Tue | Nov 12, 2019

Meet me by 8Rivaz Ultra Lounge

Published:Thursday | July 11, 2019 | 12:11 AMJessica Harrison/Gleaner Writer

FOOD journeyed to Ocho Rios to see what all the noise about 8Rivaz Lounge was about and, my, oh my, did we get what we were looking for.

Upon walking into 8Rivaz, the first thing that hits you is its clean, airy atmosphere and open dance floor. The DJ is pumping the hottest tunes, the waitresses are smiling, and the bartender is over on the right mixing up vibrant Campari, Appleton and J. Wray and Nephew storms. Outside on the balcony overlooking Ochi’s hustle and bustle, however, is where the crowd prefers to be, according to floor manager Renee Thorpe. High bistro tables strategically spread across the balcony floor, with colours such as blue, green and red go perfectly with the low overhead lighting, making the scene intimate but not uncomfortable. Every day, 8Rivaz offers a different vibe and patrons are free to come and indulge on any day of the week, between 6 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Drinks

Everyone loves a good Appleton Estate premium blend mix, others love Campari on the rocks, and some prefer the good ol’ J. Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum. Either way, 8Rivaz brought out the options. ‘Vibes Time’ is the name of the yellow drink, a top favourite. It’s mixed with pineapple juice, passion fruit, two shots of Appleton Special and a little Ting soda to bring everything together. Careful though, this might be the beginning of a risqué night. The peach drink, ‘Limbo’, which goes down smooth and still packs a punch, is made with two shots of Appleton signature blend, beer, schnapps, one shot of J. Wray and Nephew White Overproof and a little extra ingredient the bartender refuses to name. The green drink, ‘Hulk’, and the ‘Blue Shark’, both made with shots of Campari and time juice to bring out, as the name says, the hulk and the shark in you.

The Food

Four beautiful dishes came to our table, one after the other, and we could hardly sit still. The aroma from each dish had our mouths watering; what else were we expecting when the 8Rivaz chef, Damion Bailey, has over 15 years of experience. “This is my second year here at 8Rivaz and I’ve always enjoyed preparing meals for our customers, especially those with food requirements because they give me a challenge,” he said.

The ‘Ultimate Rivaz Burger’, served with seasoned fries, is made from scratch with grounded, marinated beef, three different cheeses, and topped off with peppered jelly. It will send your taste buds on a trip into paradise in just a few seconds. The popular ‘Rivaz Chicken Roulade’ did not disappoint. Stuffed with cheese, shredded cabbage, sweet peppers and other cut seasoning, the chicken is wrapped with bacon and baked to perfection, causing even the bacon to melt away in your mouth. It is served with a Jamaican favourite, pressed, fried green plantain slices and sweet chili sauce. Have you had enough? Next was the fried barbecue wings, breaded and fried then baked in the Rivaz signature barbecue sauce. The meat slides right off the bone before you can properly sink your teeth into it. Pasta and seafood lovers, we made sure to get something for you, too. The creamy shrimp alfredo pasta was a bite of heaven – well seasoned, with the shrimp cooked to perfection.

If you’re convinced, now is the time to plan your trip to Ocho Rios and head to 76 Mainstreet on Beecham Plaza.

jessica.harrison@gleanerjm.com