I was talking to a friend who recommended Gimbilyn as a perfect choice for Restaurant Week. I did my research and decided to make my reservations for a party of five. Two days later, I received my confirmation call for our Sunday evening foodie event. We arrived exactly on time and found the restaurant tucked away as we entered Alhambra Inn, the former residence of Jamaican National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante.
The restaurant was to the rear of the hotel, and parking was more than adequate at the time we arrived. As we entered, I felt as if I had entered a garden oasis. The staff seemed very friendly and had our table ready upon arrival. We had a choice to sit in the garden, by the pool or near the bar, so we asked to be seated in the garden.
We received our menu, which was complete with several Jamaican food choices that seemed to have a gourmet touch. Our hostess introduced us to our servers, Angela and Peter, who were equally very pleasant and offered their personal recommendations. The table was set with gold plates and cream-colored napkins.
We didn’t have to wait to be served our three-course menu, which included appetizers such as roasted vegetable bruschetta, Linstead Market (an ackee puff pastry) and the soup of the day: red peas. The soup was very hearty and warm and really filled the stomach at that perfect (hungry, didn’t eat since morning) spot. The bruschetta and Linstead Market were a bit cold but nonetheless very delicious. As we dined we were able to view beautiful garden plants and felt relaxed while enjoying the music of Kenny G, Bob Marley and others.
Once we were finished, our table was cleared and our second course was The Main Event, with choices like Fowl Play, This Little Piggy, Governor’s Choice, coffee barbecue shrimp kebabs and fish in curry coconut sauce. The Chef’s Choice for Restaurant Week was This Little Piggy, or copperwood premium herb-crusted roast pork served with spicy sweet potatoes and sorrel sauce. The Governor’s Choice was roast beef slices served with creamy mashed yellow yam and assorted vegetables. These meals were absolutely beautifully prepared and mouth-watering. The seafood lover in our group received two full skewers of shrimp grilled and brushed with a coffee sauce and served with a mound of penne pasta. She also received an extra plate of rice and peas cooked in coconut milk. (You could taste the coconut milk in the rice; it was so good.) Our server Angela said the secret was in the coffee sauce, which made the meal creamy and delicious — and she was right. I also had a glass of Woodbridge Mondavi wine with my meal. Gimbilyn also offered other selections from their bar, including special Restaurant Week cocktails.
Then came the Grand Finale. Choices included Sweet Seduction (cheesecake), Island Spice (carrot cake) and the warm coffee bread pudding. We all took the bread pudding, and it was unlike any I have ever tasted. It was topped with a warm caramel rum cream, and we had to use a spoon to eat it. It was so yummy and creamy and soft, and one spoonful had me stopping to figure out how I can persuade the chef to come home with me and cook all my meals.
I would definitely recommend Gimbilyn again and again. It was a truly remarkable experience, and I hope to visit again soon.
Have you booked your restaurant Week reservation yet? Why not try Gimbilyn at Alhambra Inn!