What's Cooking In Jamaica
Operated by the ever charming duo Lisa and Kirk Chin, this establishment for the last two years has transformed from a purveyor of imported gourmet goodies and euro-cafe based lunches to a full-scale restaurant. From the humble beginnings as a sole source of Susie G Brownie Brittle, Lorina French sodas, Gin Gins (an addictive ginger candy brand) and other gourmet condiments to selling delectable Parisian influenced cuisine, Fromage has shown Kingston that delicious food and excellent service can go hand in hand.
The menu offerings are always fresh and there is such a wide variety that one cannot resist trying every item on the menu. I love the simple detailed touches such as the drinks being served in Mason jars and the mac & cheese being served in a rustic mini cast iron pot. The serving size of the menu items is impressive for the price, thus providing value for money which is very important in the Jamaican consumer’s financial mindset. From breakfast to dinner to Sunday Brunch (which is a MUST for every food enthusiast!), Fromage never disappoints in taste or quality. My foodie advice is to reserve seating and arrive early, as it can get very crowded at lunch/ dinner peak hours.
Recommendations: The paninis (especially my favorite: Jamaique which has jerk pork, monterrey jack cheese and guava glaze), flatbreads (my personal favorite being the Casablanca: goat cheese, figs + caramelised onions), Frisee salad, Red velvet pancakes, Nutella waffles (only establishment so far in Kingston that has done perfect waffles), Goat cheese & chive scramble (a plus that the eggs are perfectly done and never burnt!), Crab stuffed chicken, Pomegranate Glazed Salmon, Strawberry Iced Tea
5) Royale Palace Restaurant
This is one of my hidden gem restaurants in the Kingston 6 environs. Tucked away between the Liguanea Lane Plaza and Total Gas Station, one would be quick to drive past the Chinese dragon gateposts not realizing that it contains one of the most deliciously authentic Chinese fare in the area. In Kingston, Cantonese Chinese restaurants are dime a dozen and this one specifically is one of the top-notch restaurants to recommend. Like most restaurants of its kind, there is an open bar area, general dining area and if you are privileged enough, a private enclosed dining area but unlike most, the food here is of excellent quality. It is one of the best places in Kingston to get a piña colada that is made from fresh pineapples (not that horrid piña colada mix) and their cuisine is always exceeding my expectations. It is an Asian oasis in the middle of the bustling commercial Liguanea/Hope Road area and Sundays are the best time to dine as certain menu items such as Crispy Pork Belly and fresh crabs are exclusively available on that day (point of note that they unfortunately do not have a Dim Sum menu).
Recommendations: Spicy Garlic Crab, Stuffed Fuga (cerasee to us locals), Peking Duck (has to be ordered one day in advance), Four Treasure Soup w/ dried Scallop, Yang Zhou Fried Rice, Pork Belly w/ Yam, Steamed Squid w/ Garlic & Vermicelli, Crispy Pork Belly,
P.S. An honourable mention has to go to both Cafe Blue and Uncorked! for serving the best Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and having an exclusive selection of wines to the Kingston 6 area respectively.
Check out Cafe Blue for the best freshly brewed JBM coffee and patissier Nadine Hoballah’s gourmet dessert selections (the chocolate layered salted caramel mousse and tropical icebox are highly rated) which are to die for. She is the nearest thing in Jamaica to Dominique Ansel quality patisserie, which says a lot.
Also make a stop at Uncorked! for the widest variety of imported cheeses (personal favourites include mango ginger stilton, gruyere & mobay varieties), wines and delectable gourmet goodies (the best smoked marlin dip in Kingston hands down and only place to appease my olive & peppadew fixation). Their lunch specials alongside Thursday Jazz night and Friday Grill night is definitely one to NOT miss out on as there is good food, amazing company and impressive wine selections. The staff and owners, Debra Valentine & Anna-Kay Von-Dueszlin, are knowledgeable on their product offerings and can assist in pairing with the most ideal wines/spirits from their vast selection. Uncorked is a superb tapas/wine bar/bistro, which is a much needed addition to the Kingston culinary landscape.
***This list is not in any specific order of preference.
Avid Foodie & Cordon Bleu Trained Chef
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