by Jerome Wong
Riverside is known for a being a microcosm of varying cultures.
The restaurant best represents a microcosm of culture and flavor is none more than Dhat Creole in the downtown Food Lab.
Creole food comes from America’s biggest melting pot, Louisiana. Traditional Creole food combines French, Spanish and Caribbean cultures and serves it up in a more traditional family style that will bring you back to a simpler time.
The food at Dhat Creole is on display so you can see and ask for samples of what you want before you order.
The Creole chicken was my first, bourbon chicken being my second, and jerk chicken was my last. I also got a Jamaican vegetable patty as an appetizer.
The Jamaican vegetable patty was just as I remembered as a kid during lunch at primary school. It is surrounded in a crisp, flakey crust thats similar to an empanada. The veggies had enough flavor to hold down the pastry outside. It also comes in beef which is pretty popular.
The creole chicken is almost too juicy, with a sweet flavor that thats blended with the spices that makes it so easy to eat without a bone in sight.
The bourbon chicken’s flavor was naturally some of the tastiest meat I’ve had with a hint of brown sugar that gave it a more smokey flavor.
Dhat Creole’s jerk chicken was definitely one I will remember. There was a mix of creole and bourbon flavors that mixed with the jerk made for one fantastic dish.
The rice and beans mixed with the sautéed celery, cabbage and garlic complemented the different types of chicken seamlessly. It was hard to put my finger on the main ingredient and comparing it to my homelands standard did not work.
A major reason that I chose to eat here is because my birthplace is Jamaica and now living in Riverside, I can learn more about my heritage.
Personally, I expected the food to be spicy due to how I would normally season my food. However, what I experienced was an array of tastes that I would have otherwise over looked.
Dhat Creole gives you the satisfaction of a home cooked meal that has become my favorite lunch spot besides my mom’s house.