Tag Archives: Desserts

How was Moonlight at Stush in the Bush, St. Ann, Ja?!

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Need a reminder of what and where exactly is Stush in the Bush? Check out Suga’s Review on them a bit over a year ago by clicking on the link below:-

https://sugalifestyle.com/2014/05/29/stush-in-the-bush-with-lisa-binns/

Now that you are either up to speed, you are already aware of the hidden culinary experience or you are just so curious that you want to read on, I will keep you in suspense no further.

Last Saturday I visited Stush in the Bush’s second Moonlight event with friends. The event costed $80USD with limited spaces. As soon as all spaces were filled, a notification was sent out. Before the event, we were updated and teased with emails of the menu, what to wear aka ‘Bush Glam’, a little of what to expect etc., just enough to let you remember the event, be well prepared and to remain enthusiastic about it. The directions given were also detailed to the key so you would not get lost.

There was a threat of rains from Hurricane Erika, so on the day we were told to wait it out a little until given more information. The event was to start at 3pm. We got the clear with pictures of bright sunshine a little after 1pm. So my friends and I decided to get ourselves together to make our way out. We got there at 4pm. Only ‘4-wheel drives’ could go directly downhill to the farm, otherwise you would have to park at the top and walk down because it was quite steep and rough. Hence the ‘Bush Glam’ dress code to wear boots, closed foot shoes etc.

Upon entry we saw a few people gathered, already nibbling on appetizers. I had no doubt food would be circulated already. Mrs. Lisa Binns is always prepared, on time and seems to be quite a perfectionist. My friends and I were greeted by both Lisa and her husband, Chris on our way in, genuinely warm and pleasant as usual. There was also a welcome sign with our names along with other guests, which I found to be quite creative and hospitable of them.

Now to the food! Let me start out by saying that I found everything delicious throughout the evening except for the Potato and Leek soup that was just ‘ok’ and the Robalo (fish) for the main course, which was overcooked. But they had so much going on, food everywhere you turned, as soon as you stopped eating, something else was brought out for you to experience, so those two, yes, literally two items that were not made to perfection, seemed oh so negligible.

The ‘First Bites’ were as follows:

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The Rosemary Beer Bread really had the taste of Red Stripe beer and you could taste the rum in the Rum Guava sauce for the Yam and Pineapple Croquettes! Awesome. We also had access to freshly chopped Coconuts. The Fiyah Grilled Pizza that stood out for me was the Pesto pizza. Delish!

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As the majority of guests arrived to the lovely venue with a spectacular view, we were given an official welcome by Lisa followed by Chris. She gave many thanks to her guests for coming, especially returnees and important guests to her such as Anna-Kay Tomlinson aka Miss T from Miss T’s Kitchen, who continuously encouraged Lisa from the very beginning and Chef Conroy Arnold from Hermosa Cove who also loves to use their products, especially their fresh, local greens from the farm. Their farm, called Zionites farm, had a nice ambience and was quite cool.

We were also reminded that the first ingredient of their products are Love and Affection, sometimes hard to come by, said Chris. However, their love story is quite sweet and it is obvious they continue to care, love and support each other throughout their lives, especially at the toughest times such as the passing of their mothers. Imagine, when Chris met Lisa, her mother died 5 days after. He could either step up or run. He said he did a bit of both but he made sure he found himself on that plane to Barbados to meet the family and go to the funeral. Quite a task. But he made it happen.

They thanked The Jamaica Observer, who of course has been there from the very start and other persons who helped with the event to make it even more dynamic such as Select Brands, Grace Kennedy for the Harbour wines and spirits, Gina May Mair from Fresh Monger JA (known for wild caught, premium seafood) for the Ceviche and fresh, local fish and Sasha Palmer, CEO of Liqy Liqy who provided popsicles for part of dessert. It was nice to see the support given on both sides for Moonlight and each other’s products, even leading up to the event.

What was even nicer to know, when they thanked their staff, we learnt it comprised of people they trained from within their community. Lisa mentioned she would also like to start a Young Women’s group for young ladies leaving school with no jobs and young mothers, creating even more opportunities for persons in the community. A nursery on property for their young ones to be monitored and in a safe place while they work is in the plans too. Also, cooking classes for them and us folks, that has already been a frequent request.

That was an inspiring mouthful that had everyone’s close attention, as Lisa is always so eloquent and Chris adds his quiet touch of humour. We moved on to have fun at the Selfie station where an actual selfie stick was provided. Ha! Finally learnt how to use one. We then gathered by a huge fig tree and joined hands, a place of meditation for Chris.

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For the main course, we walked down the love path made by arched plants and trees and sat on benches by tables that held at least 10 people. So it was a homey atmosphere that facilitated socializing and even a little networking.

The main course aka ‘Stush dining’ was as follows, paired with red and white Harbour wines & spirits accordingly:-

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The Mango & Lime Ceviche shooter and Zionites Farm signature salad including Arugula, Microgreens, Jackfruit, Watermelon and Tomatoes along with a choice of Mango lime & ginger vinaigrette was fantastic. Their Blow Fyah sauce in small doses of course, went well with the Robalo and grilled veggies.

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We had the pleasure of sitting with Ms. Sasha Palmer, founder and CEO of Liqy Liqy based in Manchester, who also won the Business Journalists’ award at Jamaica Observer’s Mogul in the Making Ceremony this year. She had such a lovely personality. Certainly a pleasure conversing with her. She is quite passionate about what she does even though it is her side business.

She also offers opportunities to persons within her community in Mandeville by employing single mothers to make the popsicles and run the Liqy Liqy carts at events.

She was excited to share that they cater popsicle treats in all sizes, shapes and forms for Bachelorette parties and other events. Wink wink. From what I remember that night, she had the flavours of Mango, Lemon and Basil, Tamarind and Coconut. The Vanilla flavour made its debut and it was delicious like Devon House Ice Cream, BUT all the popsicles are 100% organic and low in calories. For the others that I had, the Lemon and Basil popsicles were refreshing and good palette cleansers and the Coconut was tasty as well.

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Liqy Liqy’s gourmet popsicles should be on the shelves soon, if they aren’t already, at supermarkets such as Loshusan, John R Wong and all the Sugar & Spice locations. Look out for their Sorbets coming soon too. Follow them @LiqyLiqy on Instagram and Facebook. 

The bonfire had begun and we made our way back up to where we gathered at the beginning to be greeted by Ginger cookies topped with Lemon Curd.

For those watching their weight, the whole day was practically guilt free until I was presented with extremely salivating Dessert pizza with Banana, Chocolate, Peanut butter and more. Even though it was practically all Vegan, it was the winning dessert for me! Another Dessert pizza with Jackfruit also came out and that grill kept firing up more. I thought all of that created fireworks in my stomach, only to hear real fireworks behind me. What a pleasant surprise! They definitely went all out.

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Only one person in the crew checked the time so we wouldn’t get carried away into the night there. Wine was still flowing, sauces and spreads were on sale and it seemed like we missed the after party on the dance floor. It was just after 8pm, the time at which Moonlight was scheduled to be finished. So definitely not a typical Jamaican event, as it had an on-time start and finish. We appreciated that they were considerate of our time, allowing us to get back into town at a reasonable hour.

Wow, what a delightful evening that left everyone impressed and fully satisfied. A refreshing experience that freed the mind, both an inner and outer body experience in a sophisticated-rustic atmosphere. They prepared and catered to the vegans, vegetarians, those who couldn’t eat pineapples, all with allergies, those who had to eat gluten-free, you name it. Well done Chris, Lisa and all the others that came together to make it happen.

So what else is on the horizon for Stush in the Bush? A possible Bed and Breakfast, a Yoga platform around the huge fig tree, where a bonfire was lit for the night and an outpost on another Caribbean island.

Suga cannot wait to return with even more friends and family!

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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. 

TGI Friday’s Jamaica still on a Decline but the Oreo Madness is still Crazy as ever

TGI Friday’s Jamaica

Ph#: 876-978-8443; 927-8810

Address: 51 Hope Road, Kingston 6

Date of visit: 20/10/14

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★★★★

Ambience: ★★☆☆☆

Decor: ★★★★☆

Comfort: ★★★★☆

Service: ★★☆☆☆

Speed: ★★☆☆☆

Food quality: ★★★☆☆

Serving amount: ★★★★☆

Plating: ★★★★☆

Value for $: ★★★☆☆

SuGa Endorsement: ★★★☆☆

SuGa Comments: It is always a little too cold for comfort. The quality of food is not nearly as good as early days after their opening. Thankfully the Pastas and Quesadillas are still decent. The menu is revised from time to time, for instance, Chicken in Chimichurri sauce was added. However, they need to offer more sides other than the dry rice served with it. The Chicken complemented with the Chimichurri sauce was tasty though. The service for at least the past 2 years continues to be horrible, from waitresses forgetting orders, waiting forever on food to arrive with no updates as to the status of it (always 35 minutes or more), to hardly any pleasant faces besides when they are forced to do their perky Birthday Jingles. Thank goodness the Oreo Madness is divine though the topping is a borderline toothache and it is definitely for two based on serving size, however there is a price option for half the serving. But what is up with NEVER having mint to make Mojitos?! Unacceptable. Support our Jamaican farmers and reaping homeowners. Disappointment to the franchise. Miami and DC still booming!