Destinations of Distinction
April 15, 2021
Let me start off by saying that the chef at The Cliff is not simply a chef, but an artist.
I’m so excited to be bringing you another ‘First Class Foodie’ write up & actually the first one of 2021! Where has the time gone?! A few things have changed since the new year started and the biggest one of those is that I’m now a vegetarian & pescatarian when I travel! If you read my ‘Bring on 2021, we’re ready for you’ (https://destinationsofdistinction.com/2021/02/05/bring-on-2021-were-ready-for-you/) post, you would know that this all started with me challenging myself to the 7-day vegan challenge and I pretty much kept going from there. Albeit, cheese is a tough one that I struggle to live my life without out *starts day dreaming about cheese*.
OK, snap back into the room… let’s do a deep divine into the cuisine at The Cliff Hotel, Negril Jamaica. First, let me set the scene. The restaurant at this stunning property sits overlooking the cliffs with a serene and peaceful atmosphere while the sounds of waves crashing is a background buzz that you never want to disappear.
At night, there are delicately hung lights to enhance the romantic feel. Stepping onto this property, it instantly feels like you’re attending a health retreat, so without trying I was motivated to eat relatively clean & their menu makes that SO easy. It is also complete with vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options for those clients that have special dietary requirements.
I highly recommend you try their fruit plate & I know you might be thinking ‘been there, done that’, this was like no fruit plate I’ve had ever had before. So much so that I had to call the waiter back to ask exactly what was what! Exotic & colorful star apple, June plums & sweetsop were just some of the few that were unidentifiable to me, but WOW were they delicious!
If you’re up for another local taste palette explosion, try out their smoked salmon with johnny cakes. These 2 items on the menu did not come together, but Travel Tribe, I’m giving you the inside scoop here… you will not regret it.
I was eagerly awaiting lunch on the day we arrived, as like any true foodie I had already scoured the menu and arrived at what I imagine to be heaven. Breadfruit fish tacos, and yes, that is every bit as incredible as it sounds. If you’ve never tried a breadfruit, try it, try it now. The delicate fish paired with the thinly sliced crisp breadfruit taco shell was sheer genius. There are 3 tacos per order and comes with a choice of fries or side salad as well as a fresh homemade salsa and hot sauce.
Top tip: If you’re not dining alone (or simply up for the challenge), get these as a starter to leave more room to try other scrumptious things on the menu!
Speaking of starters, the black bean hummus is also another must try. I was almost slightly disappointed in myself that I had never even heard of this before. It could simply be another stroke of genius from the head chef & remember what I told you… An artist.
This dip can either be served with plantain or sweet potato chips, if you’re greedy like me, ask for a mixture of both! You know, for a little variety in your life. If you can’t quite imagine what this tastes like, think of some type Mexican hummus and you’re heading down the right lines.
Without wanting you to feel like I’m being overly dramatic, I could shed a tear over dinner at The Cliff. I wish I could give you a review of multiple things that I tried throughout my 3 night stay however, once the homemade gnocchi hit my tongue, I knew nothing else on the menu could compete. Yes, you’re right, I ordered it EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. This is quite literally unheard-of behavior from me, I’m typically the person that would order 2 starters and 2 mains just so I can try everything on the menu. So, let that be a testament to how good this gnocchi dish was.
Note: this dish is typically served with braised beef short ribs which I have heard were also divine but for mine he switched it out with hearty veg and a delicate goat’s cheese sauce served on the side.
Outside of this, I have to give my props to the refined dinner menu that is elevated by specials packed with local ingredients and even herbs & vegetables that are grown right on property! Hearing the waitress read me my list of options to indulge in was simply poetic and she gave Rupi Kaur a run for her money.
One thing on the list of desserts that caught my attention was a scotch bonnet cheesecake with a caramel drizzle. I was absolutely stuffed after my main, but all of a sudden, I felt like my heart stopped and my stomach grumbled. I needed it. I was so intrigued by the unique combination of ingredients… spicy cheesecake… HUH?!
But the spice was ever so subtle but the burst of flavor from that pepper still shone through the rich and creamy cream cheese filling *starts salivating*.
All in all, the cuisine at The Cliff truly wowed me and therefore they are receiving the First Class Foodie stamp of approval!
If you venture to this area of the world and try any of these dishes, please tag us & let me know what you think!
Continue to pack light & travel deep Travel Tribe.