Welcome to Versus, where Londonist takes like for like and decides which one is more likeable.
You don’t need Londonist to tell you how many jerks are on Wardour Street. However, you might require a bit of help deciding which one’s got the best sauce. No, this review isn’t about the peeps sidling between Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue but about Mr Jerk and his rival Jerk City: two competing Caribbean restaurants on the same side of the same block of this busy Soho passage with hardly a stride between them.
A massive plate of jerk chicken with rice and peas accompanied by a can of soda will set you back about £9 at either of these casual eateries. Service at both is friendly, if indifferent. And, right around weekday lunchtime, both spots get busy with apparently happy regulars. However, recent Londonist investigations reveal the taste and atmosphere at one of these eateries out jerks the other. Whereas Mr Jerk (who actually exists and seems to be anything but a jerk) serves his patrons in a somewhat sleek and nightclub-y setting with a best of dub soundtrack in the background, Jerk City does its punters right with an experience more akin to having a sit down dinner in someone’s home. Jerk City’s island artwork and African carvings, along with its warm wooden interior is just a little more conducive to eating a huge West Indies style meal than Mr Jerk’s urban cool. Although Mr Jerk’s offerings elicit a satisfactory “that was good” reaction, the same jerk chicken with rice and peas dish from Jerk City jams with just a teensy bit more “wow”.
So who’s the bigger jerk? Really, either location is alright. But given the choice, go with Jerk City.