Raffaele’s Gourmet Pizzeria & Grill

Nyam & Scram! – Restaurant Week 2017

Restaurant Week in Jamaica is an annual event I look forward to, in one week there are a plethora of restaurants having discounted prices. They fall under categories such as Tasty, Savoury, Delectable, and Epicurean; which offers 3 course meals in different price ranges. As well as Morning Bites and Nyam & Scram, which offers discounts on breakfast combos and lunch combos respectively.

Last restaurant week, I went to nyam and scram some lunch at Raffaele’s Gourmet Pizzeria and Grill. They had really nice options, and each meal came with a bowl of cream of pumpkin soup for appetizer and a slice of cake for dessert. It was an overcast day with the sun playing hide and seek, the weather was lovely to me, it was warm with a little bit of breeze. We sat at an outdoor table with a huge patio umbrella.

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Shrimp Burger & Fries.

We didn’t have our meals the conventional way because the soup wasn’t ready when we had arrived. So, we ordered the main course first. I had the shrimp burger and fries. The shrimp burger patty didn’t look how I expected. It came with tarter sauce and the usual condiments, lettuce and tomatoes; while the fries were unexpectedly seasoned fries. The burger tasted like a fish burger from the brand Reggae Jammin’ but cooked properly; it tasted good, nothing exceptional, but good nonetheless.

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Chicken Parmesan.

My date had the chicken parmesan on linguine pasta with marinara sauce, served with garlic bread. When I saw his meal I was envious, the melted parmesan cheese looked amazing. As customary with my dates, we tried some of each other’s food, it tasted as great as it looked. When we finished our meals the cream of pumpkin soup was ready to be served, so we had it. That was the highlight of the lunch for me, the soup tasted spectacular. Having it after the burger filled me to capacity, I was stuffed. You should know, I still ate the cake we got for dessert, the slice wasn’t big, it seemed to be the cherry on top.

I should have picked a fancier main course but lesson learnt, pick something basic, it will taste basic. I had a good time at Raffaele’s, even though my choice wasn’t the best; my date’s food tasted good and the cream of pumpkin soup wowed my taste buds. I will be going back for sure, I want to try one of their pizzas next time.

Find them at Shop #5 in Orchid Village Plaza, 20 Barbican Road, Kingston.

Natural Touch Vegetarian Restaurant

With my love of Reggae music came my introduction to Rastafari and by extension, Ital food. It’s nothing new that a plant based diet is the healthier way to go; I’m not yet a vegetarian but I try their meals whenever the opportunity arises. So, I found myself having a lunch date at Natural Touch Vegetarian Restaurant one day.

My friend and I went for lunch on a sweet Gustazo deal. If you don’t know about Gustazos and Brawta Living coupons, google them right now, and thank me later. For lunch, the Gustazo options were Tofu Special, Curry Chickpea Wrap or Lentil Burger with a smoothie or natural juice. Unfortunately some of the options weren’t available when we went, both of us had the lentil burger.

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The lentil burger came with a side of sweet potato fries. I enjoyed my meal, the lentil burger was moist and nicely seasoned, it had a nice sauce to it. I couldn’t figure out the sauce but it was yummy. It had the usual lettuce and tomatoes as condiments; and the whole wheat burger buns were appreciated. The meal was healthy to the core, and still tasted good. Just a heads up, the sweet potato fries were ital, i.e. no salt; they seemed to be baked as well. I didn’t mind but my date was hurt that they were salt-less. For my drink, I had a glass of sorrel; which was nice and refreshing, it wasn’t very sweet.

If you want a healthy vegan or vegetarian meal, I would recommend Natural Touch Vegetarian Restaurant. They had much more options on the regular menu, reasonable prices, plenty of seating, and most importantly, great food. I will definitely be back.

You can find Natural Touch Vegetarian Restaurant at Shop #22 in Orchid Village Plaza, 18 Barbican Road.


Cooked Roll Sushi War!

Last year I had the pleasure of having dinner at AnneX East Japanese, and lunch at SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine. The dinner at East Jap. is what lead me to try food from Sora, I had a hunger for sushi; both times were with my best friend, Gabby. Before dinner at East Jap. I’ve had cooked rolls once in my life, years ago, and I’m actually glad to have aroused that craving. The experiences left a great taste in my mouth, but I wanted to compare them for you.

The cooked roll sushi war!

We went to AnneX East Japanese for a special occasion, it was Gabby’s birthday celebration. We had a group of 10 by the end of the night but Gabby and I arrived early together; so, while we waited for the rest of the group we ordered Miso Soup as an appetizer. I didn’t like the soup, when I got it, it was barely warm and by the time I was halfway through it was cold. I was really upset about that because I was hungry and wanted the hot soup to soothe my tummy. Other than it being cold, it tasted alright but it wasn’t my kind of flavour.

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Shrimp Tempura Roll – AnneX East Japanese

Now, I’m new to sushi… and a picky eater, so, I ordered a Shrimp Tempura Roll. It’s a simple roll, can’t go wrong with fried shrimp; the roll was cut into 8 pieces and stacked in the center of the plate with nicely placed garnish around the perimeter. The roll was delicious! The shrimp in the crispy tempura was cooked perfectly. My fave dipping sauce was the spicy mayo, it gave a slight pop of flavour to the roll; the soy sauce didn’t enhance the flavour of the roll in my opinion. My only issue with my roll was that it seemed to finish too quickly.

Other points to note, I had to taste what Gabby had as well; I sampled the California Roll, which was good. I liked the combination of crab, cream cheese and avocado, though the avocado was barely noticeable. I also had a piece of her Crab Stick, which is crab meat and cream cheese enclosed in a fried tempura shell. This was really good but sometimes I’m not able to handle too much cheese at once and it was a bit overbearing. Which is great news for cheese lovers.

We went to SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine for another special occasion, it was my post-birthday lunch. This restaurant is rightly named, you have to climb too many flights of stairs to get there. I wanted to eat at one of their outdoor tables but they were all reserved, inside had a nice ambiance nonetheless. We were seated, and brought our menus promptly. I ordered the Dragon Roll, and Gabby had the Salmon Tempura Roll, and later ordered a Char Shu Roll. (I didn’t get to take a photo of the Char Shu.)

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Dragon Roll – SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine

The Dragon Roll had 8 pieces with fried shrimp topped with avocado, and served with spicy mayo and eel sauce. As you may or may not have noticed, the small difference with my Dragon Roll and Shrimp Tempura Roll were the lack of tempura in one, and avocado in the other. This roll tasted great, the contrasting texture of the avocado against the fried shrimp was delightful. I’m not sure of the specific taste of the eel sauce because the spicy mayo overpowered it, which I didn’t mind (I love spicy mayo).

Out of the rolls Gabby ordered, I only tasted the Char Shu, which I really enjoyed. The Salmon Tempura had salmon, cream cheese and deep fried crab; while the Char Shu had lettuce, tempura crunch, scallion, and roast pork inside and on top. The pork was cooked so well, and I’m not a big fan of pork but it was really good.

The Winner?

Cue the drum roll… But first, let’s see the pros and the cons. On the pros list: both rolls I had were delicious and the service was quick for both restaurants. The only con I have is for AnneX East Japanese, whose waiter seemed to want to go home, the energy he gave off wasn’t very pleasant… maybe that was an off day. Another downside for them is that they are a bit more expensive than SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine. You know I’m on that university student budget, so on that basis, I’ll pick SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine as my cooked roll champion. I’ll be back there soon.

AnneX East Japanese is located at 71 Lady Musgrave Road, and SORA Japanese Sky Cuisine is located at 9-11 Phoenix Avenue.


Dinner at Tea Tree Crêperie

80 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston

My visit to Tea Tree Creperie was long overdue; I have a little obsession with France, and I was pleased to know we had our own crepe restaurant in Jamaica. Before the end of 2017, I finally got to go, I went with my friend, Ryan. The first thing that stood out to me was the odd decor, all the glass at the establishment were covered in writing and doodles from guests… Of course I’d decided I wanted to write on the glass too. The second thing that stood out was the delicious aroma of meals being prepared.

It seems like we picked a good night to dine; along with two other couples, we were the only people inside. They had outdoor seating as well as a good amount of space inside the building. We picked a seat we liked and a waitress promptly came over and gave us menus. This decision was so hard, they had so many good options on their menu, from sweet to savoury and it’s not limited to crepes. She returned with glasses of water then took our orders; I took the Philly Cheese Steak Crepe, and he took the Chez MEX Crepe.

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My first thought was, “why this beef look like it want some ketchup?” Then I tasted it and ate those thoughts with it. It was delicious, and it had so…much…cheese. The sweet peppers were a great burst of flavour too, I enjoyed my pick but I couldn’t finish it. That is a sign that a meal is worth it’s price to me; it was a large serving, well larger than I had expected. Of course I had to taste some of Ryan’s Chez MEX, I liked it, and I feel like it had more cheese than mine, I especially liked the kick of spiciness it had. But I liked the Philly Cheese Steak Crepe more. We both had glasses of lemonade, which was good, it’s hard to mess up lemonade. For dessert, we shared a 2 bite cheese cake, which really should count as one bite but it was delicious nonetheless, I really liked the crust.

I will definitely be back, their menu has so much to offer, and next time I think I will get a sweet crepe. The location is good, they have an ample amount of seating. The service was great, and quick too, I really appreciated how fast we were served. The price range is reasonable to me, it is what you would expect to spend at a restaurant, it wasn’t expensive. I definitely recommend you give Tea Tree Creperie a try, I like it.

Follow their social media pages @TeaTreeCreperie.