Lifestyle

And The Winner Is... Ocean's 11

Thursday, June 07, 2018

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If location is everything, what should one say about a watering hole that only has the ocean and a marina as its neighbours? “People definitely travel just to come here,” Norman Bowen, director of Ocean's 11, told Thursday Food . Its almost secluded location has allowed Ocean's 11 to create a bucolic environment in which patrons feel safe as they unwind and have fun.

Since winning Best Watering Hole (Out of Town) at the 20th Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards on Thursday, May 31, the staff has been quite elated and even more upbeat. “I didn't even know about the nomination until the letter arrived,” said Bowen. “I am not even sure how one gets nominated.” But as with any best-of award, it's based on offering a remarkable product, service or experience that has customer-centredness as the fulcrum around which the whole thing operates.

“Our patrons have high standards and this drives us to always improve our service, the quality of our food and delivery of service,” said Bowen. And it is this high standard that secured Ocean's 11's win from a group of seven vying for the best out-of-town watering hole.

When we take stock of the global food and drink scene, many establishments are not family-friendly. Actually, at one point, a number of North American establishments were vilified for having a “no children allowed” policy. Bowen is extremely proud that Ocean's 11 is a real family establishment and has ensured that the dress code, environment and entertainment safeguard the brand is a welcoming place for children, young people and adults.

The busiest day of the week is Tuesday when the establishment hosts its must-attend karaoke night. Friday's Corporate Chill (after work jam) and Seafood Saturdays are also very popular events for patrons. Their recently launched brunch service, offered on the second Sunday of each month, has already proven to be quite a hit with the seaside restaurant-loving crowd. Some special events, like their Appleton Signature Nights, sometimes has Bowen and his staff wondering where they are going to fit all the patrons. Regardless of the size of the crowd and how busy the establishment gets, the Ocean's 11 team is nevertheless dedicated to ensuring that each guest has a memorable experience and receives matchless service.

The extensive drink menu and tasty food keep guests returning with almost clockwork regularity. “It's quite emotional when you see people who met here return to get married here,” said Bowen. Ocean's 11 has hosted a number of such weddings, making one wonder what's in the drinks!

The frozen margarita is one of the best-selling cocktails on the menu. As for food, Bowen himself is quite partial to the grilled pork chops as, “not only are they are very tasty but they come to the table rather quickly”.

Ocean's 11 has created a crowd-pleasing watering hole that not only serves up superb food and drink but also offers a respite from the oppressive tropical heat and intensity of city living.

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