A Gastronomic Travel to Jamaica's Restaurants

I certainly believe that a restaurant experience is made of quality food, quality ingredients, ambiance and service. Who does not enjoy a meal better when your palate is spoiled with the most delicious flavours, the freshness of the ingredients used in the preparation and, first and foremost, the service provided by the staff that works at that place? I am sure that you will be nodding a yes to this question... it is true! A culinary experience is COMPLETE only when those factors converge. Otherwise, there is something missing.

The idea behind this Blog is to start on a blank slate... let me say that I want to give a new opportunity to Jamaica's gastronomic scene... and I want to try it because it has grown and I am happy to see how new places appear and old place get a facelift!

However, this is not a one man's show... I want the help and recommendations of readers who, like me, enjoy the eating out experience. I'll be reporting on what I taste, smell, see and, particularly, on the way I am treated as a paying customer... we cannot forget that we are talking about money and we want QUALITY.

2008/12/15

A new LOUNGE in town!



The latest vogue in bars and restaurants is what people are calling a lounge. What defines a lounge bar or cafe is the type of ambiance provided by the seating arrangement and style and, of course, the music.

Lounge music ranges from beautiful instrumentals to modern electronica: chillout or downtempo. Despite the style, this music always maintains its focus on retro-space-age cultural elements.

Lounge music is a form of mood music, intended to create the feeling of another place such as a jungle, an island paradise, or even space.

This new trend of cafes and bars is present in most capital cities and it’s been around for quite a while. It was time that Kingston had its own lounge bar and this was recently inaugurated at the MarketPlace last week under the name of Fiction Lounge/Bar.

The first sensation that you get when you enter Fiction is the same that you can feel when you set your foot in a bar of these sorts in Europe, the States or even in big citiess in Latin America. But Fiction is really arty-crafty. Wide lounge filled with blown out luxury pictures, white sculptures, private booths, two bars, stylish stools and tables and even an elaborate tapas menu. No soul.

It's visible that the owners really made their research and you feel it in the cool vibe to it.

Nevertheless, there are some details that they need to pay attention to. Lounge bars and cafes are defined by their style. Although Fiction d├ęcor is eclectic, their leitmotiv is missing and this makes this bar extremely pretentious, which can be judged by their cover charge of $1,000.

Do not get me wrong. I do not want to say that it is bad to be pretentious. I just want to make clear that it is bad to be pretentious and not be up to par.

The waiters are misinformed about their menu selection and neither are they able to explain nor to pronounce what it’s written on those booklets. Poor things the menu is in itself very confusing.

Since you are starting, get people interested in your lounge by charging a lesser cover. It could be kind of a Christmas offer or even better, include a drink with such cover. Welcome drinks are always nice baits!

Your bartenders can create a drink bearing your name…what about that!

But my critique wants to deal with the food. I tried it. Food is great. Albeit a little bit too pricey for what you can get, again pretentious, flavours are very well organised and thought of.

I would have made them all bite sizes… this is a lounge not a restaurant! It is very uncomfortable to eat this kind of food in the lounge seats.

My friends of Fiction, the more you promote your place and make of this an experience for the customer, the more successful you will be to make out of your name a brand of style in the city.

So far, it seems a little bit improvised. Let me say that paying a thousand dollars for listening to the audition of a DJ does not cut it for me. It was not a GREAT experience.

My dear blog readers, if you go to Fiction, pay attention to these details and let me, and them, know. In terms of the food, try everything, because their chef is doing a great job in that kitchen. She should rethink size portions… that’s all!

A piece of advice to you, customer, do not eat on the lounge seats! Ask for a table.

I want to take advantage of this post to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

My best wishes to you all!

Keep on eating!