Tag Archives: Hope Gardens

The Other JFDF Events and Suga’s Epicurean & Delectable Choices for Restaurant Week!

Suga brought you the low down for Crisp at The Gardens, Jamaica Pegasus ($5000 All Inclusive) and Picante ($7500 All Inclusive) at The Ruins, UWI Mona’s Visitor’s Lodge, so how were the other JFDF events? Suga Bears and Suga Daddies reported!

Most persons like to get bad news out of the way first. The events with the highest price tags were not that impressive for some patrons. That is, Vintage for $12000JMD all-inclusive and Brunch at the Gallery for $20000JMD/$150USD all-inclusive.

Vintage 

Meals at Vintage at the Manor in Jack’s Hill were described as basic and a low standard for Ortanique on the Mile, one of the restaurants in Florida that was represented by Owner Cynthia Hutson. Suga Bears enjoyed the view and Dessert though.

Brunch at the Gallery

Brunch at the National Gallery, Downtown Kingston presented by Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau was decorated beautifully by Tai Flora and had a sufficient selection of Wines by Select Brands, but the service of food was slow and it arrived to tables cold. The Brunch was from 11am to 4pm and after a long day, patrons were leaving at 4pm and Dessert was just being served. Should the blame go on the Event Planner, the Chefs or both? It was stated that the execution was poor.

The Menu

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The Menu for Brunch at the Gallery (Photo Contributed)

The Presentation of some of the meals were also quite sloppy to say the least.

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Vegetables and Greens served at Brunch at the Gallery last Sunday (Photo Contributed)

Did the Incredible Hulk have an accident here?! I was in disbelief and gathered that this was the consensus amongst most tables. This looked nothing like the neatly displayed dish on the Event’s social media page. Cold food, slow service and poor, unappetizing presentation is unacceptable for $20,000JMD. I believe things can be shaken up next year. There are so many other talented, efficient Chefs around and I understand the ambience of The National Gallery, but a change in venue could be considered as well.

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Chargrilled Rack of Lamb Presented to a table at Brunch at the Gallery last Sunday (Photo Contributed)

Kudus to award-winning baker, Nadine Burie that probably saved both events. Her desserts are offered at Cafe Blue.

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Fresh Fruit Pavlova by Nadine Burie (Photo Credit: @jafoodanddrink)

Setting bad news aside, persons fully enjoyed Meet Street and the Market in Downtown, Kingston ($500JMD entry) last Saturday. A patron said she did not know that Downtown could be so nice. The set up and atmosphere was phenomenal and the vendors outdid themselves.

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Vendors that pleased at Meet Street and the Market Last Saturday in Downtown, Kingston

Pork Palooza ($6500JMD All Inclusive) at Palm Drive, Hope Gardens that kicked things off for the festival on the Saturday the week before was a hit. The event is usually the favourite for Patrons. Jamaicans love their Pork! It wasn’t the unanimous favourite this year though.

Which event took JFDF 2017?!

Close call! It has been narrowed down to the new event, Chop Stix ($5000JMD All Inclusive) held at Zen Lawn, Hope Zoo last Wednesday that featured fare from the far East and the zesty, Picante!

Based on Food, Weather and Vibe, Chop Stix gets the edge. Picante had the on and off rain, which was uncontrollable with provisions put in place, but Jamaicans love a new event.

The Chefs, Caterers and Restaurants delivered at Chop Stix! Here was the Menu if you missed it. Chop Stix can’t be missed next year!

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So what’s next for my Foodies? Restaurant Week!

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Yes, I know Restaurant Week has lost its steam. Marketing has been ongoing but should be revised, including the selection of Ambassadors. JFDF being so close to Restaurant Week definitely overshadowed it.

Menus for Restaurants are more of the same, but it makes your choices that much easier. The good ones will pop out at you. So that means you may need to make reservations quickly or maybe not, because places I called yesterday that are normally booked out weeks in advance seemed to have quite a bit of space left.

For now, I am leaving you with my recommendations for the Epicurean and Delectable Categories. Here you go!

Epicurean ($4300 +tax +gratuity +beverages)

> The Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston.

Despite inconsistencies in service and quality throughout the year, they have managed to keep a good reputation for Restaurant Week so far.

Sidenote: I do not think any Restaurant in Market Place should be placed in the Epicurean Category. The venue is far too casual and a long wait is usually expected.

Out of town? Marguerites by the Sea, Montego Bay. You should expect a spectacular dinner and service with a seaside or picturesque garden view.

There are some other reputable Restaurants listed, but the lack of creativity with their Menus were the deal breakers.

Delectable ($3800JMD +GCT +gratuity +beverages)

> Fromage Bistro on Hillcrest Avenue in Kingston.

Nirvanna Indian Cuisine, Centro-Courtyard by the Marriott and Black Orchid Restaurant at Eden Gardens would be secondary choices.

In the other city? Both options from Mobay are primary choices – Mystic Thai and The Houseboat Grill. So persons can choose between the two based on the Cuisine desired.

***Stay tuned for more Restaurant Week choices from Suga Lifestyle.***

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this article, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

Participate in the Pacers Charity Run in Aid of the JCPD on Saturday, October 21!

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Run for Charity on Saturday, October 21 in the Pacers Running Club’s Charity Run. You can also use it as preparation for the Reggae Marathon coming up at Long Bay Beach Park, Negril on December 2!

Venue: Hope Gardens

Arrival Time: 4:15am

Start Time: 4:30am

Registration Cost before Oct. 16: $1500JMD; $2000JMD afterwards*

*REGISTRATION CLOSES on October 20, but it is best to Register Early so Pacers can prepare better for you!

This year’s Proceeds are in Aid of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD).

To Register and For More Information:

Website: http://www.pushitja.com

***Click on the Events tab, then Pacers Run***

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Promo, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

How was Kingston Kitchen?

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Kingston Kitchen was crawling with people when I arrived a little after 8pm last Saturday at Hope Gardens.

As I walked in I was happy to see one of my favourites, Stush in the Bush to my left, so that was my first stop. An Avocado Green Goddess Dressing immediately caught my eyes. Avocado and Guacamole are very popular right now. As a result, they were totally out of product and it was still early. A sample bottle was left. I got to taste it with a cracker and it was lovely. Now this Avocado dressing is quite versatile. You can use it on your burgers and Lisa Binns of Stush in the Bush even advised it is lovely on pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan. Yum! Remember their products are located at CPJ Market on Lady Musgrave Road.

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Moving along, I was greeted by a Suga Bear who told me that Suzanne Couch‘s food was a winner. I found a long line nearby. It wasn’t clear that it was her tent because she needed a bigger sign, but clearly word spread fast especially since she has a reputation for good quality food. Her meal was $800JMD including 2 meats (choices were Panko Fish, Sate Chicken Skewers and Pork), Oriental Cucumber salad, Coconut rice, Jerk Corn and Pasta Alfredo. Not to mention the variety of sauces offered such as Mango Chutney, Pineapple Salsa and Peanut Sauce. The picture featured does not do the quality of the meal justice as presentation was sloppy with everything piled on each other. But that heap of rice actually covered a good portion of my pork. The Pork was quite fatty but everything else was delicious. The Pasta Alfredo was spicy, so the Cucumber salad was a great choice to quell that heat.

Other highlights and observations? Persons got lucky with salivating Chicken and Waffles and the Lucky Bucket overflowing with extremely peppery Seafood and more such as Crab, Lobster legs, Louisiana Sausage, Corn, Potatoes etc. The Lucky Bucket that usually costs $1500JMD incl. Tax and Service Charge was just $800JMD for the night. What a deal! Both can be found at the Lucky Strike Lounge inside the Jamzone Bowling Alley in Manor Centre, Kingston 8 on Wednesday nights from 7pm-11pm.

Liqy Liqy and Tutti Frutti pleased as usual.

The Best Dressed Chicken Tent with Chef Brian Lumley had its familiar fans to see the Celebrity Chef at work and of course to taste what he had to offer. Apparently the Oxtail Wontons and Oxtail Pasta were a hit. Anything Chef Brian Lumley tends to do with Oxtail is perfection.

Reggae Jammin had delicious White Chocolate Smoothies and I also satisfied my craving for Magic Mint Lemonade from Tea Tree Creperie. On point!

The Ribs from Sheriff’s BBQ was not all that, also quite tough, but Lamb from NCR Sheep ‘sell off’! Literally.

Sliders from Fromage Gourmet Market were a hit as expected.

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Potato Pudding that was $150JMD a slice from Del & Dutchy touched the right spot. They cater, specialising in Jamaican dishes and operate out of Liguanea, Kingston 6. Looks like they are worth a try so call 876-833-0727 or email delndutchy@gmail.com for more information.

New Kids on the block, Ikiru, do not have a location yet but they are on Facebook. Persons who were in need of a refreshing drink with no added sugar and preservatives were pleased with their natural Naseberry and Papaya juices. They also had Fruit salads and Fruits with Yoghurt.

Pebble’s Pastries was there. Most of us know that the only thing good from them is their Cheesecake but Suga found Cheesecake on the other side of Kingston Kitchen too! It was from Sweet World Enterprise that operates out of Portmore, featuring Molly’s Cake Cups with Cheesecake in many different forms such as Oreo cheesecake, Red velvet cheesecake, the traditional Strawberry cheesecake and the list goes on for $600JMD each. Samples were given (God bless them!) and a hard decision was made between the Oreo Cheesecake and Strawberry Cheesecake. The narrow edge went to the Strawberry Cheesecake. It was divine. Not sure if they had cute little bags to put them in, but they were not offered so a lot of persons had to remember to come back to them and pick up before they left if they were too full like myself to have that on the spot. Check out Molly’s Cake Cups on Facebook and Instagram.

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Overall, food was affordable, a lot of filling food in the range of $500-800JMD and other booths not mentioned seemed to be well supported too. So I think it is safe to say the event was a success, especially for those who went mainly to socialize, have a family night, girls’ night out and to lyme. It is a pity they had to do it with the painfully annoying, loud saxophonist in the background. Until next time!

Kingston Kitchen tomorrow!

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Hey Foodies, Kingston Kitchen returns to Hope Gardens tomorrow from 6pm to midnight. They claim it is their 5th anniversary. I am sure most of us remember the first staging about 3 years ago? Go figure.

Pre-sold tickets are now $800JMD. But do not think this is a cheap event. I believe the concept has been lost a little. Less sampling, more selling and successful sponsors who everybody knows about already, take up a lot of space. Maybe it is part of their deal with the organizers. If you have been to a few of the recent stagings, you would realise you need to travel with some cash, minimum $3000JMD excluding entry money, if you choose about 2 or 3 vendors wisely plus drinks. Otherwise carry more, especially if it is a family night or you are carrying a date. Some spots may have regular plates, lots will have cocktail plates, so be sure to walk around if you are concerned about value for money and head there early!

Who will be there?

● Fromage Gourmet Market

● Sheriff Gourmet BBQ Ribs

● NCR Sheep Ltd. – Fresh, Local Lamb 

● Chef Brian Lumley with Best Dressed Chicken Jamaica

● Tooksie Kay Catering

● Soupie

● Liqy Liqy – All Natural Popsicles

● Street Food Saturdays

● Tea Trea Creperie

● Fork in the Road Food Truck from Mandeville

  ….. and more!

Pre-sold tickets can be bought at Candy Craze (Manor Park), Chocolate Dreams Jamaica (Devon House), Cafe Blue (Sovereign) and Tea Tree Creperie (80 Lady Musgrave Rd.).

If you don’t get to try everything, take some cards for another time.

Have fun !

Attention All Foodies! Kingston Kitchen this Saturday!

Tutti Frutti Truck + Rainforest Seafoods, Best Dressed Chicken, NCR Sheep, Hellshire Style Fish Booths and more will be there!

Pre-sold tickets available at CPJ Deli – Lady Musgrave Rd., Copy Cat – Barbican Centre, Cafe Blue – Sovereign, Tea Tree Creperie – 8 Hillcrest Ave. and Candy Craze – Manor Park.

Support Brand Jamaica – our local chefs, caterers, restaurants, small batch vendors and farmers.