Smack in the middle of Ocho Rios is Reggae Ally, the restaurant which plates up authentic Jamaican cuisine and boasts a bar with an extensive array of Campari, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum and Appleton Estate premium blends.
Driving along Main Street, one simply cannot resist the urge to pull over along the kerb to check out the seven-year-old beautifully modern ‘road side’ eatery. Decked in shades of brown and undertones of the traditional reggae colours – red, green and gold, the alley-like layout serves you views of the busy ‘Ochi’ town, hints of ocean breeze, and when the cruise ships dock, you are sure to rub shoulders with fun international people. The restaurant is definitely a laid back environment to have great quality food, where you can be seated on comfy bar stools or in front of glass-infused dining tables all while receiving top-notch customer service.
THE FOOD Christopher Allen, proprietor, explained to FOOD what sets the flavour of his restaurant apart from all the others.
“I was in the kitchen preparing to jerk some pork. I tasted the seasoning and it needed some touching up, so I went to the drawing board and created something. Customers kept asking me about the aroma and where they could get it, so I took it to FRC market research and we came up with a formula. Now, you can purchase your bottle of Reggae Ally Jerk Seasoning from us,” he said.
The seasoning is all-natural and contains no preservatives. Ladies and gentlemen, a seasoning so versatile you can even have it on your favourite cracker.
Oxtail, jerked chicken, jerked pork and grilled salmon; the menu’s best-sellers, popular among both locals and internationals, were brought out one by one.
Have you ever had grilled salmon melt in your mouth? How about oxtail that slides right off the bone? Reggae Ally gave FOOD a delightful experience with the food bursting with flavour and a texture unlike many others. Each dish is served with real Jamaican rice and peas and of course, we aren’t a people who enjoy our plates ‘naked’, so the chef ensured to ‘dress it up’ with a salad. The jerked chicken and pork meals are so indulgent that they must be bad for you.
LET’S DRINK! “We are a Jamaican brand and as such, we have been partners with Appleton Estate for a number of years, and even created several drinks with Appleton blends, Campari, J. Wray & Nephew being the main ingredients. Our popular ones are the ‘Panty Wray’, ‘Welcome to Jamaica’, ‘Yeah Mon’ and ‘To Ratid’ ” said Allen.
Welcome to Jamaica is a simple blend with J. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, grapefruit juice and lime juice. Yeah Mon is the flavour kicker whisked with Appleton special, J. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, coconut rum, orange juice and coffee liqueur. Next, there’s trouble ‘To Rahtid’ made with Appleton Special, cranberry juice and lime juice. Then to top it off, FOOD’s number one choice, the Panty Wray. A red drink infused with J. Wray & Nephew white rum, a cocktail cherry and some unmentionable ‘special ingredients’ that will go down easy, but take you down heavy when you least expect it. How do you take it? You put all the liquid from the glass in your mouth and as you swallow, you chew the cherry. Girl’s night out just got friskier!
REVIEWS FOOD spotted two influential men enjoying their evening and we had to get reviews:
Chairman of North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), Tyrone Robinson: “This is the only place in Ocho Rios where I feel comfortable to unwind in the evening. The food is great, especially the soup and the service is fantastic. I highly recommend that everyone passing through Ochi, stops right here.”
Sanju Chatani Director of Taj Mahal Shopping Center, Ocho Rios: “I’ve been coming here religiously since they opened in 2012. There’s an excellent wine collection to suit every mood you could possibly be in. It feels like family, the staff listens and ensures our comfort, there’s secure parking and most importantly, air conditioning”