Speaknvegan for Lunch!

Have you tried Speaknvegan for lunch yet? I had the refreshing experience 2 weeks ago. I regret taking so long to do so. Speaknvegan was trademarked and featured on Smile Jamaica TVJ just a few months ago, but has been in operation for about a year. The business may be familiar to some as ‘Salads and Shakes by Stace’, but has evolved greatly. Stacy Doughlasingh, the chef responsible for the tasty, Vegan food offered, graduated from UTECH with a degree in Hotel and Tourism a Management not too long ago. It is always pleasing to see young, talented persons go after their dream and actually enjoying what they do for a living.

I think she is off to a great start with a menu that keeps changing, is so creative and also inviting to the eyes. The day I ordered for pick up, I had difficulty choosing amongst Plantain and Hummus Tacos, Black Bean Fajitas and a Chick’n Chutney Burger. I went with the Black Bean Fajitas that consisted of Black beans sauteed in a chilli sauce, along with avocado, diced tomatoes, vegan cream cheese and parsley. My order was ready on time and it was evident that effort was made for its presentation, a crucial element lacking from a lot of lunch establishments. The ingredients complemented each other well and it was quite tasty. The portion size may be small for some though, perhaps a small soup or shake could be added as a combo.

The instagram account, SPEAKNVEGAN is quite active and gives customers an idea of various selections available for order or special request. There are soup and shake options such as Curried Sweet Potato soup, Thai Coconut Corn soup and Kale and Pumpkin soup. Other interesting options are the spicy medium Ackee Pizza with beet root, okra, tomato and vegetables, the Chilli Sub (a favourite amongst customers) and the Burrito bowl with chopped Veggie Steak just to name a few. Mouth-watering Dessert options are available as well.

So check out Speaknvegan on instagram and order some of those affordable, delightful vegan dishes, whether it’s for lunch, a Wedding, Live event, Family event or just Personal catering. Vegan lunches are available for Pick-up or Delivery on Tuesday to Friday from 10 to 3pm. Orders should be made the day before or by 11am latest by calling 876-378-5094. 

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Caffé da Vince Closes Restaurant Week in Style for Gabby and Friends

Caffé da Vince was a lovely close to Gabby’s Restaurant Week from SuGa last Friday night. Restaurants at The Marketplace were filled to capacity. We had to circle the parking lot a few times to eventually get a spot. Outside seating for all restaurants was expanded and there was live entertainment. It reminded me of dining at a local hotel on the North Coast waiting on a cabaret show.

The hostess was pleasant, and even though they forgot to change our reservation from 2 persons to 4, we were accommodated quickly.

Despite the full house, the food still arrived in a reasonable amount of time. All appetizers were delish. We tried the Eggplant Caprese salad, Shrimp salad and Pork balls. The portion size for the Pork balls was small, but their delightful taste made up for it.

For our entrées, we had the Mixed Grill Seafood, Beef and Pork Tenderloin. The Beef and Pork were tender and scrumptious. The cream and mushroom sauce on the Beef Tenderloin was exquisite. The Mixed Grill Seafood had mostly lobster, a few shrimps and hardly any scallops. I expected a more equal variety. The shrimp and scallops were spicy, however some flavour could have been added to the lobster, perhaps a sauce or even fresh lemon or lime on the side. The serving sizes were not overwhelming, they were just right so we had room for dessert.

Dessert ended with dry Bread Pudding masked by Vanilla ice cream and a heavenly Tiramisu.

All dishes were not perfect, the menu was slightly different from the one advertised, but there was still a large variety to choose from and it was indeed enjoyable compared to some unhappy diners across from us at Beirut Mediterranean Cuisine who did not enjoy their long wait or unsavoury food. So good job Caffé da Vince!

Caffé da Vince

Ph#: 876-906-9051

Address: The Marketplace, 67 Constant Spring Rd., Kingston

Date of visit: 21/11/14

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★★★☆

Ambience: ★★★★☆

Decor: ★★★☆☆

Comfort: ★★★★☆

Service: ★★★★☆

Speed: ★★★★☆

Food quality: ★★★★☆

Serving amount: ★★★★★

Plating: ★★★★☆

Value for $: ★★★★☆

SuGa Endorsement: ★★★★☆

 

 

The Melting Pot at Knutsford Court Hotel Fails for RW Nyam & Scram

The Melting Pot Restaurant & Lounge are in two categories this year, Savoury and Nyam & Scram. Their Savoury menu was impressive, however SuGa readers chose the latter option and had to wait a while before they could nyam. Taking more than half an hour to get food in practically an empty restaurant, they were not pleased.

Portion size was the expected small but tasty for the Italia trio (Jerk Chicken pasta sampler, Tomato and Feta cheese in a puffy parcel, mini Tiramisu Cheesecake) and the Chicken and Pork didn’t taste jerked for the Jerk Platter Mix.

Then oh Lord, the Spicy Jerk soup was too spicy. Feedback was that it tasted like they added water to a Jerk sauce.

Get it together Melting Pot.

Spicy Doubles should Cut their Prices in Half for Nyam and Scram

Spicy Doubles, is set up in a tuck shop situated in Irvin Hall at UWI, Mona. They clearly were not ready for the rush of Restaurant Week and SuGa readers with their meagre servings, counting food items and all, like shrimp in a ‘Chiny’ shop. The food was good but not worth the price.

 

Gimbilyn at Alhambra Inn Meets Expectations for RW and is Booked Out!

SuGa Readers have been dining up a storm and found that Gimbilyn was fully equipped with staff to tackle Restaurant week with very little wait time and a floor supervisor overseeing the area and checking on waiters as it should be.

Staff was pleasant and even the Chef came out to address diners regardless of the pressures in the kitchen. Commendable that he had things under control to escape the heat a little.

Staff was also well-trained in offering suggestions from the menu and selection of wines.

Reviews came in that the Shrimp salad was tasty but had a small serving in comparison to the Pepper Pot soup. However, if you ordered a Shrimp salad followed by Grilled Pork chops, they were sure to make up for it, as they were thick portions.

The Tucker Chicken Florentine with layers of creamed callaloo, cheese and tender Chicken breast topped with panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese looked and tasted delicious. The Grilled Salmon with Tamarind and Ginger Glaze was good and their signature Bread pudding was divine.

Kudos to Gimbilyn!

Asia’s Café: ‘Dem Pasta neida Dry nor Wet’ says a diner

A few weeks ago at about 8:30pm, I finally visited Asia’s Café, found in the middle of York Pharmacy on Half Way Tree Road. The restaurant will be opened for a year this December 15th. The news spread fast upon their opening since they are open 24/7 and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner options, sandwiches, salads and various pastries and beverages. It’s also convenient for patients visiting the pharmacy and nearby 24/7 doctor’s offices. The seating area is small so it’s usually order-to go.

For such a small establishment, I noticed a huge menu with affordable items. There were Breakfast items such as Eggs etc., Soups, Salads for $600JMD, OMG Burger for $550JMD, dishes such as Shrimp/Jerk Chicken Pasta and Chicken Lasagna ranging from $700-800JMD, standard Box lunch dishes such as Fried and Roasted Chicken, side orders such as Garlic bread, Potato wedges and Potato salad ranging from $70-$220JMD. They also offer both hot and cold Beverages, as well as Milk Shakes with different flavours for $450JMD. There is a good variety of pastry for $250JMD each including Brownies, Muffins, Banana Breads, Cookies, Cakes, Bread Puddings, you name it. Everything seemed more than reasonable except for some regular Chicken and Turkey Sandwiches that any mother could make and send their child to school with for $550 and $600JMD! Oh no. The same can be found in Mega Mart for $250JMD.

My friend and I ordered the Conch soup ($170JMD tx incl.), Roasted Chicken ($550JMD tx incl.) and Pineapple Jerked Chicken wrap ($550JMD tax incl.). The server came to us a few minutes after, telling us there was no more Conch, but we already made the order and we were ready to grab and go. While we waited, I scanned the room and saw some diners with a large ‘box lunch’ serving of Shrimp Pasta. The Penne looked dry. I braved it and asked one of the ladies how she found it and I said it looked a little dry. She responded, ‘It is awful! Not nice at all, it neida dry nor wet’. We laughed and she then shared her sentiments with the server who told the chef. He said he would redo their order, which was a decent response instead of the ‘I’m sorry to hear’ that can’t buy soldier lorry response. Hopefully there was some improvement.

Although the staff was neither pleasant nor hostile, they said all orders take 7-10 minutes and they stuck to their word, because my food was ready in no time. I saw a quick turn over with other customers as well.

The soup was a bit too salty and ofcourse lacking conch. The Roast Chicken was good but the rice and peas was dry. The Jerk Chicken wrap was tasty and spicy.

Asia’s Café is definitely a good place to get reasonable, decent food on the go, but they should leave the elaborate things to fine dining restaurants, hence reduce their menu size and improve on the quality of remaining items.

Asia’s Café 

Ph#: 876-929-3568 / 876-929-5961

Address: Located inside York Pharmacy, Half-Way Tree, Kingston

Date of visit: 7/11/14

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★★☆☆

Ambience: ☆☆☆☆☆

Decor: ★★★☆☆

Comfort: ★★★☆☆

Service: ★★★☆☆

Speed: ★★★★☆

Food quality: ★★★☆☆

Serving amount: ★★★★☆

Value for $: ★★★☆☆

SuGa Endorsement: ★★★☆☆

 

 

Happy 1st Anniversary to SuGa Lifestyle!

SuGa Global Readers

SuGa Lifestyle has kept readers up to date for the past year on Restaurant Ratings and Reviews, Recipes, Health and Fitness, GW ART, Charities and What’s Hot, for instance with popular Sports events or tournaments. Restaurant Reviews continuously proves to be the most popular posts amongst readers.

Conceptualizer, Gabrielle Williams has traveled across the United States, the Caribbean and as far as Japan, where the local cuisines and fine dining options are a must stop. On most weekends, regardless of which parish or country she may be in, she can be found satisfying her fancy of exploring the culinary talents on offer at the restaurant of her choice.

Gabrielle also had the pleasure of being a Table Talk Observer Food Awards Judge for 2014. She will unhesitatingly give restaurants, chefs or caterers fair recognition for their good work, objectively highlighting those that have been inconsistent, mediocre or low in quality and by offering suggestions for general improvement.

What is considered as a simple website with a slow start and hardly any promotion, has attracted over 7600 hits and readers each month from as far as Spain, Bulgaria, Israel, Italy, Malta, India, Algeria, Thailand and Uganda to name a few and sustains consistent readers from the USA, Canada, Barbados, UK, Cayman Islands, Brazil and ofcourse, Jamaica.

SuGa Lifestyle is happy to receive the continued support and feedback from its readers, whether it’s from Facebook, WordPress, LinkedIn, Google Groups, Twitter, word of mouth or other sharing avenues and looks forward to being a part of the journey of Jamaica rising as a Foodies Paradise.

Keep on reading SuGa and continue to make us the Go-to website to keep you in the know and aid in deciding on your dining destination. Thanks SuGa Readers!

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