Tue | Jan 19, 2021

Eclectic flavours at District 5 - Newly launched R Hotel restaurant seeks to stimulate five senses

Published:Thursday | December 17, 2020 | 12:25 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
Executive Chef Brian Lumley invites you to stimulate your senses at District 5.
Executive Chef Brian Lumley invites you to stimulate your senses at District 5.
Alyssia Senior could not wait to indulge in the flavours of her garlic lobster.
Alyssia Senior could not wait to indulge in the flavours of her garlic lobster.
Now, who doesn’t love a flambé? Executive Chef Brian Lumley gave Food a fiery live cooking demonstration of scrumptiously creamy pasta.
Now, who doesn’t love a flambé? Executive Chef Brian Lumley gave Food a fiery live cooking demonstration of scrumptiously creamy pasta.
Mouthwatering curried lobster, served with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Mouthwatering curried lobster, served with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables.
A closer look at the decadent deconstructed Oreo and Bailey’s cheesecake.
A closer look at the decadent deconstructed Oreo and Bailey’s cheesecake.
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Newly launched hotel restaurant District 5 promises diners an electric mix of local and Caribbean cuisine and entertainment.

Located at the chic R Hotel in New Kingston, foodies are already raving about the unique fare and simply breathtaking view.

“We aim to offer Kingston a different product. We want to offer something that gets people coming for more,” explained Executive Chef Brian Lumley.

With all of his travels, Chef Lumley is thrilled to be bringing a world of culinary experience to every table at District 5.

“I really think I’ve matured as a chef. And I’m excited to return with the foreign elements from my travels and fuse them with dishes that were on my own menu,” he said.

The seasoned chef listed the exciting dishes on offer at District 5.

“So, currently, there’s the curried chicken spring rolls, ackee and salt fish spring rolls, the grilled octopus will be back soon, jerked chicken, curried goat, salmon, roast snapper, steak, curried shrimp, coconut shrimp, garlic lobster, lobster linguini, crab cakes, an array of pastas, fish and chips and rolled oxtail cannelloni, made with deboned oxtail, nothing to get in the way of the meat of the matter. I’ve served things in coconut shells. And because coconut is a strong Jamaican ingredient, it is featured a lot in most of my dishes,” he shared.

For desserts, the purple sweet potato pudding with ice cream, sorrel glaze and caramel, Wray and Nephew white rum pudding and deconstructed Oreo cheesecake, with Oreo cookies and Bailey’s in it are surefire hits among lovers of sweets.

There is also a popular vegan item. The zucchini and eggplant stew with coconut milk, a little bit of tomato sauce, boiled down with black beans, broccoli, cauliflower and different vegetables, all mixed into one, finished with basil and cilantro. Some have ordered it with rice and peas, he pointed out. While others have opted for pressed green plantains or fried plantains. It’s a dish, he says, that even non-vegetarians will eat. There are varied options for all to enjoy.

The breakfast menu is equally enticing with pancakes, waffles, omelettes galore, eggs your way, even steak and eggs.

You can choose to dine in the open air, either on the terrace or the courtyard, separated by a long plunge pool and adjacent walkway. Roofing is available on both sides, but if the courtyard gets too hot, the roof can be retracted to accommodate fresh air. Private dining is also available in the newly named Dimaggio Room, in honour of R Hotel and District 5 owner Joe Bogdanovich.

“We wanted something to match the vibe and energy of the space. Because we are in the middle of the hustle and bustle in this district we wanted a distinct name that would stand out, to indicate that you’re going to a place of prestige and sophistication. It is also located on the fifth floor, we thought it would be interesting to give people the premonition that you are going up so it’s District 5 or D5,” Lumley revealed.

On a much deeper level, District 5 seeks to stimulate the five senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. “We wanted to engage all five senses in the dining experience,” he added.

As far as safety regulations go, the restaurant is very cognisant of COVID-19 protocols. As such, there isn’t a physical menu. Diners are instead given a card to scan on their phones and the menu pops up. You may also request this link through social media beforehand, so you can know what to order.

“We take only one group at a time to minimise on the crowd. We’re very passionate about both food and service. We strongly recommend reservations. Only those who make a reservation would get preferred seating. If you chance [walking] in, you may find seating at the bar or the herb garden countertop,” said Lumley.

There are also internal events, like live music on a Saturday, and a DJ in house on a Thursday and Friday. In keeping with the entertainment aspect, the team is looking to tantalise taste buds by incorporating themed cuisine nights, like Italian, seafood or Asian.

District 5 is located at 2 Renfrew Road Road, Kingston 10.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com