Seattle >Food & Dining > Kallaloo
3820 S Ferdinand St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9811847.557852 -122.284229
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-10 p.m.; Saturday 5-10 p.m.; closed Sunday.
Neighborhoods: Ranier Valley, Columbia City
Fantastic Food in Relaxing Atmosphere – I've been going to Kallaloo for a few years now. It is a perfect place to take a bite of sunshine on a cold, rainy Seattle day. The owners are very friendly and seem genuinely interested in satisfying customers. I've tried just about everything on the dinner menu, but the jerk pork chop is probably my favorite, followed by the bread pudding. Nothing in Columbia City beats that, especially for the price.
Delicious Food! – Enjoyed the experience of a new cuisine! great food and good service.
TERRIFIC FOOD and MUSIC at a sometimes Caribbean Pace – My wife and I have been going to Kallaloo for almost two years now and thoroughly enjoy it. The restarant is well-located a half block off the Columbia City main drag (Rainier Ave) - right across from the main public parking lot. In the warmer weather they have the windows open, which is delightful, but even in winter the wall of windows allows a lot of light in. They are always playing great island music; sometimes it's live.
Their lunch and dinner menus are so different that it's almost like eating at two different restaurants. :) At lunch, the chicken Roti with a Ting drink just cannot be beat, and they often have wonderful soups at both lunch and dinner. For dinner I can't recommend the grilled jerkpork chop highly enough, though I prefer their black beans and rice with sofrito instead of the red beans and rice as a side. We enjoy the Jamaican stuffed patties and fried plaintains as well, though the fried plaintains can vary a bit depending on the season. They also have some wonderful bar drinks - the rumpunch named (I think) after Gail's mother, is particularly tasty.
One thing to note about Kallalo is that it IS a family run restaurant. One owner (Kal) is the cook and the other (Gail) is the main waitress. This can occasionally result in somewhat long waiting times to get your food - especially if there's a big crowd. We've never had our food served cold; it's usually piping hot. We consider the quality and taste of the dishes to more than compensate for what is occasionally a bit of a wait. We've also been going there long enough to have seen the service quality and speed improve overall - it has gotten considerably faster than it was during their first few months of business (which is the timeframe of a couple of the earliest reviews).
If you enjoy (or want to try) Caribbean food, and have a bit of time to wait in case they are running a bit behind, I very highly recommend this restaurant - particularly the dishes & drinks referenced above.
Inviting atmosphere and wonderfully tasty cuisine – I'm certainly no expect on Caribbean food, but this place has some fantastic dishes. You do pay for the exotic ingredients but in my opinion it's worth it. And it's certainly a wonderful benefit to have such reasonable (and regional) cocktails as well. I recommend the Cuban Mojito. Yum! Likewise, if you order an entree that does not come with either red or black beans & rice, I'd definately suggest ordering one of those two as a side. You could always try them off your spouse or friend's plate but once you do, you'll want your own plate of them! You can't go wrong here with the food, the drinks, or the atmosphere. Last night was my first dining experience here with a small group of friends and it will certainly not be my last, in fact, we're already talking about when we're going to go back... ;-)
As close to being in the islands as you can get! – We recently ate at kallaloo on the recommendation of some friends of ours. I was thrilled to find that the food tasted just like it does in the Caribbean. Folks, this is as authentic as it gets in Seattle. Best fried plantains to be found in Seattle. One of us had the Jerk-rubbed pork chop and couldn't stop talking about it on the way home. The chop was done to perfection, with just the right amount of heat. I recommend the curried crab and dumplings. A silky sauce with lots of crab, both in and out of the shell. Try the dumplings. They are softer than the ones found in traditional home cooking down south, but not as soft as American dumplings. YUM! We had great, friendly service and some fun cocktails, mostly rum/fruit blends.
WE were impressed! – FIRST time to visit for LUNCH on a FRIDAY and it was EXCELLENT! It is also my first time to write a review.
I had the 'island salad' which consisted of shredded papaya, three very nicely grilled citrus marinated prawns, roasted peppers with curry vinaigrette (NO lettuce) and macaroni pie. Although I am a lover of seafood and would wish a TON of prawns on my plate, three provided just enough fo the dish. Can I have 4?
A very good friend was visiting from Ecuador, (a STRICT vegetarian) had the Black Beans & Rice with Sofrito and House Salad that included Field greens, mango, jicama and red onion with hibiscus vinaigrette. My husband had the T&T Roti Curried potato wrapped in Trinidad-style flat tortilla with Channa(smashed garbanzo beans) & Pumpkin. All of us complimented Gail on the wonderful flavors in our all dishes, how yummy everything was and meant it!
Gail Williams, (the owner) was our waiter. She was pleasant and answered ALL of our questions AND we did have a few! Asked if we needed anything else at appropriate times, and made sure our beverages were always filled!
The restaurant is very spacious, bright and uplifting. Timing of our food seemed very reasonable and maybe because there was just one other customer (appears from the other two reviews that 'time' in general for all services was bad, but 30 people and no warning? tsk tsk!) We arrived just after 11:30a and left just before 1pm. In my estimation, PERFECT! I'm sure if we only had 1 hour for lunch, we could have talked less, concentrated more on our food and not order dessert. So in our experience, everything went very well! AND VERY reasonable too!
Lastly, though we were nicely full, we all decided to split a fresh pineapple cheesecake which was scrumptious!
For those of you who are thinking about trying this restaurant, please DO. Vegetarian? know there are plenty of choices for you. I know that WE will be back very soon!
ENJOY!!!! We surely did!
Worst Restaurant - Kallaloo – I am usually excited to write reviews so I can spread the word about great spots. However, last night I had BY FAR the worst experience ever at Kallaloo. The owner lacks empathy and accountability. If at all possible, she will place blame on the customer. Scenario: 30 people for a birthday party. On our end, we did not have everyone's order for a pre-order despite our best attempts. However, this restaurant ONLY had one cook to serve our party AND regular patrons (which was less than 10). Our party was ONLY assigned one waitress, who was doing her best. However, the table lacked enough settings, some people never got anything to drink. We got there at 7 p.m., but I had to ask them to come start taking our orders around 7:30 p.m. I then had to ask them to take the orders of the other two tables, which they didn't do until 8:15 p.m. Our table finally got served and we were done eating when the second table finally got served. The third table was left out to dry. One person had to return her drink 2-3 times because each time she had a fly in her drink (no I am NOT kidding). One person had to go back and get his own drink because the glass was dirty. I brought in a birthday cake ($17), yet the owner wanted to charge me a $1 per plate to serve ($30 total). Perhaps this is standard, I have no clue. But, when I said I would run out (since at this point we didn't have our food), and purchase some plates, she refused and still wanted to charge. In the end, we decided to not serve the cake since the plates cost more than the cake itself. Furthermore, for all the trouble, the food was average. Even as our party tried to order appetizers to quell their hunger, we were told they were out of chicken and halibut. For a restaurant that WOULD have only had 10 people, they lacked preparation. I cannot speak for other occasions, but this is by far the worst place to go when you have a party. Despite the lack of pre-orders, the restaurant was ill-prepared. NOT RECOMMENDED!!!
A rare Columbia City restaurant that works equally well for after-work drinks or a family dinner, the Caribbean flavors shine like the island sun. – The Scene
Plenty of windows, wicker lamps and breezy ceiling fans create a rare feel for Seattle: It might be mistaken for a tropical island. The mix of chatty neighborhood regulars and regional foodies makes for fun people-watching and a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. The staff is sweet as pie, but missing silverware and order snafus can send a specially planned evening off the rails.
Thanks to a fantastic salad with onions, jicama and mango and some coconut-accented red beans and rice, even vegans will find tasty options amidst the meatheavy menu. Plantains appear in a variety of ways-sweet meat-stuffed fritters and fried slices are both standouts. A rich goat curry isn't too spicy, highlighting the tender, buttery mildness of the goat. Save room for the cheesecake of the day, with a crisp, nutty crust and additions like candied ginger or tropical fruit.
Terrific food, warm environment, friendly owners – We've eaten here a few times, and when we can get in (it can be really crowded on some nights, but be a testament to their great food) we always have a great experience. The husband and wife owners are always friendly, like welcoming you into their home. The place is very much a "family joint", and the food is terrific. I had the Curried Crab and Dumplings last, and it was so good I almost cried--perfectly seasoned curry sauce, and tons of crab!! Reasonably priced at $15.00, I would recommend this dish to anyone. I've also had the Garlic Halibut, which was amazing as well. I recommend this place--it's a new place but promises to remain a Columbia City staple!
Tasty food! – I've been around the block foodwise... and it's been a while since I got really excited about a meal. We had buttermilk chicken, greens and mac and cheese. Salad with avocado, candied ginger, j-e-r-k (for some reason the previous word is refused on this site... wierd) chicken.. and tomatillo-posole soup. The flavors were unique and fresh, quite exceptional. I don't know any other restaurant in Seattle that serves up food like this. I thought it was fabulous. Service was friendly and attentive.
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