Monday, January 28, 2008

Jammin' Jamaica

Jammin' Jamaica
Location :
Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Cuisine :
Menu Price Range : Php 40.00 - Php 150.00
Service Charge: none
Rating : C+

Having been a fan of the spicy portable treat known as the Jamaican Patty, I found this establishment intriguing in that it offered not only Jamaican Patties, but also a wide range of Jamaican dishes and treats that included burgers, sandwiches, and even pastas and pies.

Upon entering this establishment, the bright hues and colorful paintings and furnishings were instantly evident. The place was a bit cramped, but strangely quaint, feeling more like a friendly hovel rather than an eatery. There were even interesting pieces of art hanging on the wall artistically depicting peppers and spices. In the background, you could hear a medley performed by Raggae legend Bob Marley.

Once I approached the counter, however, I was greeted by a product display complete with empty product boxes and food warmers barely concealing a fully-stocked modern kitchen. It was a bit of a disappointment to break the ambiance, but considering the diminutive size of their store, it might have been a necessary concession.

Although it was plainly obvious that their cooking techniques weren't exactly traditional, I was curious to see how their fare would taste. Never having been to Jamaica myself and with my limited knowledge of authentic Jamaican cuisine, however, it was difficult to find a point of comparison.

Wicked Beef Jamaican Patty
Price: Php 38.00
Rating: B-

Filled with a good amount of ground beef, this is probably the spiciest of the lot. Unfortunately, the spice was a bit lacking for my taste, but, luckily, they had condiments on hand to help enhance the flavor.

Quality-wise their Jamaican Patty is about average. The shell was nice and flaky and the patty served hot, but it just didn't stand out for me in any way. The other patties such as Spicy Tomato, Cheeze 'n' Beef, and Beefy Mushroom didn't sound all that remarkable either. Still, for Php 38.00, it's a pretty good sized snack.

Jerk Chicken Pizza
Price: Php 135.00
Rating: C

The chicken was a bit dry and the red and green peppers that adorned this dish didn't really stand out. It was a bit spicy, but just that. You couldn't taste the tomato sauce and the cheese didn't really stand out either.

I believe the culprit, in this case, is the crust. Being unusually thick, the crust felt and tasted more like bread than a pizza crust, masking the flavor of the chicken and the peppers. In fact, it was more like eating a sandwich than a pizza. In addition, the serving size was also a bit small, being just sufficient for one - or two at the most.

Mashed Potatoes
Price: Php 50.00
Rating: C+

When I saw this on the menu, I was interested to see how mashed potatoes could be prepared in such a way that it would be Jamaican. Unfortunately, nothing distinguished this side dish from any other mashed potatoes you might get pretty much anywhere. The gravy, although copious, wasn't spicy like I would've imagined.

True, there was a good amount of mashed potatoes and it was creamy enough, but it just wasn't remarkable in any way worth noting. Php 50.00 is also a bit pricey, all things considered.


Food: I might have been picking the wrong dishes, but I found nothing really outstanding on their menu. Aside from the Jamaican Patties themselves, none of their other menu items tasted exotic at all. They simply felt like the standard food fare spiced up a bit and given some Jamaican-sounding name. Although there wasn't anything necessarily bad with their food, there wasn't anything to rave about either, making the food fairly generic.

Ambiance: Although promising at first, the view of the kitchen area completely ruined the ambiance of the establishment. The location was also very cramped and felt more like a walk-in/order-out place rather than a place to dine. Most people, in fact, did just that, which was a shame since there aren't a lot of places that gives you a nice Raggae environment to dine in.

Value: Jammin' Jamaica is relatively inexpensive as far as restaurants go, but it's overshadowed by the fact that other Jamaican Patty stands sell pretty much the same items for less. I also didn't see much of a difference between the patties sold at stands and the ones found in this eatery. They have a greater variety of food, but none of these items felt authentic at all.

Service: Service was quick and the staff was friendly. There seemed to be a bit too many people working in such a small establishment, but, overall, the experience was positive and the servers welcoming and accommodating.

Overall: I wouldn't go out of my way to eat at Jammin' Jamaica, but it's a viable eatery if you're on a budget. The store is a bit cramped and anything above a dozen patrons will probably start to feel claustrophobic, but a small group of friends will probably find it snug.

The menu feels fairly generic, and it feels as if they were simply slapped together and tweaked slightly to fit a theme. Perhaps one day I will return to this eatery to sample their other dishes, and perhaps it will open my eyes to something extraordinary. But, quite frankly, I'm not holding my breath, mahn.

© 2008 Pablo Bairan


Crosby Laurena said...

Tanong lang, kung eto bang
jammin jamaica restaurant ay puwedeng mag francaise?

Tanong ko lang din kung magkano mag francaise?

samalat po!

m9dhatter said...

It's possible that this place allows franchising. However, we just review food. It's best to ask the manager of the one of these stalls.

Also, it's "franchise".

SHIMIZU said...

nagffranchise po ba ang jammin jamaica? and how much po ang franchising?