Many of you may be seasoned Restaurant Week (RW) attendees by now. Since Suga is in the same boat, I have selected restaurants whose menus have stood out and are different from what they usually have for RW. They also have a reputation for good service, good quality food and value for money.
For those who still have a lot to experience with Restaurant Week, take a gamble if you do not see your choice on my list. You never know, you may end up with a winner for dinner.
Let’s get to it!
***The Price of each category includes a choice of appetizer, main course and dessert. Beverages, G.C.T and gratuity additional***
Fromage Brasserie in Kingston! Best menu on the Epicurean list.
Nirvanna Indian Restaurant in Kingston! Best Ethnic Restaurant in Kingston. Great choice for an authentic, Indian feast.
• Chive Eatery in Village Plaza, Kingston – New kids on the block with a killer menu of Pork buns, Oxtail Alfredo, their Signature dish of Crispy, glazed Pork Belly stuffed in a steamed bao bun with hoisin sauce, ginger and pickled cucumbers and more! They may be the dark horse of RW!
• Jamaica Liquor Warehouse in Kingston – One of my favourites. I would eat anything on their menu. Great variety, taste, good service and value for money.
• Tamarind Indian Cuisine in Kingston –Never usually disappoints. Savoury, authentic Indian food with good service.
• Pelican Grill has served well for many years. I would go with them if choosing this category in the second city.
I would also take a gamble with:
• Bubble & Spice, Coral Cliff
• Pier 1
• Uncorked West
• Anglers – A family pleaser with a mouth-watering seafood menu.
• Evita’s Italian Restaurant – They practically have the same menu each year, but it is so extensive that you can keep trying new savoury dishes in a delightful ambience with good service.
• Seaside Dutchie– Great seafood by the sea with unique presentation. This visit could be a fun family day or evening out. Their seafood is usually served in reasonable time compared to others.
• Sharkies Bar Grill & Tours in Runaway Bay– You may run the risk of a long wait, but it’s usually worth it. Great seafood by the sea.
• Smoked Marin Restaurant in Hanover – Delicious food by the sea with big portions. Their Signature Jerked Calamari dish looks interesting.
NYAM & SCRAM (30% off/Discounted Lunch Specials)
• Devon House Bakery for sweeting up the palate after a reduced size main.
• Fish Pot for serving up value for money for the people. They have a healthy salmon dish and a creamy coconut lobster pasta!
• Kushites Vegetable Cuisine -Take advantage of their deals! Best vegetarian restaurant in Jamaica.
● Super’s Spicy Doubles– I’ve never been, but I would take a gamble with those curry dish deals for $600JMD or less.
MORNING BITES (Discounted Breakfast Specials)
Mr. Breakfastlooks like a deal!
Reservations are recommended for all categories except for Nyam and Scram and Morning Bites. I suggest you still call ahead or just before you make your way for the restaurants that aren’t fast food ones in the Nyam and Scram category.
Check out Restaurant Week’s Website, http://go-jamaica.com/rw/ to see full menus and to find contact information and locations for the Restaurants.
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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How was Restaurant Week for Suga and her Suga Bears? Not so exciting. The majority of Suga Bears’ responses were ‘meh’, ‘It wasn’t all that’ and ‘I didn’t participate this year or feel the urge to’. I totally agree. Marketing was probably at its lowest this year. It seemed as if the Ambassadors were practically invisible until the week had almost passed by. The Nyam & Jam Food and Drink Festival had a lot more buzz going on. Did the US elections and the victory of Donald Trump kill advertising? It’s partially the media’s event so they should have had control over that.
The lack of creativity and variety in Menus were also disappointing for many this year, causing some not to participate at all.
Though in agreement, I still tried to find and suggest the best Restaurants and got a few to change their mind. One was pleasantly surprised with Nirvanna Indian Fusion Cuisine’s Nyam and Scram. It was not only affordable but filling and delicious with the right amount of spice.
Sugacan’t say the same for CPJ Deli’s Nyam & Scram though. Thankfully I made the right choice with the Pan Seared Snapper Fillet. It was the best of the worse at the table with its bones and all. The Grilled Garlic and Ginger Pork Chop was lacking seasoning and a salivating sauce and the Crispy Parmesan Shrimp Salad was a disaster. The best thing on that plate was the taco shell that the Salad came in. The Salad arrived at the table with no vinaigrette as advertised and the Shrimps were burnt. When my friend was already trying her best to get halfway through, the waitress realised she forgot to serve it with the vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese for the Shrimp. The Parmesan cheese could not help that dry, burnt Shrimp though. Most of the staff were unpleasant and seemed overwhelmed by the Deli full of diners. They usually have good service but last Saturday was horrible. Even getting an extra fork was a production. Their Restaurant Week menu did not include a Soup or even a Muffin but only a glass of wine or a Vodka mix along with the meal. Thankfully we digressed from the Restaurant Week menu and ordered the Chocolate Endulgence. Go to CPJ Deli if you are in need of a proper Chocolate fix! Let it soften from the fridge for a bit and then allow it take your breath away. Endulge!
Cannonball Café was a good Nyam & Scram pick as I had suggested. They really were all that and a bag of chips.
The Houseboat Grill (Delectable) in Montego Bay was average and the food was described as salty. Have they fallen off? That would be a shame. Suga will have to revisit and see for herself.
Mystic Thai (Delectable) in Montego Bay had good feedback. It was said that their ambiance and service were great as usual. They offered 1 of each Appetizer. My Suga Bear was not a fan of the Wings Appetizer and found the Salmon to be satisfactory, but enjoyed the Minced Chicken Entrée and Chocolate Mousse.
Marguerites Seafood by the Sea in Montego Bay (Epicurean) has kept up its sensational standards.
I was let down by the build up for L’Escargot (Epicurean). Thankfully the best thing was their Escargots. Long waits, tasty but not so delicious food, desserts that were not decadent and waiters that lacked charisma. Not value for money but will revisit as they have an extensive menu.
I was disapponted that I did not get to try Boardwalk Bistro, Ocho Rios (Tasty) for Restaurant Week. They took a while to greet me as a diner and did not start serving the RW menu until 5:30pm. Since it was literally on the Boardwalk close to the sea and given the casual look of the Restaurant & Bar, I think it would have been appropriate to offer their menu during lunch time was well. The tourists on their Cruise may have also enjoyed that option.
Sadly I will have wait to return some day to taste their Rum Fire Ice Cream Cake (if available) that I was looking forward to, as well as one of their best sellers, the Fisherman Seafood dish with scallops, shrimp, squid, mussels and fish.
Great Escape at Runaway Bay Golf Club (Savoury) was a pleasant surprise. New kids on the block with great service and food with a picturesque view.
Evita’s Italian (Delectable) alsoheld it down in Ocho Rios. Kudos to them. They had another good year.
In Kingston, it was reported that Redbones (Delectable) was good but not great. I think they are consistently good but didn’t see based on their menu where they would be spectacular.
Saffron Indian Cuisine (Savoury) was not prepared for Restaurant week. A Suga Bear had an 8:00pm reservation with friends and got seated at 8:50pm at a two seater table for three people. What a shame.
The Regency Room at Terra Nova All Suite Hotel (Epicurean) lived up to its reputation of having the best Lamb Chops!
Many Restaurants may not have been mentioned but these are the highlights for Suga this year based on experiences and feedback given. If you did not choose to participate in Restaurant Week this year, still have a look at the Restaurants at http://www.go-jamaica.com/rw/ and see where looks interesting that you haven’t visited as yet. Let us remember Restaurants not only treat diners with special offers for Restaurant Week but participate for opportunities to expand their patronage and debut new items on their Menus.
I look forward to trying Bettino by Drax Hall Estate, Ocho Rios and Smoked Marlin in Hanover some day soon.
Well that’s it for this year folks. Until next year!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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The Great Escape at Runaway Bay Golf Club is a fairly new Restaurant that opened on August 26th this year. It is a few minutes down the road from L’Escargot and across the road from Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort. They offer Guests at Jewel a $25USD surcharge for a 3-course meal if they wish to dine there.
The Great Escape was the last stop for my husband, Randy and I before heading back to Kingston last Sunday and it was the best stop, other than duty free shopping.
We arrived a few minutes before our 5:30pm reservation to the new and well kept property. We felt welcomed from the parking lot to the lobby and then right upstairs to the Restaurant. Such pleasant staff.
We were seated and brought up to speed with what they had to offer by the well informed hostess and then came Ramiro, our unforgettable waiter. He was both charming and humorous and moved quickly and efficiently each time he came to our table.
We felt comfortable overlooking picturesque views of the well manicured Golf Course, a farm and just a touch of the Caribbean Sea across the road.
Before I start with the Appetizers, I have to mention their freshly baked bread. Yes, the bread. They served two types of bread. There were slices with cinnamon and raisins and slices with swirls of callaloo. The bread was not on ration either. Kudos to them and a promising start.
Randy and I had the ‘Farmer’s’ Pumpkin and Basil Soup with rosemary skewered grilled Shrimp. The Soup was spicy and the rosemary skewer was a nice touch adding more flavour.
We also peeked over at another table and saw that the Runaway Bay ‘Jerked Chicken’ Cigars (Crisp Spring roll filled with Jerk Chicken, orange glaze, red and white cabbage slaw) actually came in what looked like a Cigar box! So creative! When we saw that and how well our Soup was presented, we were instantly reminded of our visit to Blue Ridge Restaurant in Blue Mountain, whose creativity in plating was on a different level.
Our table was cleared as soon as we were finished with our Soup and the Entrees came out right after like clockwork as it should.
Randy’s Free Range Chicken Breast and Crayfish had a sizzling arrival to our table. Plating and presentation were lovely. He had the choices of herbs, salsa and a sauce that were neatly laid out as well to add more flavour.
It was Free Range Chicken so it was not fatty and its pairing with the Crayfish was delightful.
His dish seemed exciting but mine was delicious as well. I had the ‘Appleton-Guava Glazed’ Salmon that was well cooked, floating on shrimp and potato mash, sautéed mushroom, roasted corn, bell pepper salsa and guava.
Our Potato mash was tasty, fluffy and flavourful with a few herbs.
Dessert was not as spectacular but we appreciated that it was freshly baked by the restaurant and at that point we had our fill anyway. Randy had the Hazel Nut and Ganache ‘Fried Brioche’ hand rolled and filled, topped with cinnamon cream, but he could hardly taste any of the filling. I am not a big fan of flourless Chocolate Cake but Randy likes anything with chocolate so he enjoyed taking a few bites of mine, while I enjoyed the Sorbet.
I look forward to visiting the Great Escape again and encourage others to do so too. It is definitely Suga endorsed. Great service, creative plating and menu, lovely presentation and delicious, affordable food. For the Savoury category for Restaurant Week ($2800JMD excluding Bar, Service Charge, G.C.T), it was surely value for money. Keep it up Great Escape!
Great Escape Restaurant, Runaway Bay Golf Club
Location: Main Street, Runaway Bay. St. Ann, Ocho Rios
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Restaurants in the 3 cities were certainly buzzing with diners throughout Restaurant Week (RW) that was held November 13 – 21. Persons were excited to ‘Dig in’, the slogan used for this year’s RW.
Suga was happy to report that all, if not, most of her recommendations were excellent choices based on feedback from Suga bears a.k.a. Suga Lifestyle readers and friends.
Just to highlight a few,
One Love Cafeat Bob Marley’s Museum and Susie’s Bakery & Coffee Bar really satisfied diners for the Nyam and Scram category.
For the Tasty Category, the UTECH students from Lillian’s Restaurant who seemed to put a lot of effort into their menu, offering unique dishes at a low cost showed that there is a bright future ahead for Jamaica in the Culinary industry.
Lillian’s was delightful. They had a pleasant and attentive waitress, yet not overbearing, as well as helpful staff. Decor was simple yet appropriate and clean, with soft classical music. The Jerked Chicken Chowder and Salt Fish Tostones they served as Appetizers had lovely flavours and the Salad was fresh with a decent serving. Their Main course was enjoyed by all at the table. Generous servings as well. Their Peppercorn Crusted Beef was cooked exactly as ordered, the Cinnamon Braised Pineapple Pork was succulent and not overdone, the Seared Trout and Creamy Chicken Sauté dishes were tasty. Desserts were also very good. Their Rum and Raisin cake, Passion Trifle and Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding were yummy. Well done Lillian’s!
Sea Deck had nice, big, tasty servings as usual with decent service.
C & C South Beach Restaurant in the Savoury category got two thumbs up. Their service, food and atmosphere were impressive. Kudos to them for a 10 minute waiting time during RW!
Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove, Ocho Rios was a winner for the Delectable category. No surprise there. Props to Executive Chef Conroy Arnold for sustaining a high standard of food quality and service. The ambience there is just an added plus.
Then of course, with a full review coming soon, Marguerites Seafood by the Sea in Montego Bay took the Epicurean category hands down. Excellent ambience, service and food topped off by a premium selection of wines.
Well done Restaurants, looking forward to next year!