WITH the sun shining for the first time in what felt like months, when a colleague suggested a Caribbean meal, it sounded perfect.

I called to place my order and was told it would be ready in 10 minutes.

When I told the lady it would take me at least 20 minutes to get to Island Surprise in Sydenham, she said she would hold off on preparing it for a little while.

True to her word, when I arrived at the take away - 25 minutes later - to collect my order, it had just come out of the kitchen, freshly prepared.

Serving as purely a take away outlet, the shop was very small, but clean, with a counter over which I was served, with a very big smile.

When I got back and surveyed my meal, I was pleasantly surprised with the generous portions.

Unfortunately, although it tasted great, the dumpling I ordered didn’t survive the journey and had become rather tough.

The jerk chicken and macaroni and cheese however were still nice and hot. The chicken was succulent and tender and its spices could be tasted right down to the bone.

The pasta was a little overcooked for my liking, but all in all it was a very tasty meal.

A medium jerk chicken portion, two portions of macaroni cheese and a large dumpling set me back the modest sum of £10.80.

A visit to this little Caribbean island in Lewisham, even on the gloomiest of days is sure to brighten up your day.

How the Island Surprise rated:
FOOD **** (It was all delicious)
SERVICE ***** (Friendly and helpful)
INTERIOR/DÉCOR *** (Simple and bright)

Address: Island Surprise, 293 Sydenham Road, Sydenham, SE26 5EW