Suga takes a Culinary trip to Valencia in Jamaica with I Love Paella!

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Suga’s Ratings for I Love Paella

Date and time of visit: Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 1:00pm

No. of diners: 3

NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum and the criteria has been altered since it is a Pop-Up Kitchen

Parking: ★★★★★

Service: ★★★★☆

Speed: ★★★★☆

Food quality: ★★★★☆

Serving amount: ★★★★☆

Plating: ★★★★★

Value for $: ★★★★★

SuGa Endorsement:  ★★★★☆

Comments: 

Rich flavours were present throughout the dishes. Pleasant, courteous Chef. Superior service, speed and food quality. Serving amounts were adequate for a reasonable cost, as some meals were shareable. Chef Enric is from Valencia and he represents! Suga and friends enjoyed authentic Valencian Paella.

Suga’s Breakdown

From what I know, Chef Enric Escriva has been on the Jamaican culinary scene since January last year. Until he gets a suitable spot for his restaurant, he has been catering and doing Pop-up kitchens. I Love Paella is currently and temporarily in what used to be Cafe Nita’s space on Phoenix Avenue. So there is limited indoor and outdoor seating. The latter is the more comfortable choice with the hope of good weather.

I met two of my girlfriends for lunch around 1pm. Chef Enric greeted us politely and took us through the menu in which all prices included G.C.T. They did not have a Drinks menu, but basic drinks were available including wine, a simple white and red. We ordered a bottle of Chardonnay. They also have a Party Menu for groups.

The starters ranged from $850 – $1400JMD in cost, with some being shareable. Starters included Calamari, Tortillas, Croquetas and more.

We shared Bravas, a classic Valencian dish made from Fried Potatoes, a spicy brava sauce and allioli.

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Bravas ($850JMD)

We also enjoyed the Empanadas, freshly made artisan stuffed pastries. The Chicken Empanadas were stuffed with smoked paprika chicken and served with brava sauce. While the Black Bean Empanadas were stuffed with spicy black bean and served with allioli sauce. The sauces were on point!

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Chicken Empanadas ($850JMD)

We went specifically for Paella so that’s what we had. The Paellas are done to order, cooked and served in the traditional Paella pan that can serve 2 – 3 persons. However, prices shown on the menu are per person ranging from $2250JMD for the Vegetarian Paella to $3250JMD for the Seafood Paella with black rice from the squid’s ink.

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Seafood Paella ($2950JMD) with King Prawns, Squid, Mussels and Rice.

That Seafood Paella was as delicious as it looks with just the right amount of spiciness.

They don’t just serve Paella though. There are other mains available such as larger Tortillas and Empanadas ($1600JMD), Calamari sandwiches ($2400JMD) and Mediterranean salads ($1900JMD).

After all that spice, our palates demanded a bit of sweet. We completed lunch with Churros and Dark Chocolate. Fantastic ending to our lunch.

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Chef Enric serving Suga and friends some Churros with Dark Chocolate

I Love Paella Pop-Up Kitchen

***Reservations recommended***

Contact via Social Media messaging or Ph: 876-404-2867

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By: Gabrielle Burgess

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Wraps are the new ‘healthy’ obsession but not every restaurant like Monty’s Cafe should try them!

Monty’s Cafe on Old Hope Road is known for cheap, decent box lunch eats and have now added wraps to their menu like almost all of Jamaica.

First of all, many assume that wraps are healthy. Wrong!  Not all of them for sure. Healthy consists of baked, roasted or grilled, fresh, non-processed cuts of chicken, salmon, steamed fish, turkey or tuna.

All these shrimp and lobster wraps around the place that sound so appealing are high in cholesterol. The plain wraps are full of bad ‘simple’ carbs versus whole grain or whole wheat wraps, keeping in mind they are still all flour and everyone that may have certain goals are not always fully aware of their carbohydrate intake for the day. Let us also not forget the dairy aspect and that cheddar or mozzarella cheeses often used to add taste to the wraps are high in saturated fat (the ‘bad’ fat). Sometimes the amounts used are just added for taste, not considering portion control. Please ‘healthy’ restaurants, bring on the fresh, grated parmesan and reduced fat feta.

With all that said, Monty’s Cafe took the cake. I saw a Chicken wrap they sent to someone and I was appalled. It was a small, plain tortilla that consisted of FRIED chicken, lettuce and one or two pieces of tomato with a horrible salad dressing all over the lettuce for $425JMD. The customer was told it came with a salad, which to their disbelief was a toothpick with a piece of tomato and a shred of lettuce rolled up. Seriously?! A 5 year old could do better. Notice there is no picture? SuGa’s LCD screen has already cracked twice. Precaution necessary. I hope nobody makes the mistake of buying such a disaster. Some places should just stick to chicken and rice and peas.