Soul of city claims rightful place at top of tree

Cajun jambalaya
Cajun jambalaya

Coco’s Soul Food - Friargate, Preston

“What do you recommend ladies?”

“Everything’s good, we come here all the time,” said the two delightful ladies by the counter.

You listen to Asian girls who walk past the array of curries, cous cous and kebabs.

“But the cajun blackened lamb is lovely, if you’re a lamb man.”

And I am, I took her advice, and was left salivating to the extent that me and my eating mate considered stopping by for breakfast the following morning.

In fact, it’s just as well I don’t live above this homely looking rustic shack as I’d be in every night – especially as the £6 was the best I’ve spent on a takeaway.

Don’t let the pictures deceive you, this was top notch: two contrasting sauces adding spice and sublety, (three) tender lambs steaks bursting with flavour, a crunch from the salad, perfectly-seasoned rice and, I think, sweet potato chips that, when shared, could win the heart of an office maiden.

But the beauty of Coco’s – a beauty which has seen it rise to the top rated eaterie of all 435 Preston restaurants listed on Tripadvisor – is the high standard across all dishes .

So the cajun jambalaya was quite simply the best rice dish I’ve ever had from a takeaway.

Perfect rice with a rich spicy flavour and a blend of tender chicken, onion, sweetcorn, sliced sausage, tomatoes, garlic and herbs.

It was the sort of meal you want to eat all over again before you’ve even finished.

And the nachos on the side typifies Coco’s approach to fresh food. This was no bag of Doritos thrown in the microwave but home-made chips, smothered in cheese with a choice of dips packed into the side of the tray.

A damn satisfying meal on its own.

It’s no coincidence the queues often stretch into the street – Coco’s secret is out.