, with it’s summer island vibes – so make your trip soon, so you can catch the wave whilst they’ve got big things on the horizon.