Charleston Edition: Karubees Jamaican Restaurant

By Candace Nelson - 10:00 AM

Karubees - downtown

It's been years since I first saw a sign for Karubees coming soon to downtown Charleston. After a brief stint in Dunbar, the restaurant has officially opened on Lee Street.

Karubees - downtown

Karubees is a Jamaican restaurant that features menu items like jerk chicken & shrimp, curry chicken & shrimp, goat, oxtail, brown stew, red snapper, salmon, veggies and more. 

Karubees - downtown

"Kerry G. Martin is the owner and founder of Karubees. Kerry's passion for cooking stemmed from his granny where he was basically the assistant in her kitchen. The first job he learned was how to properly clean meat. Since he was raised by his grandparents, he was taught to sew clothes, grow crops, clean, garden, mix cement, gravel, and cook. Ultimately, the goal was to provide the people in the area of Charleston, WV Jamaican food from his new restaurant in town. Kerry was born on the island of Jamaica on the 28th day of June in 1977. When Kerry was 10 years old he left Jamaica and landed in the Bronx, New York, where he grew up from ten until he was twenty-three years old. Kerry's first child was born in 2000 and he left New York in 2001 to move to Charleston, WV. where Kerry later attended West Virginia Junior College. After several years Kerry realized that Charleston, WV was not the city he wanted to live in with his family. Therefore, he decided to move to Columbus, Ohio in 2005. Later attended DeVry University in the Columbus Campus, where he later obtained his Bachelor of Science in Network and Communication Management with a 3.62/4.00. Kerry is a proud father of six wonderful children, whom he adores, and he works hard to take care of."

Karubees - downtown

They offer a variety of combo plates, but I wasn't keen on the cooked cabbage or rice - I wanted to try the meat so I ordered three different sides: jerk shrimp, curry chicken and oxtails. It came out to about $40, which I think was a bit high for three small styrofoam containers. But let's get to the flavor. The jerk shrimp has some HEAT. I thought this would be my favorite, but the spice had my lips tingling. 

Karubees - downtown

Instead, I loved the curry chicken way more than I anticipated. It didn't have the same kind of heat - just a little kick - and the chicken was so tender, it quite literally fell off the bone. Any fat or cartilaginous pieces just melded with the meat to make it moist and flavorful. There were also some veggies mixed in, with a tough of sweetness - so tasty.

Karubees - downtown

Finally, the oxtails. These are the tails of cattle and can have a deep rich flavor - almost like short ribs. The flavorful sauce was my favorite part of my meal. There is a good bit of fat around the oxtails - when I got a bit of meat, it was delicious. Overall, all three of these dishes had some great flavor, and you should see which ones you like best.

Grade: B

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