Pages Cafe: The Upper Level: Where UWI’s High Class Eats

Ever wondered where UWI’s lecturers and principal eat? Ever thought of taking a girl on a date but you can’t afford to go off campus? Ever in need of a place to practice proper dining etiquette? Well Page’s Cafe the upper level may put all wondering thoughts to rest.

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Entrance: Staircase to the right, all invited

I did a review of the best place to eat on campus recently and Page’s Cafe did not top the list due to the high prices. The review only focused on the lower level. Recently a head of department took me to a lunch meeting at the upper level (the Deck).

The Upper Level
The Upper Level

I was alarmed at the excellent customer service provided! Why isn’t that replicated at the lower level?

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The Lower Level
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The Musically Themed Lower Level

After that experience I was inspired to use Page’s catering service. I was very pleased with the result. I thought it would be a good idea to review the upper level and the manager was fully supportive of this idea and was even nice enough to offer a free meal!
Page’s Cafe offers a special menu every Thursday “Gourmet Thursdays” and that day was selected for the review.
I took a financially unsound young lady to assist with the review process to make it a bit more objective.

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I had the ackee salad, reggae rice, tossed salad and salmon. The meal was very good, I especially enjoyed the ackee and breadfruit salad. We arrived late so the salad was not as warm as I would have liked, but good just the same. The reggae rice was really jammin’ so none was left for disposal. I was not a big fan of the butter fish fillet and salmon, it was ok but in my opinion not great.

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I must commend the manager Mr. Brown who offered exceptional customer service. I guarantee you will never find better customer service on campus! We did not have any cheese ravioli and he personally took a plate for us to try. It was wonderful! At least the bit I got to taste. Should I take a more financially sound person next time? In my opinion she thoroughly enjoyed her meal.

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This is what my fellow reviewer had to say:

“The reggae rice was my favorite part of the meal. Extremely savory, but the herbs did not overpower the overall flavor of the dish. The black eyed peas in the rice paired well with the Salmon. I’d eat the salmon and the rice together as a complete meal by itself. If Pages should add the reggae rice and the salmon to their regular menu, I’d gladly pay an additional $100 to the usual (exorbitant) cost.”

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Fancy cakes and fruits forms a regular part of the dessert menu.

Pages Cafe

It is important to note that due to the high operating costs, the quality of the meals and the service provided, it is more expensive when compared to the average dining options. Visit the Deck today and let the manager know you were referred by Aldeam’s blog and you may just get a discount!

You may also find Page’s soup, pasta salad and sandwiches at the UWI book shop.

Are you willing to give the Deck a try? Let me know in the comment section below! Two lucky persons will be treated.

-Aldeam Facey 2015

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Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding Recipe

Cornmeal pudding is very easy to prepare and has been a favorite among Jamaicans for as long as I can remember.

Ingredients:

3 Cups Cornmeal

3/4 Cups Flour

2 Cups Sugar

1 Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoon Cinnamon Extract

1 Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice

2 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 Sachet of Maggie Coconut Milk

Raisins (optional)

Directions:

Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt together.

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Add water to mix the sachet of coconut milk then slowly add coconut milk to the dry ingredients (2 cups of water is needed)

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Add vanilla, mixed spice, cinnamon extract and grated nutmeg. Add raisins if desired then pour mixture into baking tin and bake at 375 degrees (F) for 1.5 hours.

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Allow it to cool for at least 1 hour before you devour.

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– Aldeam Facey 2015

The Best Place To Buy Food At The UWI Mona Campus

The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, is the largest and most recognized tertiary institution in Jamaica. The campus accommodates thousands of local and international students of varying cultural backgrounds. It becomes quite necessary for the university to provide many dining options to facilitate the students’ diverse  palate.

It is very hard to find a place to purchase food that is easy on the pocket, great tasting, and has fast customer service. In most cases you have to choose two of the three options. Below are a list of the places you can purchase cooked food on campus and their raking. The list below is very subjective and is completely based on my personal experiences. The prices, menus and service stated are subject to change at the discretion of the business.

1. Yao UWI

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Yes, Yao UWI branch is still in business, unbelievable?…..believe it! In my opinion this is the worst tasting food you can buy on campus. This is not an attempt to degrade the quality of food Yao, the Chinese fast food franchise provides, as its Sovereign branch makes a superb sweet and sour chicken that not only keeps me coming back for more, but is one of the reasons I am not a vegetarian as yet. If you are accustomed to the Sovereign branch, do not expect the same quality at the UWI branch, you will be disappointed. I am not the only one who has experienced this, but after eating at Yao UWI, I feel really really bloated. The good thing about Yao UWI is their fast service, and cost. A small meal cost $300 and they really pack your box! At Yao, you never have to wait very long.

Yao UWI 5/10

2. The Spot

Comparatively speaking, Yao sells more for less when compared to their neighbors, The Spot. The Spot, however sells way better tasting, Jamaican food in a comfortable environment designed to entertain. With a pool table, flat screen TV, slushes and alcoholic beverages, this restaurant truly hits, ‘the spot’. Waiting time is not optimized especially when serving a lot of customers, but the environment compensates for this inconvenience.

The Spot 7/10

3. Social Welfare 

Immediately across from the health center, lies a secret most students don’t know. But those who do, more often than not give great reviews. The food (Jamaican) tastes very pleasing in a nice, closed, quiet environment. The price, though not the best for the quantity, does not put a politician in your pocket.

Social Welfare 6.5/10

4. Mae’s Cafeteria

The food isn’t very good, but the price is quite affordable. Attached to the Mary Seacole Hall, a nice environment and low waiting times the only real complaint I have is the food, which is the most important. I do not recommend Mae’s Cafeteria.

Mae’s Cafeteria 5/10

5. Bee Hive

Bee Hive

One of the most popular places to buy quality cooked Jamaican food on campus. Opening at 7 with a diverse breakfast menu what anyone can afford, Bee Hive is thriving. You can buy fried dumplings in the morning and if you cannot afford the stewed chicken which cost $220 then you can have your dumplings with gravy for just an extra $20. With a friendly staff, Bee Hive ensures that everyone is satisfied. The biggest disadvantage with this restaurant is the waiting time. At about mid-day the waiting line may extend beyond the honey comb and the wait is very long. The price for a small meal is $340 and they tend to offer free fried dumplings in your meals to ensure nothing gets wasted. They also cater for vegetarians, offering meatless meals daily.

campus food (4)

Bee Hive 7.3/10

6. Page’s Cafe

Pages Cafe is the most upscale place to buy food on campus. With their ‘Gourmet Thursdays’ often featuring grilled salmon and their unique daily menus, it is the spot for UWI staff members. The cost of each meal, however, is nothing to smile about. Quality food, but less than acceptable customer service and high prices kicks Pages out of the book for the number 1 spot.

Pages Cafe 6.9/10

7. Juicy Patties

Juicy patties

Juicy is the most popular fast food franchise on campus. It is the number one choice for most students because the meals are not costly. The food sold for lunch are not very substantial but there is a lot from which you may choose. Juicy Patties offer an excellent breakfast menu including fritters, porridges, fried and cooked dumplings, chicken, callaloo and the best steamed fish you can buy on campus. Due to high demands, the restaurant has been optimized for fast service.

Juicy Patties 7.5/10

8. Bucks

Bucks

A fresh look and a new name for the cafeteria located right beside the UWI maintenance department. In my experience their only limitation is their ridiculously long waiting times. In time, I trust this will be resolved, but for now:

Bucks 6/10

9. KFC

KFC – No good. The prices and the waiting times are the primary disadvantages of this franchise. The food is okay, if you like KFC. But there isn’t anything else I can positively say about it.

Everybody does it better.

KFC 5.5/10

10. The best place to buy cooked food on campus

Very recently I was introduced to this place by a friend. After trying it out, deciding which place was the best place to buy food on campus was easy as ABC. Yes, ABC Hall cafeteria, in my view, hits the spot. great tasting food, very affordable and very quick customer service. Many persons do not know this place exists as it is so far from the general campus population, but it is totally worth the walk. a small meal cost $290 and they do not hold back on the quantity. If you are able to close the box of food you receive, then return to Life of a Jamaican, for a full refund.

campus food (3)

campus food (2)
I dare you to close it.

ABC Cafeteria 8/10

Honorable Mention

A.Z Preston Hall Cafeteria and Taylor Hall Cafeteria. Both are very affordable, food tastes pleasing and very low waiting times. Limited by their location.

Both 6.5/10

Dukkuno Deli, located along the Ring Road just across from Mona school of business, offers pizza, salads, burgers and special drinks such as the ‘Mochaccino’ which is a coffee-chocolate blend. The prices are very high so only a select few make the Deli their daily choice.

Dukkuno Deli 6.5/10

– Aldeam Facey 2015

Here Is Why I Do Not Eat East Indian Mangoes In Public

I absolutely love East Indian Mangoes, so much so that every week you can see me in the Papine Market ‘jus a feel up feel up weh mi mumma nuh bring’.
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Normally when eating I take my time, cutting just the right amount to put into my half-opened mouth. Eating in public at social events I carefully eat with a knife and a fork so I don’t invite any unwanted attention. At home I tend to be a little more nonchalant, not when eating cooked food, but when enjoying a huge East Indian Mango.

Mangoes
I have a very strange relationship with East Indian Mangoes, they make me unusually happy. Last week I bought a huge 2 pounder, she was a beauty, I took her home, placed her in the kitchen just to get her acclimatized and later that evening I took her to my room, locked the door and I ate her. She was so juicy! As I stripped her skin, held her, with her juices running down my hand cheeks and chest, I could taste her sweetness all the way in the back of my throat. She was very nice. But no, I did not stop there, I sucked her seed so white it looked like a brand new artist canvas. Sadness creeped over me when she was done. I am hooked.
It would be quite embarrassing for anyone to see me like that, there is no level of formality associated with my interactions with East Indian Mangoes. Based on my observations I am definitely not the only one.
Do you enjoy eating mangoes the way I do?

– Aldeam Facey 2015

Curried Snapper Fillet Recipe

I like fish but sometimes I find difficulty deciding the best method to cook a particular type of fish. Do I steam? Do I fry? Experience teaches wisdom and after several attempts, currying the snapper fillets is my favorite method.

Ingredient:

1 Pack of Rain Forest Foods Snapper Fillet

1 Teaspoon Maggie all purpose seasoning

1 Teaspoon Indian curry powder

1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder

A pinch of salt (optional)

1/2 Teaspoon Black pepper

2 Teaspoon Ketchup

2 Teaspoon Fish and meat sauce

1 Carrot

1 Onion

Scallion

Scotch bonnet pepper

Sweet pepper

Directions:

Cut the fish fillet into small cubes about 1.5 cm. Add the all purpose seasoning, the turmeric, black pepper, salt and curry powder. Mix to ensure even distribution of seasonings. Chop and add the carrot.

Cut Fish Fillet
Cut Fish Fillet
Seasoned Fish Fillet
Seasoned Fish Fillet

Chop onion, scallion, 1/4 of a sweet pepper and 1/4 Scotch bonnet pepper. Fry in oil until translucent.

Onion Scallion and pepper

Fry Until Translucent
Fry Until Translucent

Add the seasoned fish fillet, fry for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 2/3 of a cup of water, the ketchup and the sauce.

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Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some rice and peas.

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– Aldeam Facey 2015

Jamaican Peanut Porridge Recipe

I am not a lover of porridges, but when it comes to peanut porridge, I make an exception. What was once a strange meal, only to be found in diverse places such as in a big pot on a Rasta man’s cart passing through the Spanish Town bus terminus early in the weekday mornings is now a very popular, highly requested breakfast choice. There are several ways to make it but this method is my personal favorite.

Ingredients:

1 lb Dried Raw Peanuts

3 teaspoon Flour

3 teaspoon Cornmeal

1/2 grated nutmeg

1 Cinnamon stick (cinnamon powder/extract also works)

2 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)

1 Sachet of powdered coconut milk

1 Can of condensed milk

Directions:

Boil about 700mls (3 cups) of water then add a cinnamon stick and the salt.

Blend peanuts until powdery and add the flour cornmeal and powdered coconut milk.

grated peanuts
grated peanuts

Add a small amount of water and slowly make a paste. Add increasing volumes of water to mix without forming lumps. Add the mixture to the boiling water and allow it to boil for 15 minutes stirring frequently. Add the vanilla and nutmeg to the boiling mix then decrease the heat to simmer for another 15 minutes (or until desired thickness is achieved).

Peanut porridge boiling

Sweeten with condensed milk.

condensed milk

Enjoy!

Peanut porridge

– Aldeam Facey 2015

Here Is Why You Should Not Eat Pork

A week ago I was at a breakfast, I was careful to inquire about the meat kinds served as I requested that no swine be served at my table. Unfortunately, the consumers of swine out-numbered me 6 to 1 and though I was the only man at the table, the head, the ‘gender in charge’, the chosen leader, authority was usurped and as a result swine was the primary meat served. They encouraged me to try it as they claimed: “A half of your life is gone” or “A di best meat dis eva!”. I had my ackee with salted cod fish and escoveitched fish as they slowly savored every bite, looking at me as they moaned with pleasure, but I was not tempted, I was not swayed by the swine. Rasta nuh deal wid unclean meat!

"You are what you eat"
“You are what you eat”

There are several reasons pork should not be eaten I will state a few below:

Biblical Reason

If you are a Christian, a follower of the bible, then this reason should be substantial.

Leviticus11: 1-3

And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.

Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.

Leviticus11: 7-8

And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.

Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

Deuteronomy 14: 8

And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.

So imagine, God made us, and made all creatures and he clearly says “Do not eat so and so”, why eat it? This kinda reminds me of Adam and Eve, we really are their children.

So here is where is gets interesting.

Acts 10: 11-15

And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

So this happened in a vision but provided that God never changes.

Malachi 3: 6

For I am the Lord, I change not.

Can this justify God’s approval for the consumption of… anything? No. I don’t serve a confused God. Analyze the context of the scripture carefully!

Also look at it this way. One part of the bible says DO NOT EAT the other says eat what God made clean. Would it hurt not to eat it? Wouldn’t you be in the safe zone if you didn’t? Are you starving and pork is the only option? (pork is NOT cheap!)

It is also significant to note that Jesus was a Jew and as such would not eat pork. So before you take another bite just ask: What would Jesus eat? I’m just following Jesus that’s all.

Health

Taenia Solium is the adult tapeworm found in contaminated pork. Please note that almost 70% of pork meat is contaminated. The larvae of the tapeworm causes “cysticercosis”. This is usually caused by ingestion of the eggs (ova) which was passed in the stool. The larvae can cause neurocysticercosis if it gets to the central nervous system.

The very dangerous bacteria Yersinia enterocolitica, according to research published in 2012, was found to infect most samples of pork! If pigs are properly raised, killed and prepared, the likelihood of infection decreases but the risk is significantly higher when compared to other meat kinds.

I am not saying eating pork is sinful. I am not saying you are going to hell for eating it! I just want my fellow brothers and sisters to live a happy healthy life, pleasing to God.

Feel free to share your views below.

– Aldeam Facey 2015