Monday, 26 November 2012

Restaurant Week Run Down 2012 Part I

Hello everyone, as you all know Jamaica Restaurant Week 2012 recently ended, and being the foodies that we are, we went out to several restaurants to take advantage of the deals and steals that the participating restaurants had in store for us. This was our first year taking part in the week long event, and I think we will continue participating in years to come. With all meals you were entitled to a choice of a free cocktail which were either the Spicy Special (Schwepps Ginger ale & Appleton Rum) or the Schweet (Schwepps Grapefruit Soda & Appleton Genesis Rum), an appetizer, an entree, dessert, as well as a cup of steaming hot Cafe Blue coffee...what more could you ask for! Normally a three course meal with drinks will run you way more than what these restaurants charged, but prices were severely slashed. We of course couldn't forget about you guys so here are our mini reviews on the food/experience we had during Restaurant Week 2012...

Saffron Indian Cuisine

Category: Savoury (JMD$2200)
Location: Market Place
Type of Cuisine: predominantly Indian cuisine
Review: The menu selection was of course based around typical Indian cuisine such as curry and tikka masala. I am some what unfamiliar with certain Indian cuisine, but as long as I saw shrimp on the menu that was what I chose :) I had the shrimp in plum sauce with assorted chicken tikka, the noni curry shrimp with jasmine rice and naan(a type of unleavened bread), and vanilla ice cream with lychee. Everything was delicious and authentically prepared, the curry with coconut milk was superb and I love butter naan so that was just the icing on the cake. At first I was a bit appalled with the portion of the appetizer but my eyes were obviously bigger than my stomach because the portion sizes were perfect and extremely filling. The restaurant had both indoor and patio dining areas and it also had a contemporary decor and cozy atmosphere which I liked, but the only negative was the placement of our table which was near the kitchen door, and I didn't appreciate being bumped over by the swinging door or having to make sure that I was not in the way if I decided to go to the bathroom. I would recommend this restaurant if you were looking to try out some authentic Indian cuisine, the food is flavourful and well presented and the staff is attentive and quick on their feet :).
Rating: 4/5

Left: Shrimp in Plum Sauce with Assorted Chicken Tikka | Right: Noni Curry Shrimp

Jimmy's Grill House

Category: Tasty (JMD$1600)
Location: 5 Trinidad Terrace, New Kingston. Across from Quad Nightclub
Type of Cuisine: Jamaican fusion
Review: I never noticed this restaurant prior to this, but it was neatly tucked away in its own little nook in New Kingston. It was a girl's night out so the fact that the ambiance/vibe of this outdoor restaurant was quiet and mellow was great because we could chit chat and amuse ourselves without any unwanted interruptions. Shannon and I ordered the marinated chicken kebabs, fettucine-a-la-vodka (mine with shrimp and Shannon had chicken), and Miss B’s Sweet Potato Pudding with coconut ice cream and our friend Krystle had the pepperpot soup, the smothered grilled pork chop and the tropical lemon sorbet with fruits. These all sound scrumptious right? and they were all well presented but my chicken kebab initially came out a bit raw, but they happily replaced it and Krystle's soup was just blah (for the lack of a better word). The portioned amount of my entree was definitely filling but the fettucine could have been a bit more flavourful to be honest and Krystle's pork chops were pure fat! so Shannon had to end up sharing with her. I guess the best part was the dessert but even then I was still left unimpressed with the potato pudding but Krystle enjoyed her sorbet. On a good note our waitress Krystle (yes she has the same name as our friend) was very friendly and attentive. I wouldn't go back to the restaurant to dine, but maybe just to have drinks.
Rating: 2.8/5

Left: Marinated Chicken Kebabs | Right: Pepperpot Soup

Left: Fetuccine-A-La-Vodka | Right: Smothered Grilled Pork Chop

Left: Miss B's Sweet Potato Pudding w/ Coconut Ice Cream | Right: Tropical Lemon Sorbet w/Fruits

East Japanese

Category: Tasty (JMD$1600)
Location: Market Place
Type of Cuisine: Japanese cuisine and sushi bar
Review: This was date night for me and the bf and East Japanese is one of our favourite restaurants to go to because we are definite sushi lovers. We both ordered the miso soup and salad, the only negative is that our ginger salad dressing was very bland in comparison to what they normally serve. I had the sushi platter and it was perfect and fresh just how I like it and the bf ordered the teriyaki chicken which he loved, we did notice however that for Restaurant Week they kind of skimped out on little things such as not providing me with the typical sushi accompaniment of sliced ginger and wasabi and the presentation of the teriyaki chicken was not as flamboyant as we're used to, but nevertheless the entrees tasted great. We also ordered an extra Philadelphia roll which was DELICIOUS. Unfortunately for dessert we were left with only green tea ice cream, and I realised after the first bite why all the vanilla ice cream was done :) Despite some of the misses I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you want to try sushi or if you're an aficionado like myself. I  previously did a more in depth review on the restaurant here if you like to take a look.
Rating: 4/5

Left: Miso Soup & Salad w/Ginger Dressing | Right: Sushi Platter & Teriyaki Chicken

Caffe da Vinci

Category: Delectable (JMD$3500)
Location: Market Place
Type of Cuisine: Italian
Review: I love anything pasta related so I was very intrigued about going to an Italian restaurant with my mother. Now we went without a reservation which was a very bad idea because we ended up waiting for about 20 minutes. The restaurant had both indoor and patio dining and it too had a a cozy and some what contemporary feeling. I ordered the lobster soup, Spaghetti all’Aragosta (spaghetti with lobster) and the Profiterol (cream filled pastry with chocolate sauce). My mother had the  Crostini Ortolana (basically toast with sauteed vegetables), the Grigliata di Crostacei (mixed grilled seafood), and the Profiterol as well. Now, I absolutely hate waiting for my food and waiting an additional 15-20 minutes for my appetizer made me that much more upset, the lobster soup was more like a light broth and I was not impressed at all and to make it worse my mother's appetizer was a bit cold, not a good start to the night. My entree was just ok I wish it were a little more flavourful though and I had to ask for some parmesan cheese to give it a little more kick and they did not de-shell the lobster pieces in my meal and I was not about to fight with it. My mother had a gorgeous bed of lobster and shrimp which I noticed was the popular meal of the night, but I think they should have pried it out of the shell before serving it so you didn't have to fight to get the lobster out. The dessert looked scrumptious as it was being served but it became too cloying because it was drenched in too much chocolate sauce, so we couldn't finish it. The staff and manager were very attentive and respectful but apart from that I was left a little bit discontented with my experience, I would, however, give it a second try sometime in the future.
Rating: 3.5/5

Left: Lobster Soup | Right: Crostini Ortolana

Left: Spaghetti all’Aragosta | Right: Grigliata di Crostacei

Profiterol in Chocolate Sauce

Overall it was a great experience for me was fantastic, there might have been some hits and misses at certain restaurants but that is to be expected. I implore you all to take advantage of the great discounts offered during restaurant week whenever it rolls around again :)

Have a great day guys and stay tuned for part two where Shannon shares her restaurant week experience.

Also see my review on Cocoro Restaurant here.


  1. OMG I hate this so much, I'm so jealous! LOL. It looks great! - Afayah


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