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MONGOOSE Jamaica - Ochi's ultimate dining experience

Published:Thursday | March 14, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Escoveitched fish with rice and peas and vegetables.
Grilled salmon and bed of fruit coutis finished with tomato ragout.
Eight rivers salad
Steamed callaloo, ackee and salt fish and johnnycakes! How tempting! - PHOTOS BY Carl Gil
Tropical butterfly lobster tail with drawn garlic butter.
Steamed fish with vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Mongoose Jamaica is more than a restaurant, it's an experience, according to proprietor Lesbert Thomas.

Located on Main Street in Ocho Rios, St Ann, he said, "I just wanted to do something different."

He did something 'different' with the name as well, which he chose because the mongoose has a rich history in Jamaica.

"I feel Ocho Rios needs something. There's nothing around here that's unique and has a unique flavour and I wanted to bring something that if you go to Miami Beach or West Palm Beach, you will see, but you can stay in Ocho Rios and get the same feel."

Maybe the same feel, but not necessarily the same food.

Just ask the Johnson and Wales University-trained chef Denton Purcell, who has more than 20 years' experience working with the best in the hospitality industry at places such as Sandals, SuperClubs and Carnival Cruise Lines.

"Our cuisine is a wide range - from Italian to French to Mediterranean to Jamaican - and even Asian," Purcell pointed out.


Breakfast ranges from typical Jamaican fare of ackee and salt fish to pancakes and French toast. For dinner, there's chicken - southern fried, curried, grilled; lobster - grilled or curried; pork or steak.

If you prefer, you may grab a sandwich, a pizza, some Jamaican jerk, or something from the grill. Or maybe a cocktail from the bar. By the way, black forest cakes and cheesecakes are available.

"Once they come through the doors, customers are treated like royalty," notes the chef.

Mongoose Jamaica presents a wonderful opportunity to dine in comfort and elegance in an exquisite setting, Thomas himself being responsible for the decor.

"Overall, it's a unique experience," notes Thomas. "Even the Jamaican dishes that we prepare, we try to give a little twist - some flair that makes them even more exciting. "

The restaurant has been opened for just two months and he reports that people in the town are loving it.