It’s Pharmacy Week and Fontana Pharmacy will be offering FREE Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure Testing along with Discounts on All Prescriptions and Over the Counter Drugs at ALL LOCATIONS, this Thursday, November 23.
Locations: Kingston (Barbican Square), Ocho Rios (Eight Rivers Town Centre), Savanna-la-Mar (Beckford Plaza), Montego Bay (Fairview Shopping Centre)
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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***Prices for each category include choice of Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert. Beverages, GCT and Gratuity additional.***
There are many options, but just a few stand out for Suga based on reputation, service, previous experiences including RW experiences, their RW Menu, usual serving sizes and value for money.
The Palms at C&C South Beach and Tamarind Indian Cuisine.
Menu stand outs for C&C South Beach are their Smoked Salmon Salad Appetizer, Washington Palms Pork Chop and Seafood Thermidor main courses. Their options for Dessert should please everyone. Keep in mind that South Beach usually has large serving sizes.
Menu stand outs for Tamarind Indian Cuisine include the Non Veg Platter, which is a combination of assorted chicken tikka, sweet chilli shrimps and sliced Szechuan fried fish, as well as the Green Thai Curry with your choice of chicken, fish or shrimp accompanied by Naan bread/rice and Tiramisu for dessert.
I still haven’t made it out to Rib Kage at The Serengeti Bistro, Hope Zoo, but I have gotten good reviews. It could be safe to take a chance on them.
> Montego Bay
The new Hard Rock Cafe and the oldie but goodie, Pelican Grill are the best choices hands down.
> Ocho Rios
Evita’s Italian Restaurant is usually good and fairly new kids on the block, Great Escape Restaurant at Runaway Bay have been doing well. I had a good time at Great Escape for RW last year and their menu has not really changed Definitely value for money.
> Old Harbour
Kaluga Cafe should please RW diners.
Dragon Court Restaurant has been consistently good over the years.
> Montego Bay
MVP Smokehouse has a decent menu to explore.
Smoked Marlin has delicious food and an inviting menu with value for money, but I question their ability to provide good service with a RW crowd. Good risk to take though. I suggest you go with fun company.
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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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.
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 Presentation of some of the meals were also quite sloppy to say the least.
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.
Kudus to award-winning baker, Nadine Burie that probably saved both events. Her desserts are offered at Cafe Blue.
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.
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!
So what’s next for my Foodies? Restaurant Week!
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
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Stush in the Bush and Simo’s Bread and Catering joined forces for a Bottomless Mimosa Brunch, titled Moveable Feast, last Sunday, October 8th at Arcadia Great House in Duncans, Trelawny.
Not to be confused with Michele Williams’ Moveable Feast Catering Company that has been in the business in Jamaica for over 10 years, the title of the event was inspired by the title of an Ernest Hemingway novel, A Moveable Feast. Lisa Binns of Stush in the Bush loved the title of the novel and deemed it fit for her Brunch collaboration with Christina Simonitsch of Simo’s Bread and Catering. Lisa says she hopes to ultimately move this feast around the island.
With Stush in the Bush based in St. Ann and Simo’s Bread and Catering based in Montego Bay, I thought Trelawny was the appropriate destination for their first collaboration, almost meeting in the middle.
The magic of this Sweet and Savoury event surpassed my high expectations. They both put on a spectacular spread with efficient logistics for their guests to have enough time and space amongst themselves to pick, choose, refuse and then indulge by the luxurious indoor and scenic outdoor seating available. The décor and landscaping of the Great House were tastefully vintage. Exquisite antique furniture, art work and fixtures.
Four Buffet rooms, an Ice Cream stand and a Pizza station located all around Arcadia Great House, was the equivalent of pure magic.
My usual faves from Simo’s were present, such as the Mini Cronuts topped with delicious rose and pistachio icing, Mini Pancakes and Crème Brûlée. My favourites from Stush that made their usual cameo appearance were their Blow Fyah and Chimichurri sauce with Crisp Plantain chips, Guacamole sauce, Fyah Grilled Pizza and Passion Fruit and Mango-Lime Vinaigrettes to go with fresh greens sourced from their farm.
However, the two main items that stood out for me were the Charcoal Blinis with Truffle Aioli, Quail Eggs Benedict and Avo-Daise and the Rum BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork that were the definition of divine, intricate perfection.
Other highlights for me were the Quinoa Pilaf, Pimento Pickled Onion, Pulled Pork, Plantain Ceviche, Chia seed and Coconut Yogurt Parfait, Lemon Pound Cake with Passion Fruit Butter topped off with Vegan Chocolate sauce and my husband did well with the rich, moist Chocolate and Coffee Cake.
For Salad lovers, the Summer Panzanella with Rosemary Red Stripe Croutons was delish! I was impressed that the flavour of the Red Stripe was not lost in the salad. The Beet Carpaccio with Feta was a great pairing as well.
Keep in mind that nothing is basic with Simo’s. As simple as you would think Chocolate Crisp cookies would be, the touch of salt added brought the taste to a whole new level to enjoy without getting a toothache.
Of course, Mimosas were on tap and the Lemon grass and Ginger Tea served was rich in flavour and absolutely refreshing.
Lime Meringue Tartlets, Sausage and Cheese Quiche, Ackee and Callaloo Quiche, Spinach and Cheese Frittatas, Herb Roasted Tomato, as well as Almond and Apricot Focaccia with rosemary, Lemon Herbed Mushrooms, Cucumber salad, Herb Loaf, Banana Bread, Buns, Herbed Balsamic Sweet Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Mac n’ Cheese, Roasted Vegetables with fresh Herbs (Beets, Carrots, Pumpkin) were other Brunch delights. Believe it or not, there were actually a few more that weren’t listed.
Stush’s Candid Sorrel Chips were quite interesting too.
To seal the deal and cool me down after I was fired up from grilled Pizzas and more, was the Stush and Simo’s Ice Cream Bar. I thoroughly enjoyed the Coffee and Avocado Lime flavours. I really should have had them all, but I was pulled away.
Note that quite a bit of the Brunch delights were Vegan, Dairy and Gluten Free!
There were a variety of Preserves, Jams, Marmalades and Sauces that complemented their neighbours on the table quite well. For instance, the Jerk Aioli with the Rosemary Roasted Chicken. Some of them were on sale too.
Simo’s is now doing Honey! It was launched at Moveable Feast.
Purchasing reasonably priced cups of Deaf Can’s Cold Brew and Frappuccino, was the perfect ending to a magical day, which prepped us well for the drive back to Kingston.
Chef Colin Hylton described the event as ‘BEYOND amazing’ and Chef Craig Anthony Fleming, who usually describes the culinary work of Christina Simonitsch as ‘truly first world’ was surely in his element and stated, ‘the brunch selection was beyond perfection’.
Kudos to Chris and Lisa Binns from Stush in the Bush and Christina Simonitsch from Simo’s Bread and Catering, as well as their hard-working team for never compromising on the quality of their gastronomic spreads. Their punctuality, attention to detail, quality control, infectious personality and radiating passion for the love of food is impressive and I felt honored to be apart of their culinary perfection once again.