Strawberry PATCH Restaurant
Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards judge for the parish of St Mary Howard Pottinger takes us to Robin’s Bay, St Mary, for a taste of what he reckons is the best chicken in the parish and perhaps Jamaica…
Strawberry Fields Together is a rustic, homely resort in Robin's Bay and a fixture in my childhood memories from my times on the beach there. Its restaurant, the Strawberry Patch, is my pick today and the star on the menu, is, arguably the best fried chicken in St Mary, and dare I say, Jamaica!
It was a review from my brother that prompted me to try it for myself. He wrote this after trying the chicken at Strawberry Patch. I couldn't agree more:
"Fried chicken in Jamaica is no simple matter of just dropping a piece of chicken into hot oil. With all due respect to our big brother up North, our version is a notch above. Starting with the seasonings, then the breading and the gravy -- yes, gravy! Spooned generously over it as it bubbles and squeaks on our plate next to the rice and peas and steamed veggies or cole slaw. The breading is carefully seasoned and primed to receive, enhance, and be enhanced by the gravy that is spooned over it just before it's served."
The Strawberry Patch is ably run by Miss Jen, the hands and heart behind the now famous fried chicken. Fried chicken connoisseurs will find all the attributes that prompt a perfect score:
* seasoned to the bone
* freshly done
* good value for money
* deep golden-brown
* coated in matching deep red-brown gravy
* accessorised with brown rice and steamed pak choy. *
*fries and cole slaw are also an option....
If you are famished, we recommend that you call in advance, or risk being "driven crazy" by the aroma of the chicken as it cooks, or the brick oven pizza, another signature menu item. There are many "distractions" on the property such as the swimming area close by, which is so inviting, or the walking trail, or several chill spots to choose from. Any of these options will make the wait worthwhile if you didn't call ahead.
I must confess that I only have the fried chicken each time I go, but have been reliably informed that the fish and brick oven pizza are stars in their own right too.
A lunch meal at the Strawberry Patch ranges from approximately $1,000 to $1,400, depending on what you're having. A recent addition to the menu is their breadfruit pizza, which is gluten-free. If you're staying at the resort, the meals are discounted as part of the package.
THE STRAWBERRY PATCH CAFÉ & GRILL
Robin’s Bay, St Mary
For specific directions call:
Kim at 337-6127 or Everton at 999-7169
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