For my birthday in Jamaica in 2022 and towards the end of my trip, I wanted to have a nice meal outside of the hotel walls. The bad thing about staying in an all-inclusive hotel is that the food needed to be catered to everyone and that includes minimising the spice.
Our guide told us when the pandemic started and more of the five-star inclusive hotels were built that local business was really bad. So I wanted to go have lunch at a restaurant in Ocho Rios, Mongoose, which serves a range of dishes such as Stew Peas, Jerk Shrimp and my personal favourite, Curry Goat.
Mongoose is a popular restaurant in Ocho Rios and is only a ten minute walk from the Turtle River Park. The only downside about Mongoose is the customer service. Upon entering and trying to find someone to seat us, the waitress was irritated, slow and not quite welcoming – typical of what service can be in Jamaica and what I hate to be honest.
But regardless, the curry goat was everything I wanted; the meat is cooked softly, very tender and a true taste of Jamaican cooking. There’s always something wonderful about eating curry goat when it’s done right because your fingernails are stained yellow after pulling the bone clean off from your mouth and the spice is just right.
Speaking of spice, despite the 30°C temperature at the start of July, the spice complemented it by being at least a bit more peppery than what I was used to. For a quick stop, I do highly recommend going to Mongoose for curry goat and the above dishes when you’re in the area.
To this day, I’m still craving their curry goat.