The Windrush Island Cafe

Windrush Island Cafe is conveniently located on 45 University Road,  just down the street from Queens Student Union, heading towards Belfast.  As I walked into the restaurant I was greeted with the harmonious tones of Dennis Brown.  The cafe is intimate, brightly coloured with upturned electricity cable spools as tables, that gives the place a genuine island shibeen feel.

I was greeted by Wendy, a resident of Belfast for twenty years, who was extremely accommodating.  I decided to try the lentil coconut curry, and though it wasn’t on the menu, Wendy kindly prepared a fresh one. This is a curry from Trinidad, made from Coconut, and prepared with Scotch Bonnets.  It has a similar texture to chana dal, with a subtle hint of coconut and delivers a spiced earthy flavour. The Scotch Bonnet added that little extra bite.  Served with rice and peas, plantain and cabbage,  the dish had a nice variety of complimentary textures and flavours.  I had a glass of fresh guava juice to accompany my main, that was light and refreshing.

I had a Rasta Brownie for desert, served with a creamy ice cream and cream.  The Rasta Brownie is stunning, it has a rich chocolate lushness, that is lightened with a floral note.   Quite simply a desert to die for.  I finished off a with a rich smooth Indonesian coffee.  A beautiful lunch, all for £13 including drinks, which is really outstanding value.

There is a varied Caribbean menu to choose from, including Jerk Chicken Pork and Beef, Barbeque Pot Roast Pork and for the more adventurous there is Goat Curry (must try).  There is also a range of freshly baked Caribbean Cakes such as mango and banana, and a drink list that includes fresh island fruit juices and sodas.  Try grape soda if you get a chance.

The venue is intimate, but there is also seating upstairs and can cater for 70 people and private parties.  The relaxed and easy going atmosphere is enhanced with the bubbly and smiling host Wendy.  Wendy hosts Caribbean Cooking classes starting in May, there is still some places left on the course if your interested in extending your culinary skills.  For vinyl fans, Wendy provides a record player so guests can create their own soundtrack for the evening.

The curry is an excellent 8/10, the desert a jaw dropping 10/10.  This is a must try folks, sunshine on a plate.   

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