Sat | Sep 23, 2017

The Wonders of 8 Spices

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2017 | 2:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
The grilled pineapple chicken kebab is colourful and sweet.
Melissa Dukharan-Constantine with her signature jerked chicken dish.
This is the perfect Jamaican-Italian fusion – sweet Scotch bonnet pork pasta.
The sizzling orange-ginger tofu stir-fry. You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this one.
This almond-guava bread pudding will touch your very soul with its exquisite guava flavour and spongy texture.
Take a look at the bar, pick your spirit.
We know how Jamaicans love their jerked chicken, and this 8 Spices jerk is no different.
A delicious side as always, garlic bread.
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A restaurant with the heart, soul and flavour of Jamaica is what Melissa Dukharan-Constantine is aiming for at the newly opened 8 Spices Restaurant and Bar.

In photo: Take a look at the bar, pick your spirit.

The Jamaican inspiration is evident as soon as you enter. Red, green and yellow lights, a Jamaican flag painted above the bar, and Jamaican-made art pieces strategically placed throughout the establishment. However, the most fascinating piece is the bar's countertop covered with Jamaican 10-cent coins.

In photo: Melissa Dukharan-Constantine with her signature jerked chicken dish

Having her own restaurant had always been on the top of Dukharan-Constantine's list. One that is truly Jamaican was crucial.

"I saw the need for a Jamaican-inspired and infused restaurant. Working in the industry for some time, I wanted to start something for myself, show creativity. Food is my art and when you come to 8 Spices, you are taking part in my creation," she told Food.

In photo:We know how Jamaicans love their jerked chicken, and this 8 Spices jerk is no different. 

Her love for Jamaica is evident in her food, hence the name 8 Spices. These are based on the eight signature seasoning in her jerk dishes. But jerked chicken and pork are not the only Jamaican-inspired items on her menu. She also infuses Jamaican flavours into dishes that might not be Jamaican.

In photo: This is the perfect Jamaican-Italian fusion – sweet Scotch bonnet pork pasta.

One such dish is her sweet Scotch bonnet pasta that is served with chicken or pork, or as a vegetarian dish.

"We have the best pepper. Scotch bonnet is not only spicy, but it adds a flavour to your food that you cannot get from any other pepper," she told Food. That it does. The pasta is flavourful and does seem to be a perfect Jamaican-Italian fusion.

In photo: The sizzling orange-ginger tofu stir-fry. You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this one.

There is also the pimento-crusted cheese sticks served with a Scotch bonnet sauce. And knowing how Jamaicans love their rum, Dukharan-Constantine wanted to show that there are fun ways to consume it, and that gave birth to her rum barbecued wings. The menu is filled with appetisers, main courses and dessert for all to enjoy, meat lovers and vegetarians alike, all infused with authentic Jamaican flavour.

8 Spices Restaurant and Bar

Contact: 8161481

Address: 7 Grosvenor

Terrace, Kingston 8

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8spicesrestaurantandbar