Kids from the Jamaica Christian Boys Home get a Day Out to Tour the Institute of Jamaica

The New Kingston Rotaract Club in partnership with the Institute of Jamaica hosted marginalised boys from the Jamaica Christian Boys Home, between the ages of 7 and 17 on July 18, 2014 at the Institute of Jamaica. The children were exposed, educated and their awareness broadened, while they also got time away from their place of residence.

The activities of the day included Exhibitions of Rastafari, Equal Rights, Reggae and Social Change, National Art in Schools and a viewing of the National History Museum Discovery Room.

After the exhibitions, the boys enjoyed lunch provided by the New Kingston Rotaract Club.

As many good deeds like this often go under the radar, many Clubs and Non-Profit Organisations like the New Kingston Rotaract Club continue to work hard and serve the unfortunate selflessly, offering many opportunities for them to progress as well. Feel free to like or join the New Kingston Rotaract Club’s Facebook page, ‘New Kingston Rotaract Club’, to see what else they have in store this year and perhaps contribute to their efforts as well.

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Gabby from SuGa Lifestyle Checks Out What the New Chef has to Offer at Strawberry Hill

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.

Strawberry Hill Resort

Ph#: 876-944-8400

Address: Irish Town

Date of visit: 10/8/14

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★★★★

Ambience: ★★★★★

Decor: ★★★★☆

Comfort: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★★★

Speed: ★★★★★

Food quality: ★★★★★

Serving amount: ★★★★★

Plating: ★★★★☆

Value for $: ★★★★★

SuGa Endorsement: ★★★★★

 

Yummy Eats from EITS Cafe! Beat the heat & head up there this Summer!

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

Ph#: 876-944-8974

Address: 17 Mile Post, Newcastle. St. Andrew Jamaica

Date of visit: 2/8/14

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★★★☆

Ambience: ★★★★★

Decor: ★★★★★

Comfort: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★★☆

Speed: ★★★☆☆

Food quality: ★★★★☆

Serving amount: ★★★★★

Plating: ★★★★☆

Value for $: ★★★★★

SuGa Endorsement: ★★★★☆

 

Gabby Celebrates at Best Kept Secret, Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove

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.

Roe has expanded, but have they kept up their good standard?

Kaisen Don $1350 JMD+tx
Kaisen Don $1350 JMD+tx

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.

Ph#: 876-632-6669

Address: Unit 5, Sovereign North; 29 Barbican Road. Kingston 6.

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★★★★

Ambience: ★★★★★

Decor: ★★★★★

Comfort: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★☆☆

Speed: ★★★☆☆

Food quality: ★★★★☆

Serving amount: ★★★★☆

Plating: ★★★★★

Value for $: ★★★★☆

SuGa Endorsement: ★★★★☆

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