Curried Goat and Pork Roti – Memoirs of the Ackee Tree Restaurant, B’dos’ most expensive Regional food place!

As this News-Blog is about Barbados and set in the Caribbean, is only natural every now and again to look at things Bajan/C’bean… Such as the time I pondered about a soft drink flavoured like a roti, but better yet, a look at the roti in Barbados itself.

This drew many comments, many of which ask me why I didn’t look at Ackee Tree now in Hastings by Coconut Walk. I decide to see for myself what the fuss is about!

I like how the staff truly reflect the diversity of the Caribbean, the decoration and ambience make for good comfort as you (try to) enjoy your meal.

It is true – the owners are always on hand; the staff have great powers of recall as they recite the menu from memory alone; a drink is one size in a large glass with free refill(s)…

However, the meal itself is a different story and the vanguard which makes or breaks a decision on a return there.

I went there for the first time about 3 weeks ago, and felt rather than go for a roti – I’d try the Curried Goat (I saw a famous Jamaican attorney having the same and was prompted to do likewise), and had white rice/ eggplant/ pumpkin/ stewed tomato with the popular Jamaican dish.

I have been told subsequently that this is normal, but I kept spitting out shard after shard of bone – to the point I wondered if I ordered curried Bone? Maybe I was over-reacting, I thought, so I caught the eye of the popular Jamaican attorney before she left and asked what she thought of the goat?

I can cook a much better meal,” she murmured in their characteristic lilt and swiveled gracefully out of the establishment.

This was not a good sign, I then started to worry about my bill as I had 4 Pepsies! I still tried a brownie for dessert… That was Heaven, for sure! The square came with dark chocolate and raspberry swirls on the plate.

Then? After all else could not be avoided, the bill…

Only $3.25 for the soft drink! The balance totalled $38.70, wow! A plate of food, a dessert and an aerated like if I was at a fancy restaurant?

I decided one more try is in order, as I was yet to have a roti from there, and I finally got the gumption yesterday.

I had a pork roti with kuchela (they understood, thanks be), as well as eggplant, potato and some pumpkin in it.

The pastry seemed dhal-ish but not directly so, the size was a little bigger than Chefette’s, and the curry’s flavour was present but not outstanding.

$19.40 for that attempt, left a tip of .60 cents, and will do my best to stay with Indian Grill or IV Play Deli and use Chefette or Big John in desperation! Great service and nice ambience do not compensate for a meal that could be way better, ok? Sorry Kevin, but Ackee Tree bombs in my book!

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5 Responses

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  1. Every Bajan seems to have their own favourite roti place – for some of my friends it’s Indian Grill, other swear by Chefette! For me it’s Big Johns.

    I haven’t tried Ackee Tree yet but have not heard good things about the food.

  2. Yet to go Ackee Tree but have been hearing about it for years now will make the effort to go soon. My roti hunts are Swizzle Pot in Warrens, Indian Grill Bay St, and Chefette for my fast food roti fix.
    I?m not a fan of all the bones and avoid meals like this but some people can?t get enough of them, to each his own I say.

  3. Ian, at least you tried it and now your roti review is complete. I’ll concede that it’s quite an expensive place and since they moved (I think) it’s gotten a little pricier and (I’m sure of this) a little smaller. But I suppose that is the price of progress; the old place was dumpy.

    But I like the ambiance and the variety of fillings. Now while I recognize that lots of people like Indian Grill, I think the rotis at Akee Tree taste better. It’s the pastry! I find Indian Grill’s a little gritty.

    Anyway, I’ll have to try IV Play again – it’s been a while. But when at Indian Grill I’ll stick to the shark and bake.

  4. Ian, Ackee Tree bombs for me too … every time I go there they are always very busy … I have to wait (must be a terrible roti.)

    Kevin you are very observant … the prices have not changed but the size has.

    I asked the owner about that & they explained that with the recent price increases they had closed council with a section of regulars to the restaurant to conduct some market feed back with the most important person involved with the business.

    When I asked who that was I was surprised to hear them say “The Customer” & coming out of the council session it was decided that they should drop 4oz off the regular serving to maintain the 1lb size rather than the oversized roti that they were serving and that should circumvent having to increase the price to customer.1lb is a lot of roti and for sure its a whole lot more than Chefette except unless you have a big guts & in that case they would be happy to offer you a second at ? prices ? but just you as they enjoy to see people being happy.

    The service has improve from the Dayrell?s Road dump as they are now offering table service and they are clearly well trained as they know or have the back up knowledge of the owners who I am surprised you don?t know.

    I am sure that the well known lawyer you refer to would have exercised a whole lot more caution than you let on but that one can understand that you need to sensationalize your blog & I do enjoy reading it.

    Kevin, I am not sure if your are aware, but Ackee Tree also does bake n shark ? with the works ? Thursday only & it becomes necessary to call in & book it as it rapidly disappears.

    Ian you should make mention of your concerns to the owners as they are, as I said before, very responsive to customers perception & expectations. Of course I may sound like I am on the defensive but I too love a good roti and the owners have done a wonderful job & are very friendly.

    Next time you are comparing product please compare ?apples to apples.? I am sure none of the other places sell Goat Roti and that many, including I am sure the same lawyer, has returned time & time again. They never have enough curry goat at the Ackee Tree.

  5. I am sure this ain’t the owner, riiight? The lawyer story stands, it happened – deal with it!

    I said Curried Goat does not stick to series, so I tried a roti but I listed both experiences and said service is GREAT, BUT… the prices are NOT!!!

    End of Story (even though I went to school with Martyn, has nothing to do with it – that implies Old Boys Network, and then my story no longer means jack, OKaaay?)


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