The Reef in Victoria serves Jamaican themed dishes including jerk chicken and pork, escovèche and tomato jalapeno vodka soup. They also offer a decent selection of cocktails, wines, Jamaican Dragon stout, Red Strip, and Carib beer from Trinidad.
I had dined at the Reef here in Vancouver and liked it, so it was interesting to compare it to the Victoria one. I was in Victoria visiting a friend and we went for a late dinner. The Reef was just there after a quick drive through downtown and I didn't feel for a bar/grill or pub food. Upon entering this Reef location, I was a little confused at the theme. It was all mix matched. There were grass covered furniture and carribean hut stuff, but there was quite a bit of surfing deco also.
Our service wasn't almost next to none, she basically ignored us all night. It wasn't busy, besides us, there was another table that was loud and abnoxious. Our server much rather attend to them than to us.
The food was ok. The chicken curry was nothing spectacular and my goat cheese dip tasted like there were only 2 ingredients in it: goat cheese and cream cheese. The plaintain chips that came with it were awesome though.
Definitely not even close to a favorite in Victoria.
Enjoyed a nice dinner at The Reef last night. Great value, my dining partners all had the three course special for 20.00. I had the curried chicken. The dish arrived promptly. A heaping plate of curried chicken on a bed of rice with a nice coleslaw on the side.
The curried chicken was tasty however I like my curry spicy so I had to kick it up a notch with some house habanero sauce, that did the trick. Our server was very good, filled my water glass a number of times and had a good sense of humour. All in all a pleasant visit to The Reef. Watching my pennies and waist line I didn't have a beverage or dessert so my evening was ultra cheap,
9.45 plus tip.
The Reef while having pretty steep drink prices is the best Carribean restaurant in the city. Curry plates are only $10 and come with a choice of chicken, goat or Ital (veggie), it is served with rice, slaw, mango banana chutney and yogurt. Its a great place for a late lunch as its pretty vacant around 3:00pm. Pluss they ahve introduced with habanero sauce that has a mustard base, it is unbelievable the best hot sauce I have ever tried, just ask for it!
First and last visit.
Friendly, informative service.
Romantic but somewhat too dark atmosphere (and what's up w/the Dj?)
OK sides - nice simple coleslaw
Jerk chicken was not authentic - just thick wet sauce on top of basic cooked chicken breast
Ribs were too sweet (prefer tangy/spicy) and while tender, contained big chunks of cartilage - yuck
Won't be back. Too bad, we were looking forward to some Caribbean fun!
Went to dinner here with friends last night, and man was it a disappointment. We had a reservation for 8, and were not seated until 20 minutes after because the staff was running around like chickens with their head cut off. It wasn't even that busy! When we got to the table our waters were already poured and when taking a sip, you could tell it had been pre poured from a long timea go because it was so warm! Our waitress came and took our drink orders, promising to be right out with a special bread to munch on while we wait. And Man did we WAIT!!!! It took forever to get our drink orders, and even longer for the bread. When it DID come, it probably was the best thing we ate at night. I ordered the TOFU Jerk tacos, and after a few bites, i noticed that the "tofu" was really stringy and juicy, it turned out to be Chicken! I'm a STRICT vegetarian, and was very angry. The Waitress let me know that it was going to be on the house and brought me back my right order, but they need to be careful with things like that especially for people who dont eat meat because of religion. My friends dishes were mediocre, they said it wasnt anything special. The decorations hurt the eyes, and the dj spins his music too loud, you have to shout across the table to make converstation. Honestly the best part of the night was the free bread and the house made hot sauce, other than that will not be returning.
This place is soooo much better than any similarily priced restaurant I've been to in the Caribbean!
Food was great..had the jerk chicken and it was perfectly spiced without being too overbearing...way better than the jerk house down the road..
If you like rum..the selection for sipping here is impressive..my fave is the Goslings reserve on ice..
Service was quick, helpful, and friendly
great value in a town where you pay thru the nose for substantially less of everything
I've been here several times but have only ever tried one item. The caribbean chicken burger is delicious. It's only on the lunch menu but I've been for dinner before and they were very accomodating and specially made it for me. The chicken is grilled to perfection and served with mango chutney and vegetables and some kind of mayo. The flavours complement eachother perfectly and the plantain chips are also delicious. One time I had a cocktail and it seemed as though the bartended didn't measure anything, just dumped a bunch of alcohol in it. Good if you want to get drunk for cheap, I guess, but it tasted pretty awful. I haven't heard the best things about the rest of the food but I found what's good and I'm sticking to it.
I passed by this place last Tuesday night looking for other restaurants I'd looked up on Dine Here. Wednesday I decided to check it out. It was fairly early (5:30? Not sure). The place had a few people in it. The waitress waved me rather brusquely to a seat that didn't look so great, but once I sat down I realised I quite liked it. She came back shortly after and asked me if I wanted any reading material, seeing as I was alone. I said yes, and she brought me a couple of local newspapers and some water. So far, so good.
I ordered yardie yam fries with jerk mayo and a jerk chicken roti with coleslaw. She asked if I wanted a half order of yam fries and I said yes. I didn't realise you could get a half order and I don't have a big appetite, so I was glad she suggested it. She also asked if I wanted the yam fries before the roti, and I said yes.
She then showed up with some "johnnycakes", as she called them - two huge dough balls that were still warm, and some flavoured butter. I actually didn't notice too much flavour in the butter, but the cakes and butter were excellent nonetheless.
The yam fries arrived and they were amazing. Other places I've ordered yam fries they have been quite thin, which translates into dried out. These were thick-cut, and the sweet taste and soft inner texture of the yam came through. I expected the mayo to be hot, which it wasn't, but I was still impressed.
My jerk chicken roti was excellent as well. I find restaurants tend to dry out their chicken, but the chunks of chicken were quite tender.
I also don't like coleslaw very much as I think my mom made it too often when I was a kid, but The Reef's was excellent.
My water was regularly topped up - maybe four times in all and an offer of a fifth, but by then I was done and ready for the leftovers to be wrapped up. I'm an ice water freak and when one time I asked for ice, the waitress promptly brought a glassful.
I could only eat half the roti and the coleslaw so they boxed up the rest and I took it back to my hotel and put it over ice until I could take it home and eat it the next day as a snack. They both tasted even better! My husband shared my leftovers and agreed they were excellent.
The place was filling up as I ate my dinner. Music wasn't too loud.
Next time I'm in Victoria overnight and can choose my dinner restaurant I will be trying the ackee and salt cod, and getting two jerk chicken rotis with coleslaw to take home for my husband and I to have for dinner the next day.
Here is a summary of how everything we ordered was flawed:
Pint of beer: not actually a 20 OZ pint of beer, it was a sleeve, a small beer.
Mango smoothy cocktail: didn't taste like mango, had to send it back for some more mango concentrate
Oxtail stew: burnt! how do you burn a stew???
Mahi mahi: burnt! extra thin! how do you burn a fish steak that is supposed to be grilled 1 minute/side???
Jamaican patty: was more like a calzone. nasty and burnt.
The only tasty item we were served was the free bread... It was a fifty dollar mistake.
After much pressure from friends who where sure I'd love it, I checked out The Reef for dinner. We I walked in I was a little irritated by the decorations. I'm from the Caribbean, and let me tell you, tiki huts and surf boards are not Caribbean. The menu was interesting; a fusion of Caribbean and other stuff. The waitress was ok, though not particulary friendly. The "Johnny Cakes" the waitress served was way too salty. I ordered the Jerk Chicken roti. I have to say this was the best part of the whole experience. The Jerk Chicken roti is not only one of the most reasonably priced items on the menu, it was also absolutely delicious.
Having said that, the Jamaican Jerk House on Pandora street is a much, much better restuarant on a whole. The staff is more friendly, the atmosphere is more comfortable, and more than anything else, they serve authenic Caribbean food!