Spread the niceness

Kingston Kitchen Jamaica made its return to the food market scene after a 2-year pandemic hiatus. ‘Foodies’ were heavily on location at Hope Gardens to indulge in the 10th anniversary staging of the premier Kingston food festival. It was a day out of fun and food fit for the whole family, from the early evening into the night. Over 50 vendors lined the green garden space with branded booths and food trucks showcasing culinary offerings. Patrons grazed tasty samples as menu items were prepared and served by local food artisans and chefs. A Kiddies Village kept younger and young-at-heart foodies thoroughly entertained with a selection of carnival rides, activities, and kid-friendly food favourites.

Kingston Kitchen Jamaica: Night Market Food Court

Kingston Kitchen is an affordable, family-oriented event to learn about and sample local food and beverage vendors and their products. Tickets granted access to the main event and parking, while food and beverages of choice are purchased separately. Entertainment of the evening included live music by Saxophonist Van Creed and musical selections by DJ Narity and DJ Courtney, completed with intermittent dancers by the centre stage. The crowd got involved during brief dancing segments, in a flash mob-style choreography to local summer hit dances like LaLee Ranks’ ‘Leggo Di Bird’ and Ding Dong’s ‘Bounce’ .


Ahead of the Kingston Kitchen main event, a VIP goodie bag including special treats from some of the local vendors and sponsors were fruitfully packaged. The jam-packed branded tote bag included:
These sample goodies granted a small taste of what to expect at Kingston Kitchen Jamaica’s pop up cookhouses, culinary trucks, and artisan emporium. When time and queues permitted, I made a stop or looked over at each of the vendor booths to check out their offerings and how others were enjoying them.

Kingston Kitchen Jamaica Menu

The Kingston Kitchen menu included a selection of food and beverages of all sorts – from smoky jerk to earthy ital to sweet treats. The food trucks and stalls fired up an assortment of flavours that stimulated all the senses. As the evening shifted from dusk to dark, booth lines gradually became longer as expected. After roaming the lawns, I stopped at Ilah’s Lemonaid to grab a ‘Pinky Promise’ pink lemonade to help cool down on the warm evening. The crisp beverage was a refreshing mix, not too sweet and not too sour, just how I like my lemonade!

Despite the swelter, I was drawn to a bubbling pot of janga (crayfish) and sweet corn soup by Allie’s Oh Mason catering. It was a very flavourful mix of the corn’s sweetness perfectly complimenting the spices and brininess of the janga. The serving was filled with decent helpings of boiled dumplings and ground provisions, collected at the base of the stryfoam cup like a sunken treasure. Next stop to further open my appetite was to Jamosa, which offered a serving of 5 samosas. The choices included potato, chickpea, plus an introduction to their new BBQ chicken, cheesy beef, and jerk pork jamosas. A tangy tamarind dip accompanied the stuffed, triangular puff pastries. After whetting my palate with these appetizing Kingston Kitchen menu items, it was time to challenge my wonga gut by tackling heftier dishes.

I had the pleasure of being seated at the Best Dressed Chicken VIP table, courtesy of an invite by giveaway winner Kirk of First View Excursions. A reserved picnic bench in front of the Best Dressed Chicken station included a Hamilton Smokehouse representative tending to our hungry belly desires. Choices from their booths included:
  • Beef Burgers loaded with coleslaw and a side of thick-cut fried Potato Wedges
  • BBQ Sausage Bites served over Cheesy Macaroni
  • Jerk Chicken-topped Tortilla Chips
  • Sweet and Savoury Panini Sandwiches, with a mix of apple pie and ham
  • Press Shop Co. Lemonade on hand to wash it all down.

Kingston Kitchen Jamaica (10th Anniversary) Wrap Up

Kingston Kitchen Night Market‘s 10th anniversary had a large turnout throughout the evening, with patrons of all ages and food limits! It was lovely to see the lawns of Hope Gardens heavily dotted with a food and fun-loving crowd. Judging by the lines at the various booths, vendors and artisans were undoubtedly able to satisfy the senses and rake in some new consumers. Even with the wide assortment of culinary offerings at Kingston Kitchen Jamaica, the open-air food court thankfully didn’t overwhelm the area with a jumble of aromas. The #eatgood movement has finally continued, and after this grand return I look forward to what the ‘pot ah bubble’ with next.