I stumbled upon Jen’s Kitchen on Instagram a few months ago when I saw a Curry Goat and roti dish. I have been following @jenskitchenja ever since and I admire that their Instagram page is kept active.
Jen’s Kitchen is located at the intersection of Constant Spring and Manning’s Hill Road.
My husband and a friend went there on separate occasions. They had the Curry Goat with roti and Chicken. Their feedback was that the food was decent but mediocre in quality, small in serving size and definitely not worth the price.
Jen’s Kitchen’s pictures on Instagram were still quite inviting to me, so I finally went there at about 7pm on my way home last night. The lack of sufficient parking space was a problem. I was going to just have everything as take-out because I knew I would have to move my car soon.
The Restaurant is a simple set up with a Bar on the side. Nothing extravagant. Your view is basically the Road and The Total Gas Station across from it.
At the looks of it, their Bar had a set of loyal patrons and they had two gentlemen dining that seemed to be visiting Jamaica based on their American accents. They probably wanted some home cooked Jamaican food too.
I perused the expensive Menu and had an interest in the Fish, Stew Peas, Saltfish and Plantain.
I was told a couple orders were in so my order would take 20 minutes or longer. The Stew Peas had finished so I asked about the Fish. Based on the lady’s expression when I asked about the waiting time for the Steamed Fish, I figured that it may take probably half an hour to 45 minutes. Fish is Done to Order how you like it. However, I think $2000JMD was too much for a Steamed Fish and I did not have the time to wait too long. I tried the Fish Fillet for $700JMD instead and still went ahead with the Pick-up Saltfish and Plantain.
As expected, I was called to move my car. I decided to stay and eat afterwards since I got a more comfortable spot, though still blocking in a few persons.
I met Ms. Jen who definitely showed she was in charge. She was professional and accommodating. The lady who took my order and served me was personable as well. I felt comfortable and could see why the patrons at the Bar looked like they were at their home away from home.
The Fish Fillet ($700JMD) was fried in a batter, but I tasted too much flour. I let them put that in a box to go.
The Pick up Saltfish and Plantain ($800JMD) was tasty but I have had better for much less. For instance at JoJo’s Jerk Pit and More, where they spice it up with more pepper and have less tomatoes. The Pressed Plantain was an appetizing side. I appreciated that it was not greasy at all.
Other items on their Menu are part of Standard Jamaican cuisine and more. Costs that include G.C.T range from $550JMD to $2000JMD. To give you an idea, they include Stew Beef ($750JMD), Curry Goat ($900JMD), Tripe & Bean ($750JMD), Oxtail ($1400JMD), Curry Chicken (Small- $600JMD; Large- $800JMD), 1/4lb Jerk Pork ($550JMD), Curry Conch ($1800JMD), Curry Shrimp ($1800JMD), Crab Back ($1500JMD) etc.
They have Side Orders of Roti, Sweet Potato Fries, Cream Potato, Wedges and more for additional costs.
I would return, but I agree with my husband and friend. For the serving size, quality of food and general comparison to many other establishments, the food is decent but overpriced.
Location: 1A Mannings Hill Road. Kingston 8. Jamaica
Opening Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 11am-10pm; Fridays 11am-12am; Saturdays 12pm-10pm
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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