During the long Easter weekend, there was Dublin’s first Afro-Caribbean Brunch – a brunch party, mixing Caribbean food, especially Jamaican, with Nigerian food. The party that followed was also a mix of Caribbean and African tunes, providing the perfect vibes for a Saturday afternoon lime – lime is what Caribbean call chilling, by the way.
When a work colleague first mentioned the event to me, I immediately had to tell Sam. I had heard Caribbean and plantains. That’s all it took to sell me. Before I could even ask my husband if he’d like to go, he had already purchased the tickets.
The surprisingly German venue
The event itself was held in Café Berlin. Anyone I know who lives in Berlin always describes the city as dirty but sexy to me and, in a way, the cafe perfectly represents that image. The paint on some vintage wall decorations was coming off. Looking for the toilets you simply had to follow the bright orange writing on the bare grey brick wall saying, authentically in German, ‘Toiletten.’ Where the Berlin charm was taken perhaps a bit too far was in the broken seat of my chair, which almost tore a hole in my dress. However, our favourite decoration, was probably a tall white statue of the Virgin Mary, illuminated by changing lights behind her, as she overlooks the bar tenders.
New favourite foods discovered
The food itself, provided by Ruby Tuesday and Delitescuisine, was delicious. You could choose one main and two sides. However, since there were no vegetarian options for Sam, they gave him all of the four different sides: rice and peas, cheesy yam balls, fried yam and plantains. Meanwhile, I had oxtail soup as my main. Being the stereotypical white European person and being allergic to white & black pepper, I’m usually very cautious about spicy food. But I have found a new favourite food in the pepper sauce that the oxtail stew was seasoned with. It perfectly complemented the meat and I’ll have to go find where I can buy it so I can have it on meat dishes and everything else at home. My only criticism with the food was that with ordering plantain as a side I only got three slices, which wasn’t exactly ‘as much plantain as you can eat’ like it was promised on the Facebook page.
Sam enjoyed the food as well, even though he only had the sides. He also was a fan of the pepper sauce. Having stolen a little yam fry from him I was surprised by how much they taste like potato, so they also went perfectly with the sauce. In Barbados one of the main Easter traditions is to have a picnic by the beach. While the Café Berlin is not a beach, with the delicious Caribbean food it was the closest we got to having a Bajan Easter this year.
Good vibes for everyone
Soon after the first people had eaten, the vibes picked up. The music being played – at least the one we recognized – was mostly Caribbean dancehall and bashment soca. People were dancing or swaying in their seats. The good vibes were infectious. So much so, that when the venue opened to the public after food stopped serving, people had very interesting reactions when they came through the doors. Most looked rather confused, resulting in some leaving again immediately, rejecting the new experience. Our favourite people to observe, however, were the people who – while still obviously confused by what was going on – started swaying along with the music as soon as they stepped in the door. It was perfect testament to what an authentic Afro-Caribbean lime it was.