Not many persons may know about this tiny restaurant hidden behind the gas station at Mary Brown’s corner on Constant Spring Road, but they certainly have an active Instagram page that I have been following for a little while. I finally got to check it out on my day off last Friday to see how they handled their usual work day flow. I reached a little bit later than I wished, about 2:15pm. It was easy to find because everyone knows that gas station and you cannot miss the sign. Parking is limited but if there is difficulty with access, there is more than enough space to park by the gas station and walk around. I didn’t need to do that though because a spot was available, much to the unnecessary annoyance of a ‘parking assistant’ that was either confused about his nationality or deported from the UK. Why can’t Jamaicans just go to and fro in peace?
Anyhow, I was impressed to walk in and see a fairly full restaurant with adequate, comfortable seating. The logistics for such a small area were on point. A plasma television and music were there for entertainment. There was nobody present to take an order, but a patron quickly pointed out that I should ring the bell and out came someone immediately. Prices were not cheap, but they were not expensive either. I ordered the $580JMD (two piece) Jerked chicken that came with rice and peas and vegetables. There was a $700JMD and odd option too. I also added their fried dumpling that was advertised as one of the best Johnny cakes in town.
I took a seat by the cafe area and my food was out in two minutes. The verdict? Quality rice and peas. No ‘clumpy clumpy’ or uncooked grains like other lunch establishments. A good fried dumpling, not the best. I am still waiting on a Johnny Cake experience like back in the day from a fish shop in Manor Park. A big fat juicy one bigger than a tennis ball in a brown paper bag. Perhaps J & R Grocery & Snacks ‘aka’ ‘The Dumpling Shop’ on 44E Waltham Park Road, nominated and featured at last year’s Table Talk Jamaica Observer Food Awards has come the closest.
Why do they call it a Johnny cake anyway? Of course with Jamaicans the name has probably been altered over the years by Chinese telephone. They were actually called Journey cakes because slaves used to carry them on long trips in saddle bags and baked them along the way.
Back to the meal. The Jerked chicken and sauce were tasty and a bit spicy but not too spicy. Very filling serving as well. When I almost finished, I spotted a server slicing what looked like bread pudding from a far, my weakness. I asked her if that was what it was, she confirmed and I instantly had a slice of yummy bread pudding that they bake fresh. Although other items in their cafe such as the cookies and cakes are brought in, they sometimes do their own banana pudding and chocolate cake, along with the bread pudding.
The server asked if it was my first time visiting and asked me my name. Surely a homey, feeling. They serve Continental breakfast and other items on their menu include BBQ chicken, Oxtail, Fried Chicken, Cow foot, Stew peas and more.
Suga Lifestyle definitely endorses Michael’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop as a decent spot to enjoy some good Jamaican food. Follow their Instagram page, michaelsrestaurantja for specials and daily menus as well as their Facebook page, Michael’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop.
Michael’s does catering and delivering as well. Their delivery charge is $300JMD as long as you are not too far, for instance, Spanish Town.
Michael’s Restaurant & Coffee Shop
Address: 141B Constant Spring Road (Mary Brown’s Corner)
Ph.: 876.969.2403; 876.969.7707
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 7am-7pm, Saturday, 9am-7pm and Sunday, 9am-4pm.