Suga’s Ratings for The Lodge Restaurant at Tensing Pen Hotel
Date and time of visit: Saturday, November 23, 2019 at ~5:30pm
No. of diners: 2 adults
NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum
Food quality: ★★★★☆
Serving amount: ★★★★★
Value for $: ★★★★☆
The Lodge Restaurant had an intimate, open air setting overlooking the Caribbean sea from the cliffside in Negril. It’s name is quite appropriate with its homey, wooden and log decor, similar to a getaway log cabin or lodge. So homey, you would meet resident Ridgebacks, Tensing and what looked like his brother. No need to worry though, once ignored, they stayed at a tolerable distance and quietly moved to the next table. The thatched roof and seaside views made you remember you weren’t anywhere cold, but enjoying island temperatures and sea breeze instead.
We caught Negril’s famous sunset and enjoyed the well mixed cocktails from the bar and the Grilled Garlic Lobster, which was the special for the night. The Chef’s grill is visible to diners and the Lobster was freshly caught, cooked and seasoned to perfection. The dish was delish!
Most of the variety of items on the menu are done to order and seafood is freshly caught, but service was still timely and the staff were quite attentive and courteous.
Cheers to visiting The Lodge Restaurant! I had a pleasant, memorable stay at Tensing Pen too. It’s #SugaEndorsed.
The Lodge Restaurant at Tensing Pen
Location: Tensing Pen Hotel. West End Road, Negril
Date and time of visit: Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 8:30pm
No. of diners: 4 adults
NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum
Parking (Valet): ★★★★★
Food quality: ★★★★☆
Serving amount: ★★★★★
Value for $: ★★★★☆
Juniper on the Water offers valet parking and has both indoor and outdoor dining, but I can’t see why you would pass up the stellar views by the water to dine indoors.
They specialise in Seafood and offer happy hour daily, dinner nightly and weekend brunch.
Our server was a bit quick on taking away the menus each time, but other than that, she was polite and quite attentive.
Serving sizes were more than generous, as some mains could be shared for two. The seafood was fresh and the dishes were flavourful. We all enjoyed our appetizers and main courses, except for the Seared Red Snapper Fillet. Jamaicans tend to prefer Saltwater fish versus Freshwater fish and appreciate a bit more seasoning.
The Mussels were fantastic. It could be shared amongst our party of 4.
The Cioppino (USD $38) (Not photographed) that was a Gulf shrimp, mussels, clams, Atlantic cod, lobster meat Seafood Stew served with grilled bread was delightful as well.
Their signature Seafood Paella lived up to its prestigious reputation. It was a steamy burst of flavour that I thoroughly enjoyed.
There was no room for Dessert, but Juniper on the Water is #SugaEndorsed.
Juniper on the Water
Location: 1975 S Ocean Dr, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009, United States
Suga and a friend visited Fromage Brasserie that opened recently in the Market Place. It is a bigger location for Fromage Gourmet Market on Hillcrest that we know and love. They are one of my favourites.
I loved the elegant, modern decor from the ceiling to the floor. The hostess was pleasant and the waitress was professional. Seating was comfortable but not so sure about the 2-seater tables. They looked a bit too small.
I ordered the Lobster Bisque ($700JMD) recommended by the waitress that came out quickly but it was not in the usual Bread Boule that Fromage offers. However, I realised that I did not specify mainly because the waitress did not ask. The salt seemed to have gotten away in the soup so I was disappointed.
The Bacon Shrimp Chowder would need half an hour more to be ready so my friend didn’t bother to order it.
For the main I had trouble deciding because they had so many items on their menu. I think less items should be on the menu, similar to the Fromage on Hillcrest. Sometimes less is more.
I was deciding between the Seafood Risotto that I had seen pictures of and the Lobster Ravioli. Again, the waitress recommended the Lobster dish, saying the Risotto tends to be a bit heavy because of the Saffron cream sauce and I wasn’t in the mood for that so ordered the Lobster Ravioli ($2300JMD).
I recommended that my friend who loves Shrimp Pasta have the Pesto Pasta with Shrimp ($2000JMD).
When the food arrived in reasonable time I wish I recommended that for myself because I clearly made the wrong decision. My friend’s Pesto Pasta with Shrimp was delish. I started to wonder if the waitress just recommended Lobster dishes because it had Lobster. She had seemed confident with her recommendations but she was wrong this time.
I’m not sure if the Chef was having an off day but I know the kitchen wasn’t pressured. There were other diners but the Restaurant was far from full.
As you can see, the presentation was poor. I saw no evidence of a Ravioli wheel or stamp used to properly shape the pasta. The Ravioli was overcooked and/or it had too much flour. It had a doughy taste and the taste of the Lobster was absent. The sauce wasn’t much to be desired for either. It needed more of a lemon zest and perhaps some chopped basil, fresh parsley and a touch of garlic.
I told the waitress it was horrible and not to recommend it again. Hopefully the Chef gets it right soon or it should be removed from the menu.
I couldn’t let my first visit end on such a bad note after expectations were high. So I ordered the Lobster Mac and Cheese that looked salivating in pictures and on plates passing my table to other diners.
The Lobster Mac and Cheese ($1000JMD) came out quickly and definitely saved the day. Presentation got 10/10 but the quality got 7/10. Believe it or not, it actually didn’t taste as good as it looked. It was tasty but lacked flavour. I think it needed a more pungent cheese and some garlic and herbs to spice it up. The Lobster Mac and Cheese at The Regency Room, Terra Nova is still a winner.
It was a disappointing visit and I felt robbed paying for that Lobster Ravioli but it is still early days for the Restaurant and I know given the history of the owners they will keep striving for better quality and service. The new Brasserie seems a bit pricey but I shall return in the near future to try some meat dishes such as the Feta Crusted Lamb ($3050JMD), Steak and Frites ($2000JMD) and the Korean BBQ Pork Ribs ($2450JMD).
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Location: Market Place- 67 Constant Spring Road. Kingston.
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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After a 3-hour drive from Kingston on Sunday, November 15th, I arrived at Marguerites Seafood by the Sea, Montego Bay on time for my reservation at 8pm. Of course, I arrived not only hungry but with high expectations. Let me tell you from now that these high expectations were met!
My other half and I ordered by 8:05pm. The staff from the entrance to being seated were all very pleasant and professional. The ambience was lovely overlooking the sea where I sat on the balcony and the decor modern and decent. Sitting by the garden would have been nice as well.
Shelly Ann was our Maître d’ for the night. She worked hard to ensure everything was alright and checked in with our table now and then, but not to the point of being overwhelming. I noticed that the General Manager visited the table next to us as well, welcoming them and ensuring everything was satisfactory. I find that proper supervision and interaction with guests are very necessary when a restaurant wishes to provide and sustain a high level of service.
Appetizers were out within 10 minutes and the other dishes followed like clockwork. Our glasses were refilled with water when needed and our waiter, Ricardo offered us the Robert Mondavi wines that were on special for RW. We had the Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc.
All of the dishes were delicious. Presentation was salivating and serving sizes were appropriate. For instance, I was a bit worried about where I was going to fit dessert, but thankfully I was not tempted too much and the Bread pudding and Cheesecake were small and compact, just the right size to fit in the space available in my tummy without feeling uncomfortable.
The Appetizers were excellent. The Jerked Chicken Breast was well seasoned and minced up for the Beggars Purse and the Shrimp Trucillio had a lovely flavour. A delicious Caribbean Spiny Lobster Salad followed as a bonus with fresh veggies and a tasty vinaigrette. Then all of a sudden, our attention was called by one of the waiters to see a Stingray in the ocean. Hardly a dull moment at Marguerites!
When the Entrées arrived, I was even more impressed and instantly ready to ‘Dig In’! My gosh, the Lobster Flambè with black truffle risotto looked divine! Then as I was looking at the dish all mesmerized, Cecil the Executive Chef visited the table, greeted us pleasantly and told me that he was adding his sauce consisting of Rum beurre blanc and more, as well as edible sprouts. I could hardly find the words to describe the lobster. Juicy lobster accompanied by an absolutely delicious sauce and risotto. My other half had the Flambé Steak complemented by oxtail ragout. Perfection. Cooked exact to order, medium rare.
It was hard to leave. An extremely refreshing experience to have all-round excellent service and food. Epicurean to the core. It was definitely worth the drive and I cannot wait to return.
Marguerites Seafood by the Sea
Location: Gloucester Ave. (The Hip Strip), Montego Bay