Let Your Tastebuds Thrive at Chive!
Virginia Woolf might not have been a foodie, but this famous author got it spot on when she said: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Directing discerning and yearning palates to the ultimately euphoric dining experience is Chive Restaurant.
The quaint eatery, tucked in the corner of Orchid Plaza in Liguanea has stirred converting expressions of ‘hmms’, ‘oohs’, ‘wows’, and ‘ahhs’ through the creation of mouthwatering dishes. Food caught up with owner Nanda Dukharan to find out more about how Chive came into being.
According to Dukharan, the food scene in Kingston has evolved. And people are more appreciative of culinary possibilities and gastronomy in general. “We are becoming more exposed and willing to explore food and drink, all while craving good food and a good experience. Chive opened its doors to cater to just that.”
She, alongside her partner, Aston Lau, made their debut last November, on the first day of Restaurant Week, to a bloom of eager tastebuds. That success kept Chive alive and kicking with innovation and bursts of marrying flavours.
Food, she says, had always played a major role in her life and that of her family. The same could be said of her Lau. “After we met years ago, we both quickly realised we had a mutual appreciation and passion for food and travelling. Over the years, the kind of food we were eager to try or experience ultimately determined which spots or which destinations we would visit.”
They would always find themselves creating new friendships with restaurant owners and chefs. “The best way to learn about people and their culture is through cooking with them in their kitchen,” she added.
Although they are both Jamaican, they have two different cultural backgrounds. With the diversity of flavour at their fingertips, they celebrate that difference by making magic in the kitchen. Pair that with the commonality of food and its ability to bring people together: that in its simplicity, has paved the development of their culinary path.
Since the dynamic duo organically grow some of the herbs used at the restaurant – the chive plants being their favourites – they didn’t have to look far for a name. And, like the plant, the entrepreneurial side of their lives took on a more of a natural progression.
The reception so far has definitely been positive, Dukharan asserted, “We see a growing number of returning customers and that makes us happy.”
Far from generic, the menu showcases a creative and bold appreciation for familiar flavours, some local, but with an awakening twist. “The menu we launched with featured a number of bold dishes. We were pleasantly surprised at the excitement and positive feedback we received! This included ‘Farm in a Basket’ which is our take on rabbit, a delicious underutilised meat which we stewed with market vegetables and served in a pastry ‘basket’.” She continued, “For lent, we focused on our sprat burger, which essentially is deboned sprat made into a ‘burger patty’ and served between a steamed corn bread and escoveitched carrots.”
The restaurant is currently offering a sizzling summer menu boasting a few of the signature dishes that customers cannot get enough of. For the lobster loaded fries, the meat is taken out of the lobster tail and stuffed back in, with sweet potato fries. The lobster meat and topped with a Cajun mornay sauce. The pork buns are also still popular among palates dining at Chive. “We make these Asian bao buns every day in our kitchen and stuff it with crisp pork belly with a hoisin sauce. Our signature oxtail alfredo pasta has been a hit from day one and it is still available,” she shared. The servings will amaze you!
Additionally, on the drink menu, the watermelon mojito is super refreshing. The Chive Passion Fruit Sparkling drink has also been popular among diners.
The sophisticated chic, yet cozy setting will greet you with open arms. Once you’re seated, you can’t help but admire the intimate winery for your viewing and tasting pleasure. “Food always tastes better with wine! We carry a variety of wines from around the world. Our customers, both connoisseurs and the novice alike, are bound to find an appealing bottle of wine or a glass they can enjoy.”
So what are you waiting for? Let your tastebuds come alive and thrive at Chive!
For more information, you can visit at Orchid Village Plaza at 20 Barbican Road, Kingston, call: 876-820-1194 or check them out on social media, Instagram: @chivejamaica or Facebook: Chive Restaurant.