What could possibly make a piece of jerk chicken more Caribbean you may ask? Only Jerkin’ would answer, Ginger beer batter.
Their signature chicken nuggets, much larger than any you’d find at a franchised fast-food joint, are thickly coated by a crunchy ginger beer batter that is initially crisp to the bite but concedes to a luxurious fluffiness underneath, even before you make it to the succulent chicken. Each piece at Only Jerkin’ has a subtle yet identifiable spicy jerk hum that resonates even after you finish. Unlike batters that use soda or lager, adding ginger beer contributes not just the zing of the root but also the sugary sweetness of the drink that stabilises the chorus of flavour within a choir of voices.
They’ve also got plenty of great dips for those so inclined, from warm hearty gravy to light herby cilantro mayonnaise. In fact, even if you aren’t particularly keen on anything beyond ketchup, generic mayo and english mustard, you would do yourself an injustice not to try the variety of sauces on offer at the Only Jerkin’ stand. Each one is different, boasting unique flavour profiles and slight textural contrasts that are both vibrant and exciting. When I went down to Camden the other day to get my jerk fried chicken fix, I fell in love with the sweetly bright mango aioli that I wished I could take home in a jar.
Sides like fresh red cabbage coleslaw, jerk spiced fries (regular or sweet potato), salad and crisp plantain chips are all deliciously harmonious accompaniments that hype up the chicken main event. If you are hesitant because the prices are slightly more expensive that other fried chicken places, don’t be. These plates are not just nibbles, but meals that fulfil all your fried chicken needs and then some.