If you’re looking for Jamaican art, music and flavors, look no further than Kingston Kitchen of Okemos.
The menu features authentic Caribbean cuisine, including Jamaican jerk chicken and pork, oxtail, curry goat, escovitch fish and coconut curry chicken. In addition to these traditional delicacies, the menu also has numerous options that are refreshingly unique, but still inspired by the flavors of the island. If you’re vegetarian, there’s still plenty of options to choose from, like the Montego Bay mushrooms, Westmoreland risotto, St. Mary’s black bean burger or the jackfruit sandwich.
This Jamaican restaurant opened in Okemos last September and has brought the spirit of Kingston, the capital city of Jamaica, to our backyard. A native of Kingston, Chef Shawn Fearon has been cooking since his childhood and has trained with world-renowned chefs on Jamaica’s north coast to perfect his craft. He has managed restaurants on Mackinac Island and in Jackson, Michigan, as well as in Florida. Chef Shawn even introduced himself to our group and shared some of his story!
When I visited the restaurant for dinner, my friends and I also tried the Jamaican juices, imported from the island. I tried the pineapple ginger juice, while my friends had the sorrel ginger and reggae medley juices. The fruity, herbal, sweet juices paired well with the savory dishes that we ordered. We got the smoked jerk pork, coconut curry chicken and jackfruit sandwich. The first two came with rice, beans and fried plantains, and the sandwich came with plantain fries.
Before I visited Kingston Kitchen, I had never tried plantains before. I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor and texture, and can honestly say they became a new favorite of mine. Both the smoked jerk pork and the coconut curry chicken were cooked to perfection. The jackfruit sandwich was also sweet and savory; a must-try whether you’re vegetarian or not.
Kingston Kitchen has weekly events detailed on its website. The restaurant hosts musical performances and has weekly specials like “Wine Wednesday” and “Seafood Thursday.” If you’re looking for delicious takeout or catering services, you can also directly order food using a form on the restaurant’s website.
Overall, both the food and personality of the place are wonderful. The art and music create a pleasant environment and make you feel more connected to the origins of the food. This restaurant is quickly becoming an Okemos favorite!
Lauren Utykanski enjoys blueberry green tea, the farmer’s market and traveling. They told
her Olympic dog walking doesn’t exist yet, so instead, she decided to study professional
writing with a minor in museum studies. Keep up with her on Instagram at @laurenuty.