Top left: Turkey wrap Below left: Chicken salad Right : Menu
Just this week, Verginia Mitchell opened her BRAND NEW Restaurant, VIANDAS at Shop #46, Pulse 38A, Trafalgar Road, Kingston 5. The menu is mainly comprised of healthy wraps, salads, shakes and smoothies.
Understandably, there are a few kinks to iron out since they just opened, for instance, only cash will be accepted for the next 2 weeks and its best to call their cell number. Ambience will also be worked on this weekend and others to come so you do not have to just walk in, but you can sit and enjoy your meal. Calorie counts are expected in the future too, but until then you can trust that Verginia who studied Culinary Nutrition will not be using fatty milk or any milk for that matter in your mashed potatoes, will give you a healthy selection of cheese or portions and will use natural seasonings. Nothing is fried.
I had my Turkey wrap delivered to my office today and it was quite tasty and filling for an affordable price of $550JMD. The presentation was lovely and vibrant. The delivery time was not too delayed either. Quite impressive for an opening week. I am surely looking forward to more weeks to come and will be trying other items on the menu. Word is the Escoveitch wrap is delicious and filling as well.
For now, Viandas is OPEN Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 5pm.Delivery is free with 5 orders and $300JMD if less than 5 orders.Call Viandas at 876-946-2424 or 876-831-3606. Follow Viandas on Instagram @viandasja!
‘All you can Eat Pizza’ on Wednesdays at Moon Hill have been far too crowded with hardly anything to eat. If you are lucky, you may get to taste one of the pizzas but it is definitely not ‘All you can Eat’ as advertised.
There is no adequate parking. Prepare for a hike up the hill and then a slow process to be banded for entry after you pay $1000JMD. What’s the point of making reservations then? There is no guaranteed seating and a fight to see which pizza is brought out for you to get your hands on.
Thank goodness the quality of the pizza is good though, but not good enough for the desire to return and an overall negative experience for many.
Last Sunday evening for a dinner date, I headed up to Strawberry Hill in the heart of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains in Irish Town, just 20 minutes from Papine by the foot of the hill. Upon arrival, the breathtaking, picturesque view of the mountains, botanical gardens, Georgian-style cottages and infinity-edge pool, formed the perfect ambience for romance.
We were greeted pleasantly by 2 waitresses simultaneously that happened to be coming from different directions. Now that was a reflection of their eagerness to show hospitality and a sign of good things to come.
It was Marva who seated us and issued or menus instantly. I was excited to see what their new French Chef had to offer. Over the years, I think Strawberry Hill has had their ups and downs where good quality food is concerned, but thankfully less of the latter. They seem to have a commendable reputation regardless.
I heard Chef Martin started at Strawberry Hill in March of this year. The variety of Appetizers popped out more to me compared to the Main dishes, however I am sure if persons wanted to try something they haven’t had in a while, they would surely find something they could choose.
I started with the Smoked Marlin cannelloni with cucumber and caper dressing. Doesn’t that sound interesting? It surely was. A unique blend of flavours that worked well together teasing my taste buds.
Braised shank of Lamb with Jerk and orange sauce, mashed pumpkin and glazed vegetables followed, tender to the cut and succulent. I was also pleased to find out that they buy local. Their meats are from a variety of local farmers, particularly small farmers, such as St. John’s Boscos, a local butchery in Mandeville, which funds orphans and teaches them the trade.
I indulged in warm Bread Pudding for dessert, of which it was the sauce that enhanced the taste. I tried a bit of the Stuffed Puffs with Coconut Ice Cream that was enjoyable but seemed to be missing the Hot Chocolate sauce that was mentioned on the menu.
Other tempting items on the dinner menu included Escoveitch Shrimps, stuffed and spicy Crab Backs, Tomato and Mozzarella Stacks salad, Vegetarian Lasagna with Callaloo and Tomato and an 8oz of Tenderloin of spicy Grilled Beef. A wide selection of Beverages are available as well. Ladies should have Marva mix them that special Piña Colada, its fire!
The service was on point throughout, ‘on cue to top up my glass’ style. Food came out in a timely manner but still with sufficient time to converse and enjoy the lovely ambience. The serving sizes were decent, slightly more than some restaurants but just right because I left feeling full but not stuffed.
Strawberry Hill continues to impress and sustain excellent service with an ambience like no other.
Beat the summer heat and head up to the cool, scenic Hills of Newcastle. Service was a bit slow with a wait of half hour for some and an hour for others. The smaller the group, the less the wait. But the service by the waitresses and hospitality of co-operator, Robyn Fox was great. They made you feel at home. Their signature Barrel-roasted Chicken was divine as well as all of the other dishes we had, including Shrimp Pasta with Pesto sauce, Curried Fish, Curried Shrimp, Chicken Breast and Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Mushroom sauce. Imagine, lunch for 7 persons including a flask of rum, beers and other drinks, the bill was just $13,000JMD tax inclusive.
EITS Cafe at Mount Edge Guesthouse
Address: 17 Mile Post, Newcastle. St. Andrew Jamaica
After executing a successful Rotaract District 7020 Conference that started the day after my Birthday, there was no doubt in my mind that I would need rest and relaxation at the end of a week full of both work and pleasure. So mid-June, I decided to end my Birthday week in style and made my dinner reservation for two at Christopher’s, Hermosa Cove. Afterall, you do not need to be a guest at Hermosa Cove Villa Resort to enjoy the delightful offerings of Christopher’s. I was instantly impressed with their professionalism over the phone and exercising the initiative to ask if I was celebrating a special occasion, of which my response was ofcourse, my Birthday.
Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove recently won Best Kept Secret at the Table Talk Jamaica Observer Food Awards 2014 and the Executive Chef, Chef Conroy Arnold, was awarded for Chef on the Rise. So I knew I was in for a serene evening and treat.
I arrived on property at 6:20 in the evening and was joyously greeted by the host from the parking lot, who was clearly anticipating my arrival as he gave me Birthday wishes and escorted myself and my beau, Randy inside. We were seated on their cool, open-air verandah with a beautiful ocean view.
The waitress came soon after, issued our menus and informed us of the Soup and special Marlin Salad of the day. The menu was quite diverse and included local favourites such as Braised Oxtail and Curry Goat. There was mention of a lot of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables on the menu, but this was no surprise to me with my knowledge of the Chef sometimes taking guests into the garden and choosing what is going to be cooked. Perhaps Christopher’s will be considered for Best Ethical Restaurant next year, as they also support the local fishermen and serve a pimento wood smoked Catch of the day.
The waitress took our orders and I had a refreshing Mojito shortly after. Our appetizers arrived quickly. We had the fresh Marlin Salad and Chicken Quesadilla. The tasty Quesadilla had smoked chicken, mixed cheese, oven dried tomato, cilantro and seasoned plantain chips, with fresh salsa. The fresh Marlin Salad will make any child like greens. It included marlin, lettuce, shaved carrot, red onion, fresh salsa and Chef’s choice vinaigrette.
Soon after the satisfying appetizers, our entrée dishes came out. Randy had the Coconut Braised Chicken, which he enjoyed and I had the succulent 6oz spiced tenderloin Steak that I had medium rare with ratatouille style vegetables and steak sauce. I must point out that upon ordering the steak usually served with fries, that Chef Arnold was readily available in the dining area and unhesitatingly accommodated my request to have roasted potato wedges instead. That is not usually seen with the often robotic-like operations of other restaurants and staff.
Just when we thought our stomachs were filled to our heart’s content, we could not refuse the waitress’ invitation to try their Butter Bread Pudding served with Vanilla Ice Cream. It seemed as if Chef still had it baking in the oven though, because it took a bit long to be served. It was of no comparison to Fromage’s Bread Pudding but was savoury nonetheless.
The bill also took a little while, but we enjoyed spending that time to take pictures on the scenic grounds nearby. Then we were even happier with the fact that my Pop Up Gourmet Card reduced our $69.90USD bill by 10% to $62.91USD ($7,000.00JMD) inclusive of tax. Definitely more value for money spent.
From the hospitable security guard upon entrance to the property, to the vibrant host, cordial waitress and accommodating chef, I honestly had second thoughts about sharing and would have liked to keep Christopher’s a secret, but it certainly would not be fair to all concerned. I shall return quite soon and not only to the Restaurant but as a guest to the Villa Resort that received a Certificate of Excellence this year from Trip Advisor.
After visiting Roe a few months ago, last night I was delighted to see that they have expanded! Their previous space used to be comparable to the Burger King in Manor Park. But now they have expanded their indoor seating including Hibachi-style and their decor is fabulous, giving you a Manhattan, Sex and the City kind of feeling. However, the standard of service has already slipped with slow service, inattentive staff and an error with one of the orders. I was there for a Birthday celebration, but the Birthday girl felt that the other birthday celebration seemed to have gotten more attention that night. She should never have felt that way.
I noticed the menu had a few new items. The food took a little while to arrive, perhaps since they had a full house. It was alright, no CranWata WOW! but we enjoyed it nonetheless.
A suggestion for not only Roe, but for other restaurants when taking reservations, is to ask if it is a special occasion, so even though good service is always expected, they can be even more prepared to please. They should also think, what could these diners want next? For instance, if we provide cake or cupcakes to be shared, do not let us have to ask for plates and forks. The waitresses also need to smile, they didn’t even smeyze. So some improvement needed in their service and speed.
Address: Unit 5, Sovereign North; 29 Barbican Road. Kingston 6.
I’ve heard the Paninis at 24 Seven Cafe at The Jamaica Pegasus are not that good, but I usually enjoy the majority of other items on the menu so decided to give it a try last Saturday night.
As usual, the service was on point. I ordered the Chicken Pesto Panini and got it quickly. I took a huge bite into it and could hardly get my teeth in and out. The bread was so tough and hard to cut into. I either needed a steak knife or Dracula teeth. The chicken breast was slightly overcooked or probably reheated with the bread because it was not tender. Thankfully the pesto sauce was tasty and the only positive of the meal, but did not make up for the fact that it costed $1050JMD including tax. Definitely not worth it. For now, stick to the Wraps and wheel and come again with those Paninis.