Last Thursday night at 9pm, I finally got around to checking out 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar on Grosvenor Terrace. It has been opened for a few months now at a spot where I have seen many Restaurants come and go.
I went with my partner in crime, Randy and we had the Restaurant all to ourselves.
They definitely went all out with the Jamaican décor, branding the walls, columns and furniture with Jamaican colours and sayings, but it was tastefully and creatively done. Just one small thing and it didn’t come from me. The Jamaican flag probably should have been ironed before it was hung up. Other than that, everyone should visit and guess the amount of ‘red money’ on the bar counter for a chance to get your meal free!
We chose to sit at the most creative table of all, the one with the glass tabletop and Jerk drum beneath.
We ordered everything at 9:15 because we knew the Fish was done to order and would take some time. We were told 20 minutes.
We had the Jerk Chicken Breast Skewers marinated in their Signature 8 Spices Jerk Marinade as a starter. It came to the table in reasonable time. The Chicken Breast was well cooked, tender and juicy and went well with their sauce. I was most interested in the sauce since they seem to market their sauces heavily that have been made in-house. The sauce did not have a particularly unique flavour, but it was a fine mix between sweet and mildly spicy.
We had a long wait for the Roasted Fish. I do not think establishments should tell diners that the Fish that is done to order will take 20 minutes if they know they can’t deliver. Most of them do that but usually get their other main dishes out in 15 to 20 minutes. Then the wait for the Fish is usually half hour or more. The wait for this Fish was close to 45 minutes. We appreciated the update at 25 minutes that it was taking longer than expected.
They had a special on the Fish that night. It was a 2lb Fish so costed $500JMD more than the usual cost of $1700JMD quoted on the menu. The Roasted Fish was a fleshy, whole red Snapper marinated in the 8 spices marinade giving it a spicy flavour. It was stuffed with pumpkin and okra. Mad props to the Fish but the big winner on the plate was the Steamed Bammy. Randy was mesmerized and could not stop talking about it. When proprietor, Melissa Dukharan-Constantine came over to check that everything was ok, he was raving about its rich, creamy sauce and she smiled and said it was their secret recipe.
I had the Ginger Garlic Shrimp with fried green plantains. The plantains were steaming hot but the Shrimps were cold. I called our pleasant hostess/server’s attention and she took it back immediately and was genuinely apologetic. It came back out steaming in no time to make me a happy diner.
The Shrimp was sautéed in ginger and garlic stir fried onions, sweet peppers and carrots. So I found the salad to be unnecessary, as I did with the Skewers. It’s my personal opinion but I think the veggies could be used more economically for dishes that do not already contain cooked or steamed vegetables.
I enjoyed my dish. The Shrimp was savoury and I loved that the essence of ginger was present without being overpowering.
We topped things off with Dessert. We shared a slice of Key Lime Pie. It was flavourful but had a consistency closer to a Cheesecake than a Pie.
After our Entrées, we were both sniffling in a good way from all those spices. So I am looking forward to returning and trying their Curry Goat and Stamp & Go served with spiced Papaya Chutney. Randy is looking forward to trying their Blood Fiah Wings to see if their ‘Killa Peppa’ Hot Sauce is as hot as they say it is.
There are many other Jamaican favourites with their own twist on the menu to pick, choose and refuse. I hear they have some interesting Cocktails too.
Our Hostess/Server, who I understand is the Supervisor, Robyn was a sweetheart. I am sure we gave her a few jokes but she was so hospitable that she felt like a friend to us and she was quite attentive. Thanks Robyn! We enjoyed and will return. #sugaendorsed
8 Spices Restaurant and Bar
Location: 7 Grosvenor Terrace. Kgn. 8
Ph: 876-581-3427; 876-668-7656
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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