I went to the Reef on Main with a group of friends, wanting to try Carribean food for the first time. All in all, I would say I left feeling just slightly disappointed. I was expecting a lot more flavour in the food. While some dishes were pretty good, others were quite bland.
We started with some drinks and appies - the Jamaican Beef Patty, Coco Prawns, Island Crab Cakes and Plantain Chips. The Patty was good, but I found the mango chutney was really overwhelming - I couldn't taste much other than the cloves in the chutney. The coco prawns were pretty average, but the crab cakes were delicious. I thought the curry might be too strong for the crab, but it was wonderfully balanced. The Plantain chips were good, but not a whole lot of flavour except in the jerk mayo - it was so good that one of the people in our group actually used her finger to get every last bit of it out of the little dish.
To drink, I had the Jamaican Dragon Stout, which is apparently exclusive to the Reef. It's a smaller bottle of beer - 300ml - but it's 7.5% alcohol. Despite that, I didn't really feel that it was "too" strong of a beer, as it is very flavourful and I really enjoyed it.
For my entrée, I had the Ackee & Saltfish served with rice & coleslaw. When I got my plate, I thought there was a mix-up, because it looked like an omelette with green peppers and onions. In fact, it actually tasted like an omelette. Not a lot of flavour other than slightly salty, but I couldn't even tell that I was eating fish - it looked and tasted too much like eggs - I know, weird! The rice was bland so I put some of their hot sauce on it (very good stuff) but the coleslaw was quite nice, as it was not made with mayo. Very light tasting and a nice complement to the rest of the meal.
I should have gone with the Mahi Mahi. Two people at my table had that, and I got to try a little bit. Very nice flavour, nicely cooked and a good sized portion. If I go back, I will have that or maybe try the Oxtail, as it's not a common menu item and I'm curious to see what it would be like.
I would have liked to have had dessert, but I had to leave early and didn't have time. They only have one item for dessert, which is fried bananas with ice cream.
If I did go back, I'd probably stick with appies and drinks, but I think I would try another Carribean place before going to the Reef again.