Humble Jamaican pie becomes a restaurant | Inquirer Business

Humble Jamaican pie becomes a restaurant

THESE lounge chairs are quite relaxing, making you feel like you’re on vacation. Photo by Ma. Esther Salcedo-Posadas

You may have encountered the small counters selling Jamaican patties at certain commercial establishments.  Of course, they are not to be confused with another competitor that sells the same type of food.  Royal Caribbean Jamaican Patties and Wingzz has recently opened its first full-service restaurant offering more choices on the menu such as fish and chips, honey garlic chicken wings, and barbecued ribs.  Their pizza is made of the same flaky crust used in making patties.

The Jamaican image is more conceptual than real.  The patties are tailored to the Filipino palate – they are not exactly the same as the patties you will find when you visit Jamaica, that tend to be spicier and with thicker loaves.  The menu also includes breakfast meals such as adobo and longganisa.  But when you visit the restaurant and relax in one of the lounge chairs, you just might experience that laid-back feeling like you’re sitting next to the beach.  Of course, a little reggae music helps complete the picture.

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JAMAICAN patties with Filipino flavors. Photo by Ma. Esther Salcedo-Posadas

The family of Joseph Rex Suarez (who manages the restaurant) had acquired the franchise to run the dining place. Suarez is himself a former OFW who has decided to return to the Philippines.  He relates how he started as a mess boy and eventually became a ship builder abroad.  The death of his sister made him rethink his options in life.  It was then that he realized that it was not a good idea to stay abroad since he missed out on family relationships.  “Wag mag-abroad, nandito ang pera sa Pilipinas.” (Don’t go abroad.  Money is abundant in the Philippines.)

He further recommends entrepreneurship as a path to success.  He says that if a person wishes to start a business, he should focus on the enterprise.  He cites that even it you are just selling banana cue, you can re-invent it.  He adds, “Magnegosyo ko lang.  Bawal ang tamad.  Maski konti tubo, okay na.” (If you go into business, you can’t be lazy.  Even a little profit is OK.)

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As a seaman, he has witnessed a lot of hardship that is often not discussed outside their circle.  He mentions having witnessed suicides usually caused by marital problems.  He relates that those who work abroad usually boast about their successes but hardly mention the problems to the ones left behind.  Thus, he concludes that going abroad for work is not always the best choice.

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TAGS: Business, food, Jamaican pie, Patties, restaurants, Royal Caribbean Jamaican Patties and Wingzz
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