I was recently invited to a group dinner with colleagues at 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar Ltd. You all know that the foodie in me wasn’t going to miss the chance at a new dining experience.
An explosion of Jamaican flavours is what I remember most when I think about 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar Ltd. Before I tell you all about the food, let me tell you a little about the restaurant.
8 Spices Quick Facts
- Recently opened in February 2017.
- Specializes in Jamaican Inspired Cuisine.
- Owned by Chef Melissa Dukharan-Constantine.
- The name ‘8 Spices’ is based on the 8 seasonings used in her signature jerk dishes.
- Located at 7 Grosvenor Terrace Kingston, Jamaica
- Accommodates both small and large groups, walk-ins and reservations.
As a Jamaican, I know that providing amazing customer service is not in our culture but we are slowly evolving as a nation to get where we need to be. I am always looking for restaurants with great customer service and 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar is one such restaurant. The staff was very pleasant and attentive from the beginning to the end. The decor that includes low lighting, palm trees and Jamaican colours creates a tropical, fun and intimate atmosphere. To my surprise and enjoyment, they even had a DJ onsite playing music from the 80’s to present, which added to the whole Jamaican feel of the place. Persons from my group even got up and started to dance and sing as they enjoyed the music so much.
I started out my night with a lovely drink from the bar, a Virgin Mango Daiquiri, then I ordered the soup of the day (Fish Soup). They have a wide variety of Jamaican inspired cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on their menu along with the usual Jamaican beers, rum and vodka. The price for these cocktails range from approximately $500- $900.
When you are hungry most things taste good but when I drank the soup, I can honestly say it wasn’t the hunger, it was just that good. It was a nice, hearty soup with lots of flavour and actual chunks of fish. Then I tried another appetizer, ‘Stamp and Go’, which was Jamaican Saltfish Fritters served with a spiced papaya chutney. When I placed the Fritter in the chutney and took a bite, I had to look to the stars. How amazing can one bite be?! The Fritter was crispy but not oily and when mixed with the sweetness of the chutney, it was like a match made in heaven. I had the chance to taste other appetizers such as the Rum Barbeque Wings (So Juicy!) and the Pimento Crusted Cheese Sticks served with Sweet Scotch Bonnet Sauce. I don’t know how they create such wonderful flavours but I urge the chef to continue. I especially loved the Sweet Scotch Bonnet Sauce. My taste buds were super excited and just screaming for more. The price for the appetizers ranges from $550-$1200.
The wait time for the main course was about 45 minutes depending on what was ordered but the time flew by as we were being entertained by the DJ. I ordered the 8 Spices Jerk Barbeque Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries. I loved how tender and tasty the chicken was but I didn’t enjoy the fries as much as I thought I would (needed them to be crispy and taste less like frozen pre-packaged fries). I then tried the Shrimp Rundown Pasta and I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a fan of the traditional ‘Rundown’ dish but I was a bit curious as to how it tasted with Shrimp and Pasta. Wow! The dish was so delicious that I am now thinking of trying the traditional ‘Rundown’ again.
I also tried the Jerk Pork which was really good and it had just the right amount of heat from the spices. My colleagues advised that the 8 Spices Jerk Chicken Quesadillas, Jerk Chicken with Festivals and the Jerk Pasta with chicken were great and you get to choose how spicy you want it. The price for the main course ranges from $1000- $1800.
A main course that stood out was the Oxtail and Beans. Jamaican’s know an Oxtail dish is good when you eat it right down to the bone and you just can’t leave it alone. When my colleague said that he had to stop and take home the Oxtail, I knew right then that the Oxtail was so great that he had to opt to enjoy every single bone at home (couldn’t risk everyone seeing him devouring the oxtail at the table).
My experience eating the food at 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar was mind-blowing. The combination of flavours was so wonderful, so Jamaican and so unique. If you ever get tired of cooking at home but still want Jamaican flavours, then I highly recommend a visit to 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar. If you have family, friends or even co-workers visiting from overseas, don’t miss the chance to have them enjoy this Jamaican experience. See more on their Instagram (8 Spices Restaurant and Bar IG ) or Facebook Page ( 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar FB).
If you have been to 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar, please share your experiences with us on our Facebook Page 876 Adventures.