I will preface this review by saying I come from a Caribbean family and therefore walked into Caribbean Flavah with higher than normal expectations for a take-out restaurant.
Most students who have lived in Westdale-Ainsliewood for the last few years are already very well-acquainted with the restaurant, as the signage for the store went up roughly two years ago. While its presence has been looming, the restaurant itself only opened two months ago, towards the end of November.
I went to the restaurant in time for their take-out lunch specials. From 11-4 p.m. they offer five dollar lunch specials that include your choice of meat (jerk chicken, curry chicken, fried chicken, stewed chicken or jerk pork), served with rice and beans and coleslaw.
I ordered the jerk and curry chicken, and they both had good flavour. The jerk was definitely the better of the two, but both seemed to have a lot of pieces of broken bone floating in the rice, a sign of poorly cut and prepared meat. It is understandable that the meat didn’t have the best cut because of the low price, but a more sustainable business practice could be to offer fewer options of better quality food for a slightly higher price. Encountering pointy bits of cartilage in my meal was off-putting and deters me from returning again, even if it is a great deal. The rice on the other hand had great flavour and consistency and made up for the sketchy bone cutting.
The lunch deals also came with a canned pop or bottled water. I really wanted to upgrade my canned pop to bottles of Ting (a Jamaican grapefruit drink), but they unfortunately had no way to pay for an upgrade, and the one person working there forced me to take the pop either way. I really wanted that Ting.
Caribbean Flavah has had a long start-up, and they seem to still have some planning to go. They do offer a wide range of dishes though, and are a unique addition to Westdale’s restaurant scene.
Photo Credit: Jon White/Photo Editor