I had the most amazing vacation in Jamaica and I was blown away by how fabulous the food was at the Hyatt Ziva. We arrived late afternoon and headed over to the Barefoot Jerkz Chicken Hut for a snack. The jerk chicken was absolutely delish. The chicken was cooked right there on the beach grill and was moist and juicy and the sauce was tangy with a slow heat. Later that night we dined on the most perfectly cooked and seasoned shrimp and snapper.
I love to taste the local food when I'm traveling so I was excited to see ackee & saltfish, callaloo (which are sautéed greens) and grilled polenta - all traditional food, at the breakfast buffet. Jamaican food is influenced by the various cultures who live here (African, Indian, British, French, Spanish, Chinese) and is rich in flavours and spices. I couldn't help but try it all!
Jerk seasoning traditionally has allspice and gets its heat from the scotch bonnet pepper. Variations can include anything from cloves, cinnamon, garlic and brown sugar, but the locals will tell you that Scotchies makes the best jerk chicken around.
The resort also had a Brazillian restaurant that was an experience in itself. The waiter arrived and gave everyone at the table two cards, one that indicates to the servers that you would like another serving and one that tells them that you're okay for now. Then he explained how the courses work. They serve the side dishes family style on the table along with sauces for the meat and then the various meat dishes are served off skewers. The sides were Brazilian style black beans, rice and fried polenta and for sauces we had chimichurri and garlic aïoli. We enjoyed steak, grilled chicken, jerk chicken wings, saussage, lamb, and Black Forest ham.
There was such an impressive selection of restaurants at our resort that we didn't have time to experience them all during our weekend getaway but I will quickly tell you about our favourite meal at Di Rosa, their Italian restaurant. We didn't have reservations but they were able to accommodate us on a busy night at the bar. It turned out that these were the best seats in the house! The large pizza oven was right in front of us where we watched the two pizza chefs stoke the fire wood and prepare gorgeous hand tossed pizzas one after another. We devoured an assortment of antipasti, our main pasta dishes and a decadent dessert. The pizza chefs playfully chided us for not ordering a pizza, so we ordered a Greek pizza to go - it was a perfect midnight snack!
A trip to Jamaica wouldn't be complete for me if I didn't have a Jamaican beef pattie. On the last day there were beef patties at the lunch buffet, awesome - they didn't disappoint and they were spicy hot! The perfect way to end our vacation. Ya Mon!
Wife, mother and pilot, with a passion for good food.