It’s been a busy and hard week, so when Chris asked me if I wanted to get dinner out; I had no more energy to cook, so I gladly said “yes”. We headed over to Commercial Drive, not really sure what we wanted, when I recalled that I had recently purchased a Groupon for The Reef.
For a Thursday night on The Drive, it was pretty quiet. We were one of only a few tables when we first got there, but soon the restaurant filled up. Unlike at the Main Street location, our server was very attentive, friendly and quick to take care of us (we’ve had a very negative experience at the Main Street location last year – it really put us off The Reef for a long time).
We ordered, and shortly after received a sunny yellow sand pail with a few deep-fried fritters and a small container of butter-like spread. These were The Reef’s Johnny Cakes and what I think was palm or coconut butter. Served warm, these little cornmeal-coated fritters were quite good.
Shortly after, our mains arrived. Chris had ordered something I’d enjoyed a few times before – their Jerk Chicken Trini Roti. The homemade roti is heavily spiced with tumeric, cumin and a bit of curry with delicious results.
The jerk chicken is definitely spicy, but not overwhelmingly so, and is quite juicy (the dark meat choice was a wise one here) which went well with the potatoes and onions also mixed into the wrap. The coleslaw which is served on the side is a vinegar-based version, and offers a refreshing contrast to the roti’s flavours. This bad boy is filling – I know I’ve taken half home in the past, and Chris would have easily left a few bites had he not persevered!
My choice was something new – the Rosehall Rundown seemed like an interesting mix of tilapia simmered in a spiced coconut broth, served on rice with veggies. While the fish serving was very generous (and well cooked – which is likely thanks to being poached in the broth), the rice and veggies were a bit strange…
The veggie pieces were cut rather haphazardly – leaving some of them much more cooked than other pieces. There was at least one blemish on a piece of tomato that I would have never served to guests, and the broth didn’t seem to have been mixed thoroughly with the spices when it was dished onto my plate… as a result the sauce (and rice) were much darker on one side than on the other. Despite these inconsistencies, the overall dish tasted very good, and I liked the concept a lot, if not the execution.
Our bill (including a pineapple milkshake that Chris ordered – it was very un-photogeneic 🙂 ) came to just over $30. My dish was a bit more expensive than we’d normally pay without the coupon, but the roti was a great value for the price (and again – so filling!). We were glad to have had a much better experience at The Reef than our last one, and may come back more regularly to this location in the future.