The Jamaican accent is one of my favourites. I have been known, upon discovering there was a Ben & Jerry’s flavour called ‘Jamaican Me Crazy’ to relentlessly speak in a Jamaican accent until I got distracted by actually eating the ice cream. I was therefore quite excited when I saw that Rummin’ Tings, a Caribbean-inspired bar and restaurant, was opening on Hollywood Road.
Rummin’ Tings is brought to us by Rohit and Harsh Roopchand, the brothers behind ever-popular Southeast Asian resto Fatty Crab, and Manoj and Manesh Chellaram, the brothers behind cool networking platform The Edge. With such a solid team, plus Chef Kris Olbrich, who lived and worked in the Caribbean, it’s easy to see why Rummin’ Tings is packed every night of the week.
The space is decked out as a sort of modern chic shack, with lots of bold colours, hanging lights and fun murals on the walls, instantly creating a casual, inviting atmosphere.
Now, obviously with a name like Rummin’ Tings, as you can imagine, the drinks menu is fairly rum-heavy, although there are tequila, vodka and gin-based cocktails too. Naturally, we stuck to what they do best and tried the Ramping Shop and Passionate Buttah, both very refreshing rum-based cocktails made with watermelon and passion fruit respectively.
The food menu is fairly concise, consisting of “Lil’ Tings” and “Tings”, all designed for sharing. We started with a basket of Jamaican beef patties. The pastry was perfectly flaky, packed full of spiced beef that carried quite a punch on its own; dipped in the hot sauce that accompanied it, it was even more fiery, yet in a seriously addictive way.
There are only a couple of restaurants in HK that offer cornbread, so when I see it, I have to try it. Rummin’ Tings’ Ragga Muffins, as they call their cornbread, is utterly delicious – it has that perfect balance of sweet and savoury, and that lovely all-important slightly gritty texture, without being too dry. It came with a pot of smoked chilli butter that complemented it perfectly, even if it did give me garlic breath until the following morning!
The choka & dahl puri, a sort of grilled aubergine curry, had a lovely smoky flavour to it, which we happily mopped up with the accompanying warm roti. This is probably one of the few non-spicy dishes on the menu and yet still a satisfying one.
Again, jerk chicken is not something you find often in Hong Kong. This one was very juicy and carried a decent spice, yet there was a bit too much bone and not enough meat for my liking.
Although we were advised to only have a couple of “Tings” between two, we couldn’t resist trying the Sticky Island Ribs. I can’t say the meat exactly fell off the bone, yet it was still amazingly tender and seriously tasty. Drizzled in the Caribbean BBQ sauce, they were even better.
From the specials menu, we tried some fried plantains. Sprinkle anything in cinnamon and I’ll be happy; these had a delicious flavour, but could have done with being cooked for just a little longer to soften them a little more.
As we had clearly over-ordered and they were all out of the fried banana split, we thought it a good idea to skip the carrot cake, enjoy another drink, and call it a night. Considering all dishes cost under $120, I was surprised that cocktails are upwards of $100. Yet, regardless, it’s a very cool place to enjoy some tasty Caribbean food and drink in a fun, casual setting to which we will without a doubt be returning!
P.S. If you have Bob Marley songs stuck in your head for the rest of the day after reading this then I apologise; I have had Jammin’ stuck in my head constantly since I started writing this review!
G/F, 28 Hollywood Road
Tel: +852 2523 7070
Closed on Sundays