Wah Gwaan people?
Yup, that’s my new way of greeting. After a full-blown experience at Jamski, I can’t help but love everything Jamaican.
There has been a bit of buzz about some authentic Jamaican restaurant in VI, Lagos so when Jenny (an IJGB from London) kept disturbing me about missing Jamaican patties and jerk this, jerk that which is apparently popular where she was imported from, I decided to indulge her…..let it not be that Nigerian men do not know how take care of women.
Friday lunchtime, we got the address off the internet and stormed this place. From the outside, I was a little thrown off….limited parking, no fancy doors or hosts at the door like the typical “Victoria Island” restaurants. Trying to be a dapper guy, I had donned a crisp shirt nicely tucked into smart pants but this place was looking like I might be over dressed. Jenny obviously knows her Jamaican onions because she was very casually dressed, I had thought Lagos sun made her pick light clothing. It was later she explained that Jamaica is a Caribbean Island with very easy-breezy people so she expected their restaurant to be simple with a beach vibe which is exactly what we got….bamboo and graffiti like décor, effortless wooden furniture….. In fact, their bar area was simply what you would find in a beach, had a lot of mirrors and sparkles too and ceiling fans in a well ventilated an air-conditioned area. There was a bit of impressive details though, like the table mats which were like Jamaican flags and their National Anthem hung up on a pillar.
My love for the space was beginning to set in. Apart from the reggae/dance-hall tunes that filled the air, I was happy that no holes would be made in my wallet by overpriced food and wine….we had been handed the menu and it seemed quite affordable. The simplicity of the drink menu was golden, one page, no champagnes, no heavy bottles, no usual Lagos restaurant cocktails, their drinks were typical homemade Caribbean blends like Sorrel (what we might liken to Zobo in Nigeria).
There was another group of diners in the room and they kept referring to the man attending to us as “Papa”, he was clearly not a waiter so one or two questions and we realized he was the owner, the second staff in the room seemed to be his daughter. Jenny was very excited about this. According to her, family-oriented restaurants that have the actual owners so involved produce the best meals and after my generous portion of brown stew oxtail with rice, peas & fried plantains, I am definitely from the same school of thought.
Jenny was in the mood to be a hungry lion so she went with two meals….curried prawns and Jamski One Pot. Earlier on, she had asked for fried dumplings and festival (a sweet pastry likened to Nigerian buns).
My mind was dancing for joy because I knew very well she wouldn’t be able to eat half of her orders and my dustbin mode was be on level-high. My shirt got untucked before we were done mashing the bowls up!
We saw Papa packing up bread for a buyer and of course I asked if Jamski had a bakery. Yes they do….guess who went home with Jamaican Hardo bread! And yes, the bread was worth my buy….sweet, firm on the outside and tender on the inside. When Jenny realized she had not gotten the patties or jerk stuff that brought her, we quickly ordered for a beef patty that she ate delightfully. The thing looked like meat pie to my Nigerian eyes. Apparently, some popular artists come here for this, one of them who I am a huge fan of. *Hint* His name Burns and of course his music has a lot of reggae influence.
This restaurant was such a good choice, I see myself going back over and over again. Even if it’s just to look at the Bob Marley’s face on the wall while I sip on their homemade ginger beer and punch.
Respect to Jamski for a beautiful Caribbean experience and Big Up to you for reading!
Rate my Patois in the comment section below. 😉
COURTESY: Casava Media
Please share article with friends 😉