The restaurant with no name (St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica)

When I stayed in Jamaica last year with my friend Cody, we took a day trip to YS Falls and Pelican Bar – two popular attractions in St Elizabeth, past Savannah La Mar (the capital of Westmoreland Parish). We had an early start to allow for our 2.5 hour journey (each way) and hadn’t had time for breakfast, so our driver pulled over for us to get something to eat.

We stopped at a small, family-run takeaway venue situated at the side of the road. I looked for a name on the front of the restaurant, but I couldn’t see one. Cody thought it may have been called the Moonlight Bar and Restaurant, but I searched using that name online and couldn’t find any information whatsoever. So, for now, this restaurant has no name!

When we arrived, I felt genuinely excited about trying out the food. The long row of cast iron pans sat on wooden stoves told me I was about to taste some pretty authentic Jamaican cuisine; to say it was traditional would be an understatement!

The menu was displayed on the outside wall, but not everything was available (as was often the case with small, family-run restaurants I visited in Jamaica). We had a choice of fried chicken, curried chicken, ackee and salt fish or brown stew chicken, served with rice and peas.

As a big fan of spicy food, I’d been meaning to try Jamaican curry since the day I’d arrived but hadn’t got round to it yet. Now, though, I knew the time was right. This would be the best curry I’d have the chance to taste during my stay in Jamaica, I told myself.

Or so I thought! My medium-sized meal included a generous serving of rice and peas, boiled veg and a chicken curry. Upon first impressions the quality of the chicken really put me off, as it was grisly and fatty as opposed to lean and tender. I tried a piece and this confirmed my thoughts.

As for the curry sauce, it was disappointing to say the least. It tasted like powdered chinese curry sauce, similar to that sold in British fish and chip shops, and aside for onions there was no veg in it whatsoever.

The rice and peas were just average, although I did enjoy the boiled veg, which consisted of white and green cabbage and carrots. I ate the rice and veg to fill myself up and then left the rest.

Meanwhile,  Cody opted for a large portion of escovitch fish and rice. This looked fairly appetising, but unfortunately it was quite bony and dry and he ended up leaving most of his meal too.

All in all we only paid around $10 for our food, with soft drinks, so at least we didn’t fork out too much money for this let-down of a meal.

Do you recognise the restaurant with no name? Can you help me put a name to it? If so, please get in touch with me (Kacie) at Thanks!


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