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StevieHolland

Dining in Jamaica

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Hi Folks,

I'm in the envious position of going to work in Jamaica for several months :biggrin:

I'd appreciate if anyone has got any good recommendations for places to eat that I can get a real taste of Jamaica and the Carribean. I'm assuming there will be loads of resorts with 'Carribean' food - but as I'll actually be living there (Kingston environs), I really want to hunt out some authentic places.

I've seen the posts re 3 dives - which sounds fantastic. Any others? In return I'll keep my finds posted here...

Regards

Steve

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Check out Julia's for the view and fine dining..its in MoBay...and 3 dives is a must!...Also the patties at Country Country in Negril are good.

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I also lived in Jamaica for two years! (1997-98)

I only went to Kingston twice, comuting by air from Mo Bay. I suggest you do the same, when you want travel the island.

The best fine dining is still reserved to the large resorts, due to the accessibility to imported product and large food and labor budgets, in house customs clerks, delivery trucks and kitchens headed by North Americans , European chefs, and some with Jamaican Chefs trained abroad.

My first suggestion is a day pass at one of the all inclusive resorts. such as the two Grand Lido's , Couple's, Swept Away, or Sandals Negril. You will be eligable for a residental rate. The most popular all inclusive for locals is still Hedo ll, due to the large entertainment budget, local musical talent, wild Disco and watching the crazy American party animals. Some of these Resorts have a Jamaican Restaurant which are usually alot better than the local restaurants on the outside. All of them have a Jamaican Theme evening, With Local food and entertainment ,usually with some kind of Folk dance show, stilt walkers, fire eaters Etc.

I wish I can give you a list of local restaurants worth trying, but I am drawing a blank.

My second Suggestion is to hire a local cook, to do their" Ting". Two, three days a week and Invite guest to your house. Ten-Fifteen US dollars per day would make their day.

Good luck in Jamaica, It will be an unforgetable experience.

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Going to Half Moon resort in Montego Bay on November third for a 3 day wedding.. I think i might have a few hours to travel outside of the resort one of the days.. Anybody know if there is a cant miss place with in a short drive. Have never been there before and really know nothing about the place.. Perhaps if there is somewhere to stop either to or from the airport.

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Well....you are a young guy and only have a few hours...I would say spend some time at Margaritaville and go down the slide into the ocean, catch some rays in the rooftop hot tub...its a blast and you will remember it forever...yea I know its full on tourist but it sure is fun...otherwise, you can be adventurous and walk around MoBay and check stuff out (its an experience).

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Margaritaville is a good suggestion for a Cheeseburger in paradise and waterslide thru the dining room, (Not related to Buffets Margaritaville).

There are a number of Restaurants along Gloucester Ave. that look interesting.

The Half Moon resort is beautiful, and the Sugar mill Restaurant is good.

Have fun !

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Right next to Margaritaville is a restaurant called Marguerite's which is on the water and is pretty good. Go there for sunset, have a vodka and Ting (Jamaican grapefruit soda) or two, dinner, and then you can stumble directly over to Margaritaville.

There's a jerk joint down the road from the Half Moon called Scotchies, which is the best jerk chicken & jerk pork. You order by the pound and also order sides (plantains, breadfruit, etc.). There's a verrrrrrry hot scotch-bonnet sauce (hence, Scotchies) served in a bowl that will knock you on your rear. It's fantastically cheap, but don't be put off by the dirt floor and thatched-roof environment - we had used them repeatedly for catering and many local MoBay'ers recommend Scotchies. There's a small bar there as well where, if you're lucky, they will have fresh pineapple and will make you a pineapple margarita. Phenomenal.

The RitzCarlton (next door to the Half Moon) has a nice beachside barbecue, as does the Half Moon.

Do NOT eat at the Japanese restaurant affiliated with the Half Moon... it's a nightmare.

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Thank you so much. I think this site might be the best place on the web by far.

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I spend a few years living in JA as a child, and subsequently spent 2 weeks every summer and every other winter holiday there. We did most of our eating in the homes of our friends, or the houses we rented in Montego Bay, and later in San San. I would second the suggestion to hire a cook.

The only restaurant I remember going to is the Blue Mountain Inn.

This was 15 years ago, at the most recent. It is a former coffee plantation, and it serves as a piece of Jamaica's colonial past. You won't find plantians and jerk here. But I remember it as an amazing place. I would imagine it is still worth a day trip, to get a glimpse of another part of Jamaica.

By the way, I am so envious. Nostalgia clearly plays a role for me, but Jamaican food is heaven.

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Went to Scotchies last week.. All and all it was really good, but still a disappointment.. I was expecting to get the best jerk chicken i have ever had.. But instead i got a really stringy dry bird.

The pork looked terrific, but i went with the fish for health reasons. Had a side of sweet potatoe too.. It was great.. Didnt realize the sweet potatoe in Jamaica is white and sweet. Loved the scoth bonnet sauce on the side. If i go again i would go fish pork sweet potatoe. Love me some ackee, miss that and salt fish for breakfast. Respect.


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I sometimes got a bad bird there, but it was so cheap that I would just get another one.

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Been here for a couple of months...and easily the best meal was the Roadside Jerk Chicken in Faith's Penn - on the road between Ocho Rios and Spanish Town....a specially contructed set of 30 or so stalls to feed travellers....A Jamaican version of the motoway service station...

...and for something posher - just along the road (co-incidentally) is Restaurant L'Aubergine - which is a hybrid Jamaican European restaurant in a wonderful 18th century house with delighful gardens and interior decor...Try the 'Limed Conche'...

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Not yet - been trying to find a local cookery school though...Any ideas ???

I'm planning on getting an Red/Yellow/Green oil drum and having a 'Jerk Party'.....I've certainly got the taste for it...Boston Bay here I come....

I was lucky enough to get invited to an all day Party in a local house in Mandeville. They had local cooks in, which was fantastic. Started with a bowl of Mannish water - which I really enjoyed - despite watching it being prepared > Mannish Water and then followed with Goat Curry, Jerk everything, breadfruit, Rice and Peas and so on and so on. A great experience - and I honed my domino skills also :cool:

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Not yet - been trying to find a local cookery school though...Any ideas ???

I'm planning on getting an Red/Yellow/Green oil drum and having a 'Jerk Party'.....I've certainly got the taste for it...Boston Bay here I come....

I was lucky enough to get invited to an all day Party in a local house in Mandeville. They had local cooks in, which was fantastic. Started with a bowl of Mannish water - which I really enjoyed - despite watching it being prepared > Mannish Water and then followed with Goat Curry, Jerk everything, breadfruit, Rice and Peas and so on and so on. A great experience - and I honed my domino skills also  :cool:

It seems like you are adjusting.

Congrats,

Next time you get invited to somebody's yard for a party, hopefully you will sample the local Moonshine " JohnCrow Botty" a real treat.

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I strongly encourage a trip to Boston if you haven't already been. Port Antonio is a lovely place to visit, or to live for that matter. Eat pork at the main stand at Boston and then go a little further back and eat chicken sausage. If you are in the mood for lobster get a jerked one of those. Bring enough J's. Boston is rootsy but it ain't cheap. Then at sunset, providing that they've reopened by now (hurricane damage) go to the Trident and get a rum punch and hang out with the peacocks. Watch the waves crashing and play a game of croquet.

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Wow. What a fantastic six months. Back in the UK now and getting Jerk withdrawal symptoms.

I had a great time in Jamaica - whilst it's a bit rough at the edges I truely believe that makes it what it is, and I'm sure I had a better time than I could ever imagine in one of the more 'polished' islands.

In terms of places to eat I have a few highlights that I feel I must share. None of them are the 'posh' restaurants in Kingston (go to London or New York if you want top notch restaurant food), and if you must go to the hotels, then be prepared for a sub-standard, expensive 'tourist' experience.

However, if you want real Jamaica - try the following:

Kingston: Our Place: (On the Hope Road near Sovereign Centre). This place became my firm favourite, and the place I went for my leaving do. It's a real Jerk pit in the middle of the city, outside a local's bar, serving great Jerk Pork and Chicken and the wickedest pepper saucee. Eat, listen to the reggie and play dominos......what more do you need.

Hellshire Beach: Go on a Sunday, watch the Kingstonians at play, and then negotiate your platter of Garlic Lobsters, Fish Escovitch and Festivals. Then sit at one of the 30?? bar shack restaurants and wash it all down with a Red Stripe or three as the sun sets

Woody's - Just outside Port Antonio. Don't forget to go and order the day before, as the lovely couple who own it need some time to prepare. I took my girlfriend for her first Curry Goat - she's now addicted. The place is a fantastic little bar, full of random quotes posted on the wall, and Woody will keep you entertained with stories of local characters.....before his wife pulls out a fantastic homemade dessert to top you up.

What fun. Cheers Jamaice for an Irie time.

Me soon come back a yard... (or something like that :raz: )

Steve

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STOP PRESS. Forget what I was saying about 'going to London/New York for posh restaurants'...it seems like they've come to Jamaica.

EAST - at the far end of Constant Spring Road - a new Japanese/Sushi restaurant that is superb....fresh tasting - interesting rolls and great staff..

I will be back. Often.

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Hey everyone,

Has anyone tried the recipes from www.jamaicatravelandculture.com? I love the recipes here because they are authentic recipes that I totally grew up on. So far, I've done the curry chicken one which was great. I'm cooking the jerk chicken one now and I'm also going to fry some festival to go with it.

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I've made both of these recipes from this website and I agree completely, they're good (although when cooking for European guests I find that their scotch bonnet quantities need to be dialed back a notch or two)....cute videos as well.

mark

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Festival is some good old fried dough. It's a mixture of flour, cornmeal, water, touch of sugar,pinch of salt and a little vanilla. What is interesting is that festival is new to Jamaican cooking. It's usually made in other Caribbean Islands like Barbados, but Jamaica didn't do the festival thing until maybe within the past 2 decades. My Dad pointed this out to me. Both of my parents are Jamaicans.

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Bump!

I'm off to Negril for a week. First few days paying for an all-inclusive resort so we'll eat there. But for the 4 days after that, we're looking for suggestions.

I've heard there's fantastic lobster to be had... but where's best? Curried goat is said to be wonderful in jamaica, but where should I eat it?

thanks for any and all thoughts you can share with us!

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