Tag Archives: Mystic Thai

Late with Dinner/Spa Reservations? Where to go Today in Ja!

Happy Ash Wednesday and Happy Valentine’s Day Suga Bears!

Suga has shortlisted a few places for Dinner for the late or spontaneous planners that do not want to spend the day at home. These Restaurants have been chosen based on their Prices per Couple, Reputation in Quality of Food and Service, Ambience and of course, their advertised Menu options.

Mystic Thai ($6990 per couple incl. Tx)

Location: B11 – Fairview Towne Centre Unit, Montego Bay

Ph: 876-633-6535

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The Palms at CC South Beach ($8625JMD per couple incl. Tx and Service Charge

Location: 2 Brompton Rd. Kgn. 5

Ph: 876-919-3700

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Jamaica Liquor Warehouse ($9487.50JMD per couple incl. Tx & Service Charge)

Location:  17 Lindsay Crescent, Kingston

Ph: 876-925-9427

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100 Hope Road ($11500JMD per couple incl. Tx & Service charge)

Location: 100 Hope Road. Kgn. 6

Ph: 876-665-3238

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The Steak House on the Verandah ($12647.84JMD per couple incl. of Tx & Service Charge)

Location: Devon House, Waterloo Road. Kgn.

Ph: 876-616-8831/876-616-8833

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The Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel  ($17600JMD per couple incl. Tx & Service Charge)

Location: 17 Waterloo Road. Kgn. 10.

Ph: 876-926-2211; 876-926-9334

If you would like to really go all out, A la Carte Fine-dining at the Terra Nova may be the choice for you!

The Terra Nova is offering a Valentine’s Day Dinner with two options, Poolside Buffet dining and A la Carte Fine-dining by The Terrace. The Buffet option is slightly less per couple, but I prefer and recommend dining that is less public with less forced interaction and the temperature and quality of food A la Carte is usually better. Jazz after Dark will follow too! Give them a call for more information and to make reservations.

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If you would like to pamper your loved one or even treat yourself, this Spa option is Suga’s #1 Recommendation:

 The White Orchid Spa at The Jamaica Pegasus!

Location: The Jamaica Pegasus at 81 Knutsford Blvd., Kgn 5.

Ph: 876-926-3690

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Enjoy!

~ With Love from Suga ~

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Suga a.k.a Gabby with husband, Randy Burgess, enjoying Valentine’s Day Brunch hosted by Simo’s Bread and Catering (Christina Simonitsch) and Tooksie Kay Catering (Alexa Von Strolley) on Sunday, February 11 at Kayter on 18 Balleter Avenue.

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Crispy Pig Ears from Chef Mark Cole at The Jamaica Pegasus!

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Crispy Pig Ears by Executive Chef, Mark Cole at The Jamaica Pegasus

Have you ever had Pig Ears? If you were at the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival’s event, Crisp, in November 2017, you would have had the pleasure of tasting crispy Pig Ears from two Suga Endorsed Chefs! – Chef Christina Simonitsch of Simo’s Bread and Catering and Executive Chef Mark Cole of The Jamaica Pegasus, who cooked divine dishes for President Barack Obama, Prince Harry and Princess Ann. They put on quite a display.

Last December I tasted long cuts of Crispy Pig Ears (hair removed of course) prepared by Chef Cole at The Jamaica Pegasus.

I loved it! It tasted like a cross between Calamari and Squid.

The entire Pig Ear was used, so all of it was not crispy. My friends were not fans of the outer ear’s gelatinous texture, which they called the ‘gooey’ and ‘rubbery’ part. However, the cartilage in the center that is crunchy and tasted crispy to us, was their favourite. I liked all of it.

Pig Ears aren’t that popular to be a part of the Menu at The Jamaica Pegasus yet, but I am happy I had the experience of tasting it.

I can see Crispy Pig Ears as an Appetizer or Side dish that goes well with Beer.

Pig Ears can be eaten warm or cold and are cooked in various ways all over the world, often served with a lemon, soy sauce or even vinegar when pickled. They are usually Boiled first, then Grilled, Stewed, Roasted, Pickled, Smoked, Baked or Deep Fried.

The Bulgarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, American, Lithuanian, Filipino and Vietnamese often offer Pig Ear dishes as part of their Cuisines.

I challenge Best Ethnic Restaurant of 2017 and one of my faves, Mystic Thai in Montego Bay to offer a dish with Pig Ears on the menu! Suga will be in Montego Bay soon. 😊

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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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

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TGIF to this Steamed Sea Bass from Mystic Thai!

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Steamed Sea Bass with Lemon Grass infused Pakchoy (Photo: Mystic Thai Jamaica)

Another Restaurant found that isn’t short on Lemon Grass. Kudos to Mystic Thai Jamaica, this dish looks delish!

Mystic Thai (Asian & Thai Cuisine)

Location: B11 – Fairview Towne Centre Unit, Montego Bay

Ph: 876-633-6535

Website: http://www.mysticthaijamaica.com

Opening Hours: Mondays – Sundays, 11:30am – 10pm

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Authentic and Healthy Thai Cuisine in the 2nd City, Montego Bay!

Suga finally got to visit Mystic Thai in Montego Bay with her cousin a little over a month ago. The Restaurant has gotten rave reviews since it opened its doors about summer last year.

It was a rainy Saturday night on May 6th at about 9pm. My cousin, Tina Davis, who is no stranger to their Lunch Specials walked into familiar territory, while I was instantly impressed by the modern décor consisting of elegant Thai silk lanterns and comfortable seating. The heavy rains probably kept away most diners but a few were still there and I appreciated the spacious environment and ambience.

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Photo credit: Christina Simonitsch

Our host and waitress were extremely polite and we were also greeted by the owner, Mrs. Kareena Mahbubani. She offered suggestions according to the pairings of the Curry with various meats and told us that their Green Thai Curry is a favourite amongst her diners. So of course I decided to have it.

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Shrimp and Scallion Dumplings ($10USD)

We started off with Shrimp and Scallion Dumplings ($10USD) and Mushroom Basil Dumplings ($8USD). They take a little while because they are steamed and they came out steaming indeed. They were delicious with the accompanying sauces to add flavour of your liking, whether spicy, salty or sweet.

We then had Crispy Fried Okra infused with Lemongrass, which was surprisingly and absolutely delightful.

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Crispy Fried Okra infused with Lemongrass

We moved on to our Mains of Chicken in Green Thai Curry ($12USD) and Duck in Red Thai Curry ($18USD), along with Rice and Stir Fried Veggies. I cannot forget to mention our Johnny Walker Mojitos from the Bar that were deliciously refreshing.

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A. Chicken in Green Thai Curry ($12USD); B. Duck in Red Thai Curry ($18USD)

Note that I mentioned the Rice, because diners at Mystic Thai and some other Indian Restaurants may notice and wonder why they are charged for Rice separately. Other than wondering what else are you to eat with the meats, there is the comparison to Chinese Restaurants where you get Rice in abundance. Mystic Thai uses Jasmine rice that soaks up the flavour of the gravies and the quality of local rice which is less expensive and used by the Chinese Restaurants is totally different.

Diners at Mystic Thai also like to mix and match their sides, not necessarily ordering Rice. Quinoa for about $6USD is a healthy option as well as Steamed Vegetables. For now, a serving of Jasmine rice is an additional $3USD, but Mystic Thai will give diners the option to decide on their own soon by offering local rice with their Lunch Specials.

With regards to the Curries we chose, the popular Green Thai Curry is a blend of fresh Green Chillies, Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Lemongrass and Thai herbs. While the Red Thai Curry is the most versatile of the Thai Curries and is a blend of dried Red Chillies, Kaffir Lime Rind, Coriander Root and Cumin.

We enjoyed the exquisite blend of infused flavours that complemented each other so well. The good thing about dining at Mystic Thai is that they encourage Family style dining so the portion/serving sizes are appropriate for sharing and of course treats your tastebuds to so many different flavours. None of the flavours are overpowering either, as they balance each other out.

I was impressed with the attentiveness of the staff and overall commendable service. The owner, Kareena had such a warm and regal presence in the Restaurant, that I was propelled to give her a call for a follow up discussion about my intriguing experience.

Most of you may know that Kareena is no stranger to the business. She is also the owner of Mystic India in Whitter Village, Ironshore, Montego Bay. She studied Hotel Management in Mumbai, India and knew that she wanted to own a Restaurant from a very young age.

Kareena enjoys Thai cuisine so decided to open Mystic Thai in addition to Mystic India.

Indian cuisine is considered to be fattening so as a fitness enthusiast that endures the struggle of being a foodie, I came to understand that Thai Cuisine is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. This must explain why instead of feeling heavy and full as I often do after indulging in Indian cuisine, I felt satisfied but still light after our dinner at Mystic Thai.

What makes Thai Cuisine healthy?

Natural and fresh ingredients are paired with a variety of spices, herbs and vegetables. Examples of such are turmeric, galangal, coriander, lemongrass and fresh chillies that have immune-boosting and disease-fighting power.

At Mystic Thai, everything is made to order and all the spices, herbs and vegetables are prepped fresh every morning. Their gravies are made daily. Note that at least 16 different ingredients are used in every dish so there is a lot that goes into their preparation and she has quite an efficient team. Indian cuisine on the other hand uses five basic gravies that are made and stored.

The meats are usually grilled or put on the wok, which is the pot used for various methods of cooking Asian cuisine, whether it may be stir frying, boiling, steaming, roasting etc. The temperature on the wok is so high that the meats or vegetables only need a minute or two on it, resulting in all the nutrients being preserved.

With all healthiness aside, note that we still had dessert!

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Chocolate Mousse

We closed dinner with a tasty Chocolate Mousse. I didn’t get the chance to have the Fruit and Nut Chocolate Naan from the Restaurant’s Indian dessert menu, so I will definitely be returning for that one, which seems to a favourite as well.

A few weeks ago, Mystic Thai received the award for ‘Best Ethnic Restaurant’ at The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards along with a favourite of mine in Kingston, Nirvanna Indian Cuisine.

Congratulations to Kareena and her staff at Mystic Thai! Well deserved. It is definitely the place in Jamaica to get Authentic Thai and Asian cuisine. #sugaendorsed

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Happy Diners at Mystic Thai: Tina Davis of the soon to be opened Cafe at the Martha Brae Bamboo Rafting attraction in Trelawny and cousin, Gabby from Suga Lifestyle

Mystic Thai (Asian & Thai Cuisine)

Location: B11 – Fairview Towne Centre Unit, Montego Bay

Ph: 876-633-6535

Website: http://www.mysticthaijamaica.com

Opening Hours: Mondays – Sundays @ 11:30am – 10pm

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Where to Reserve your Tables for RW’s Delectable Category!

Suga could not select a clear #1 choice for RW’s Delectable Category ($3800JMD excl. Bar, GCT, Service charge) this year because of the difference in Cuisines.

So Suga’s Top 2 picks are the relatively new kid on the block, Nirvanna Indian Fusion Cuisine in Kingston and the always outstanding, Houseboat Grill in Montego Bay based on their menus and in turn value for money, ambience, décor and service.

The Surf and Turf from The Houseboat Grill should be to die for!

Remember that the Delectable and Epicurean categories are excellent considerations for Date nights or to dress up and go out with Friends and Family. Shampoo!

Dinner from Nirvanna last December 2015!

Chicken with Spinach, Chicken with Fenugreek and a RW 2016 Menu item, Tikka Masala

For Kingston, the runner-up choice for me is Redbones Blues Café. They do a lovely Lobster Pasta. I expect more of the same from Majestic and Whitebones so did not consider them. The Restaurants listed under Kingston should be revised for this Category.

The runner-up for Montego Bay is the new, Mystic Thai. I think they could do better with their menu based on what they are capable of offering though.

For Ocho Rios, I gave Evita’s Italian Restaurant the edge over Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove for those that haven’t visited Evita’s in years. Both have good service and food but Christopher’s has the better view if seated outside. So Christopher’s is known for delicious, authentic food with a seaside view but even though the menu for Evita’s seems more of the same, their Linguine ‘Contessa’ Fettuccine was one of my most memorable and favourite RW dishes to date. Whole Lobster in the shell tossed with Baby Shrimp and Lobster meat! The Salmon Risotto was lovely as well.

Evita’s RW 2014!

Linguine ‘Contessa’ Fettuccine

***For Reservations***

● The Houseboat Grill

Location: Montego Freeport, St. James. Montego Bay

Ph: 876-979-8845

● Nirvanna Indian Fusion Cuisine

Location: Unit 1, 80 Lady Musgrave, Kingston 10

Ph: 876-927-9077; 876-927-9634

● Evita’s Italian Restaurant

Location: Eden Bower Road. St. Ann. Ocho Rios

Ph: 876-974-1012;876-974-2333

● Redbones Blues Café

Location: 1 Argyle Road. Kingston 10

Ph: 876-978-6091

By: Gabrielle Burgess
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