Suga Taster, Kimmy hits The Meena House in Port of Spain, Trinidad!

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Suga Taster, Kimberly Nesbeth’s Ratings for The Meena House, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Date and time of visit: August 16th @ 6pm

No. of diners: 7

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum

Parking: ★★★★★

Décor: ★★★★★

Comfort: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★★★

Speed: ★★★★★

Food quality: ★★★★★

Serving amount: ★★★★★

Plating: ★★★★★

Value for $: ★★★★★

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Suga Taster, Kimberly Nesbeth of Suga Lifestyle

Suga Taster, Kimmy’s Breakdown!

Who can resist visiting an Indian Restaurant while in Trinidad? The Meena House is known to offer Modernistic Indian Cuisine and this encompassed not only the menu, but the atmosphere.
The restaurant is outfitted with modern minimalist furniture married with Victorian-Indo-Saracenic accents.
Appetizers
My party of 7 ordered the Tandoori Nawaazish and the Breadfruit Masala Crepes as appetizers for sharing. Both appetizers totaled ~USD$40.
Main Dishes
The Lamb in the Tandoori Nawaazish appetizer was remarkable, which made the Kadhmiri Nalli (Lamb) a must have!
We ordered Butter Chicken, Matar Pneer, Pork Vindalo and Kovalam Chicken too. These dishes were accompanied by Basmati rice, Biryani rice, Garlic naan, Caramelized onion and Goat Cheese naan and Shyamli Shrimp naan.
Main dishes came to about USD $185. Everything was quite tasty. The Biryani rice was a fun item,  but it was blown out of the water by the Shyamli Shrimp naan! SPOILER ALERT! It was blue black because it had squid ink, which not only added the dramatic colour, but also an unexpected, yet pleasant flavour. It was stuffed with shrimp, saffron and cheese. Chef Umesh Meena even stopped by our table to ensure we were pleased with our meal.
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Shyamli Shrimp naan

Dessert
My party was full and satisfied, but we had to surrender to the dessert menu!
The Lemon & Rosemary Sorbet, Rose Pannacotta, Gulab Jabum and Baba Aur Rasili and the Chocolate tasting chose us! I won’t ruin the surprise that was dessert, but I will say it was the PERFECT finale to an extremely enjoyable dining experience!
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A few of the Dessert options from The Meena House

The Meena House, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Location: 3 Alcazar St., St. Clair, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, W.I.

Ph: (868) 332-6450

Email: reservations@themeenahouse.com

Website: http://www.themeenahouse.com

By: Kimberly Nesbeth (Suga Taster, Suga Lifestyle)

Edited By: Gabrielle Burgess (Founder/Owner, Suga Lifestyle)

If you liked this Blog, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

 

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TGIF to these Lamb Chops from Steak House on the Verandah!

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Lamb Chops in Mint Gastrique from Steak House on the Verandah

Salivating Lamb Chops in Mint Gastrique from Steak House on the Verandah!

What’s Gastrique? A sweet-and-sour sauce, where sugar or sometimes honey is caramelized and combined with the same portion of vinegar, ultimately making a slightly thickened syrup after it’s reduced.

Go get those Lamb chops and have a great weekend!

Steak House on the Verandah

***Reservations Recommended***

Location: Devon House

Ph: 876-616-8833

Facebook: @steakhouseja

Instagram: @thesteakhouseja

Opening Hours:

Mon. to Thurs. @ 12 noon – 9:30 pm

Fri. & Sat. @ 12 noon – 10:30 pm

***Closed on Sundays*** 

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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

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Café El Centro, cosy spot to eat all day long

About 2 Saturdays ago, Suga faced the famous question from her other half, ‘Where should we go for lunch?’. After the usual pondering for a few minutes, I mentioned that House of Loaves was having a New York ‘Halal’ Cart-Style day at Active Home Centre. His response when he looked at the ad showing that their food ranged from $800-$1500JMD was, ‘No sah. 15 bills for food from a truck that sells in New York for $7.99US and we can still sit down and have something nice somewhere else for that price or less?!’ He suggested Café El Centro above Fromage on Hillcrest avenue where friends have been going and enjoying their food, so I agreed to go.

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Smoked Pork Chops enjoyed by a Suga Bear yesterday at Café El Centro      Photo credit: Tennyson Arnold

We arrived at about 3:30pm and we were greeted pleasantly and seated. I instantly felt cosy in the quiet, quaint atmosphere with vintage décor. I loved the use of wooden palettes for the ceiling, hanging lanterns, decorated wooden signs on the walls and wine glasses hanging from the palettes in part of the ceiling above a wine and pastry cooler. All of this was complemented by a calming colour scheme of browns, beiges and a pastel green.

There were a few diners and one of them was enjoying Pancakes and Eggs beside us because they serve American-style Breakfast all day!

My husband and I were discussing items on the menu which they seemed to have revised again including items for dinner as well. The menu had quite a range of items including Paninis, Sandwiches and Wraps, Pastas, Soup, Snapper Fillet and Shrimp dishes, Pork Chops and more. The prices quoted were tax inclusive as well.

The diner beside us overheard us trying to decide and since I mentioned that I felt for a Wrap, she said that their Chicken Roti Wrap was really good. So my husband ordered the Lamb Burger with fries, which you can get with a wheat bun ($1200JMD) and I ordered the Curried Chicken Roti Wrap with veggies on the side ($950JMD).

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Our food arrived quickly and the manager, Tina Newman who took our order was very attentive. She was Professional but friendly at the same time. She gave my husband the option of having Mint jelly on the side, which she brought and I also ordered their homemade Lemonade ($300JMD) that was refreshing.

The Curried Chicken Roti Wrap was very tasty and did not kill me with pepper, it had just the right amount of spice that I enjoyed. I liked that the veggies were fresh as well.

The Lamb was tender and flavourful for the the Lamb Burger, the bun was fresh and it was appreciated that the meat filled the bun perfectly. Not many places get the meat and bun proportion right.

Even though we were sitting and chatting after our meal, our table was cleared quickly. The Chef came out and asked for our feedback, which was positive.

Tina came back over to our table and told us about their Steak night that they started on Fridays. Since Medusas is now closed, the same Chef Robin Rickhi does Steak night and I know his Steaks are succulent and he has a special marinated seasoning.

We were told they face the demand for Steak on other days so she said you can call in your order early if you wish to do so and the Chef there will whip it up for you, whether you are ordering steak or not.

The newlyweds had a delightful experience and we will return.

Café El Centro 

Location: 8 Hillcrest Avenue

Ph: 876-927-8415

Opening hours: 9am -10pm

Email: cafeelcentro@gmail.com

 

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Flambé is Today! Don’t miss out on Lamb for Dinner!

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The menu is comprised of Lamb cooked in a variety of ways at an extremely reasonable price. There will be no Curried or Hawaiian Lamb today but they will have a Jerk Lamb Sausage Pasta! Water and mixed drinks will be on sale as well.

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About 35 pounds of fresh lamb is used for the event. Slaughtered lamb is not usually sold after 2 weeks. So the lamb from NCR Sheep isn’t only fresh, but it is unique in that it is local! Remember, large companies such as Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) Meats sell imported lamb.

Lamb from NCR Sheep can also be consumed at the renowned Round Hill Hotel, Montego Bay, popular restaurants, bars and cafes such as Opa!, Saffron, 689 by Brian Lumley, Caffé da Vince, Tamarind, JoJo’s Jerk Pit and More, The Wine Shop, Cafe el Centro, Pushpa’s, Ribbiz Ultra Lounge and even by Hopeton the ‘Jerk Man’ at Northside Plaza.

Contact NCR Sheep Ltd. for lamb at 876.548.1178 (Ph.) or ncrsheep@gmail.com (email). You can also like their Facebook page, ‘NCR Sheep Ltd.’ to keep updated with NCR Sheep Ltd. events.

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Remember to VOTE for Gabby from Suga Lifestyle to be 

The Jamaica Gleaner’s Restaurant Week Ambassador!

Go to http://go-jamaica.com/rw/ambassador

You have 10 votes per device and wifi connection until October 2, 2015. Just Refresh the page after each vote as instructed. Much love!

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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 !

A. Hawaiian Lamb & Lamb Soup (29/4/15); B. Lamb Shank at Caffe da Vince; C. Patrons enjoying Flambé; D. Neville Graham, a Dir. Of NCR Sheep Ltd. at work on the farm

Get Fresh Lamb at the monthly event, Flambé and other locations supplied by NCR Sheep Ltd. near you!

A. Hawaiian Lamb & Lamb Soup (29/4/15); B. Lamb Shank at Caffe da Vince; C. Patrons enjoying Flambé; D. Neville Graham, a Dir. Of NCR Sheep Ltd. at work on the farm

A. Hawaiian Lamb & Lamb Soup (Flambé 29/4/15); B. Lamb Shank at Caffe da Vince; C. Patrons enjoying Flambé; D. Neville Graham, a Dir. of NCR Sheep Ltd. at work on the farm

NCR (Neville Graham, Carlington Wright, Richard Smith) Sheep Ltd. started hosting the event Flambé about 2 years ago in order to decrease excess inventory and to get more Jamaicans to try lamb. A lot of patrons have tasted lamb for the first time at Flambé.

The venue of Flambé used to be at a house either on Marley Close or in Beverley Hills. However, the word has gotten out more and Flambé is now held at a bigger and extremely central, convenient location at the Caribbean School of Medical Sciences on 8 Waterloo Road. The number of patrons are continuously growing and upon my visit last Wednesday, when I arrived at about 8:20pm and stayed until 10pm, I noticed that there was a steady flow of people who rolled in and out.

So, on the last Wednesday of every month that usually falls on or soon after pay-day, what better way to treat yourself than going to Flambé? It won’t dig a hole into your pay cheque that’s for sure. So you can go, full your belly, mingle with some friends, family or co-workers and leave with an almost full wallet too.

The event starts at 6pm and usually ends at 9pm. Some persons leave straight from work, arrive as early as 5:30pm and wait until the food is ready so they can pick up and go. They find it convenient because they got dinner to go and at that time, most of the traffic would have subsided. While most of the people who wish to hang around and mingle after they eat usually arrive around 7pm.

The menu is comprised of lamb cooked in a variety of ways at an extremely reasonable price. Curried lamb ($400JMD), Hawaiian lamb ($400JMD), Jerked lamb ribs ($500JMD per 1/4 pound), Lamb Burger ($350JMD), Lamb soup ($100JMD) were available at the last Flambé held on April 29, 2015. Water and mixed drinks were on sale as well.

Over the years I have tasted all of the above mentioned. I always found the various options to be tasty and the meat to be fresh and tender. I had the Hawaiian lamb and Jerked lamb ribs with lamb soup last Wednesday. The soup was tasty and spicy but did not have a lot of meat. It doesn’t usually but you taste the ‘essence’ of the lamb. The Jerked Lamb ribs could use a bit more seasoning and sauce was lacking that particular night. That was not the issue with the Hawaiian lamb though, as it had a lovely flavour and sauce. Sides included in the meal served are usually Pumpkin rice and Spaghetti. However, I would love to see a change in side options offered from time to time, perhaps a nice salad, mashed, baked or roasted potatoes, plain rice with the Curried lamb etc. One of the Directors, Neville Graham mentioned that he does the cooking along with his Operations Manager, Delroy McKay. So it seems they have shied away from anything extravagant but at least he mentioned that they are open to providing different options.

I relaxed a bit after eating, mingled with friends and persons that I haven’t had the opportunity to see recently and enjoyed the background music. There was a sound system set up and I definitely appreciated the volume not being loud and the selection played. It was really a comfortable, casual atmosphere and if you are trying to escape the summer heat in the house, the wind seemed to be blowing that way. The venue is out in the open and it was quite cool.

About 35 pounds of fresh lamb is used for the event. Slaughtered lamb is not usually sold after 2 weeks. So the lamb from NCR Sheep isn’t only fresh, but it is unique in that it is local! Large companies such as Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) Meats sell imported lamb.

Lamb from NCR Sheep can also be consumed at the renowned Round Hill Hotel, Montego Bay, popular restaurants, bars and cafes such as Opa!, Saffron, 689 by Brian Lumley, Caffé da Vince, Tamarind, JoJo’s Jerk Pit and More, The Wine Shop, Cafe el Centro, Pushpa’s, Ribbiz Ultra Lounge and even by Hopeton the ‘Jerk Man’ at Northside Plaza.

Contact NCR Sheep Ltd. for lamb at 876.548.1178 (Ph.) or ncrsheep@gmail.com (email). You can also like their Facebook page, ‘NCR Sheep Ltd.’ to keep updated with NCR Sheep Ltd. events.

JoJo’s Jerk Pit and More’s Menu expands, Service improves but Quality still very very Regula

I have visited JoJo’s three times in the past month. Definitely not by choice but occasions arose. What can I say? Their menu has expanded! Wow. However, on a full night with live music, expect slow, poor service. Only order things that are on their grill, such as Jerk Chicken and Pork, the fastest of the slowest. That sums up the first visit.

The last two visits had a new but familiar face. Good old Glen that hops around from bar to bar, claiming its when they need service to speed up and improve he is called upon. I can see why, because there is usually a long wait at JoJo’s. Glen is slightly annoying in personality but humorous around the edges, confident and most importantly, usually serves efficiently. 

The last two visits included a half empty Tuesday night and a fairly full Saturday night with fast service for both nights from Glen and the kitchen. The food? The taste is ever so basic. Nothing special. Go there if you have to or you are just hungry and need some simple grub. What’s up with that Jerk Chicken Pizza?!!! Slices of thick hard dough bread with hardly enough ketchup or sauce, some tasteless cheese and bland chicken. Not even likkle oregano and pepper? Poor. 

Saltfish Fritters? Ok but too much batter.

Their Gungu Peas soup is nice and filling. 

The Cook up Saltfish ($350) could be spicier but it is quite tasty.

Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork with fries, rice and peas or sweet potato are usually reasonably tasty as well.

Their Philly Cheese Steak sandwich that has Chicken but not Steak is delicious.

Their prices? With the exception of that horrible excuse of a Pizza for $400JMD, prices are extremely affordable. Makes sense and aligns with the basic quality of food. Hopefully the fast service is maintained.