Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Reef (MAIN ST)

Last year while working on a feature film in the area, I had the pleasure of eating at The Reef on Main St.

Having lived in Trinidad for a year, I'm very fond of Roti and Jerk meat items. The Reef is a small taste of the 6 months I spent living in Trinidad at the age of 17. Sitting down is almost like going back there, serving a large variety of dishes ranging from Jerked Chicken Quesadillas to standard Curry dishes. All jerk and hot sauces are handmade here as well, both of which are an excellent addition to any meal created here. Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic) is essentially mandatory for every meal, GET ONE.

Wanting to try something new from the culture I missed so dearly, I went for the Ackee Saltfish ($15). Essentially a combination of fish, ackee fruit, and tomatoes all mixed together, it's kinda like scrambled eggs, minus the eggs. Ackee fruit is known for having the taste of look of eggs.

Thank God that the flavours were so good. Having never tried it before, the ackee fruit tended to have quite a mild flavour. The texture in the mouth is a little bit closer to a Papaya than eggs, and the "egg flavour" is sweet and really not that strong. It's something I will be picking up next time I see it at a market to sample it's raw flavours.

Not being a common fish, the Saltfish gets sent over from the East coast. Every bite of this dish allowed the flavour of the Saltfish to come through in it, even if the fish wasn't prominent on the fork. A couple larger chunks allowed me to really examine the fish, and while it's not market fresh the fish had good flavour and worked very well in the dish.

Served on the side were beans with rice, pretty plain but standard Caribbean fare, acting more as filler than anything else. The coleslaw was citrus based, light and with the right amount of seasoning.

Last, but definitely not least is the Johnny cake, sitting on top of the mound like the king of the hill. A basket of these come to every table when you sit down. Essentially a deep-fried dumpling, these things are warm and chewy, just like a good dumpling should be. These are so good you could eat them plain, but a little butter on top makes them even better.

Heading back to The Reef after being away for a year was great. I enjoyed it so much I went back the next day. If your on Main Street, be sure to check this place out. Their menu runs along the lines of Caribbean pub food, but it's tasty and simple, there's something for everyone.  They also have some decent drink specials and even a brunch on the weekends.

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1 comment:

  1. beans and rice is the side dish down in the gulf coast and southern states as well. comes with just about anything instead of fries.....