Ordinarily, I don’t post reviews or experiences unless it’s something I absolutely love, be it on my blog, TripAdvisor, or elsewhere. There’s enough negativity online so why add to it unless it is something you believe can genuinely help someone else or save them from a painful experience. In this particular case, I have mixed feelings about my experience. Recently whilst on staycation, I had the opportunity to try out a few new places and Mongoose Restaurant in Ocho Rios was one of them.
After a long day on the road, checking out various attractions on the North Coast my partner and I decided to end the day in Ocho Rios. The front desk agent at our hotel recommended Mongoose to us as a great centrally located dining option. I checked online and was rather impressed because there are very few restaurants or small businesses in Jamaica with great websites.
We arrived around 8:45 pm as a live music band was setting up for the night’s entertainment. In addition to the fact that I was already impressed by their web presence and wonderful meal choices I was ecstatic to discover that parking was available as that can be a luxury in an overly congested town such as Ocho Rios.
I liked the vibe of the restaurant, the semi-open bar and dining space, live music, and a mixed crowd of locals and foreigners.
The waitress greeted us, presented our menus, and advised us to order as soon as possible because the wait would be a little while. There was a wedding happening in the adjacent dining room with at least fifty guests in attendance. I suspect that was the reason the waitress had forewarned us.
She returned within five minutes of presenting the menu and we were ready to order. We kept it simple, no appetizers just drinks, a hamburger, and a pizza. After about ten minutes the waitress returned with our lemonade and coke. I was happy to sit still for a moment after a rather hectic day, so I was at first unaffected by the wait despite having my last meals over eight hours prior.
An hour passed, no one had checked on us and we realized that the waitress wasn’t kidding when she told us there would be a wait. Our concern grew when we saw a family of four being served even though they had arrived twenty minutes after us. They must have dined at the restaurant before and were obviously accustomed to a long service time because prior to getting their food they were playing cards at the table. We brought it to the attention of the manager, who then disappeared in the back and we didn’t see him again until after our food appeared thirty minutes later.
The great thing and maybe the most important thing was that the food was amazing.
The Mongoose Signature Burger
High quality local beef, sauteed onions, grilled pineapple with a special ginger wine glaze then topped with lettuce, tomato,pickles and cheese.
The Mongoose Pizza Special
This pizza had flavors hitting me at all angles. Soft and chewy dough topped with Jerk Chicken, Sausage, pepperoni, green pepper onions, mushrooms, and pineapple. It was very garlicky, which I love especially if I don’t have to interact much with the public after eating. I even took home half of my meal to have for lunch the following day.
The manager tried to compensate for the wait with a complimentary drink refill. Waiting ninety minutes for food left a little sour taste in my mouth and at that point, all we wanted was to get out of there. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to stay for dessert fearing another wait that would take us well into midnight.
I could perhaps attribute my particular experience to the staff being overwhelmed by the demands of catering for a wedding in addition to regular Saturday night service. Maybe I would give it another chance because the place does have potential especially with a Johnson & Wales University-trained chef in their kitchen. The live band was quite remarkable as well.
What is the longest time you have had to wait for food in a restaurant? At what point would you decide to leave? I am interested in your feedback. Also, if you have been to Mongoose Restaurant in Ocho Rios, what was your experience like?