A TASTE of the Caribbean has been brought to Tidworth.

With jerk chicken and traditional patties on offer, D’Real Thing Caribbean Grill is serving up a new treat to diners.

On Saturday, the restaurant, in Zouch Market, was officially opened by town mayor Councillor Mark Conolly.

Owner Kerry Charles opened the eatery after he saw a gap in the market.

Penton cricketer Kerry said: “The area needed something different, different sorts of food, as the nearest Caribbean food is in Salisbury, Winchester and Reading.”

Kerry has been joined by Joe Beckford to manage the restaurant. Joe previously was a chef in the army for 11 years and has worked in various restaurants since leaving the service.

Since the doors first opened in January, after 18 months of work, people have flocked from far and wide to experience the food.

“There has been a very good response in the community and people have travelled from Salisbury, Basingstoke and Eastleigh on a regular basis,” Kerry added.

“People have come and said it is totally different, it does not make you blow your head off as the hot sauce is served on the side.”

All of the restaurant’s menu is made in-house, with meat delivered fresh and marinated to be served that evening.

Speaking after the official opening, Cllr Connolly said: “I am delighted that we have another alternative type of food outlet in the town.

“Like most towns we have Indian, Chinese and even Nepalese food outlets, as well as the traditional British fare but now we have the sunshine of the Caribbean too.”

It is hoped that once the restaurant is established another will be set up in the area.

D’Real Thing Caribbean Grill is open from 5.30pm to 9.30pm Wednesday to Saturday.