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Mar 25, 2009 02:05 PM

Jamaican Restaurant

I'm dying to find some good Jamaican food around the shore. There use to be a restaurant called the Blue Marlin in Bradley Beach, that was unbelievable authentic Jamaican food. i know they closed a long time ago but does anyone have any suggestions?

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  1. At Bayou Cafe in Freehold, Chef Robert was born and raised in Jamaica. Although there is a lot of other cuisine on their menu as well, they do have a few authentic Jamaican dishes, like Brown Stew Fish, Oxtail Stew, and a couple of Jerk dishes. One note though, the chef has toned down his dishes for American tastes, so if you like it hot, let him know just how hot you want it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: seal

      Thanks, Oxtail and Jerk pork are what i was looking for. Ill let you know how it stacks up to what I've tried in the past, Thanks

      1. re: seal

        Thanks for the heads up of Bayou cafe. Went there last week and the food was ok. Its no Blue Marlin, I think it was the fact that the marlin made you feel at home, along with great food. Well next stop Castaways. Thanks All

      2. FYI, here's a very recent discussion about Bayou Cafe:

        If you're ever near New Brunswick you might want to check out De Island Breeze in Somerset. Not specifically Jamaican but I think you'll find a lot of Caribbean dishes to tempt you:

        1. I have never been to the new Freehold location, but our experiences at the Manasquan location were so diametrically opposite from the reviews posted here lately as to be surreal. The jerk pork I had last summer was absolutely atrocious - as if the same pot had been reheated day after day! The other dishes we had on two consecutive occassions were quite lousy as well (though not as bilious). Perhaps, it's the water? Perhaps, Chef Robert would be better off with only the one location?

          More importantly, I started responding to this post with a link to Sister Sue's in Asbury Park. Sadly, however, the restaurant has closed.

          Although we had sworn off the Bayou, given the closure of Sister Sue's and the fact that I cannot believe the food can be that different on the other side of the county, I am tempted to go and try the Jamaican dishes again. Heads will roll if it is not any better! :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: MGZ

            I'm sorry to hear Sister Sue's closed. I only made it there once and really enjoyed my meal. Shame on me for not having returned.

            1. re: MGZ

              MGZ - I too was quite surprised by all the wonderful reviews of Bayou Cafe in Freehold. I never held the Manasquan location in high esteem. Bland food, "gloppy" sauces, totally lackluster.

              I am sorry to hear Sister Sue's has closed. It was one of our favorites. We went there quite often. I loved their vegetarian fare though I am not a vegetarian.

              Our favorite Jamaican restaurant is Castaways West Indian Restaurant on Memorial Parkway in Asbury Park. Nothing fancy (you order at the counter and they bring you your food) just great food at reasonable prices.

            2. I miss Blue Marlin! I remember when I started going there Roy's daughter Tiffany was like 14 and between waiting tables would be doing homework in the back of the dining room. His jerk chicken started out excellent, but pressure from many boneheaded customers caused him to go from bone-on skin-on pieces to boneless skinless breasts, which just didn't work for me. The jerk pork remained excellent and to this day I've been unable to find anything close.

              Bayou Cafe's jerk is OK, but is too salty and not spicy enough for me.

              3 Replies
              1. re: equal_Mark

                I never mad eit to Blue Marlin, I did however try Chef Roy's Curried Conch at a tasting event. It was unbelievably good, Does anyone know if any of the restaurants mentioned on this thread serve Curried Conch?

                1. re: equal_Mark

                  we went to Blue Marlin often until its sad closing... I may have missed something along the boards, but does anyone know if Chef Roy is currently doing his thing in the region?

                  1. re: aklein

                    The last rumor I had heard (emphasis on rumor) was that he had relocated to Atlanta. I t's sad as he was one of the friendliest restaurant owners I've met. Had very insightful views on the restaurant business as well as world affairs. Was expecting he'd ultimately put Roy Jr. to work in the kitchen...

                2. Blue Marlin isn't that great...

                  Go to castaways in Asbury Park - best caribbean joint in the area. :D I usually get curry goat or jerk chicken/pork. Gotta ask for it extra spicy though..

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: joonjoon

                    i'm sure castaways is as good as advertised (though I have to admit, I'm hesitant)... but you said, "Blue Marlin isn't that great..." -- I'm confused, since Blue Marlin closed about 8-10 years ago (I think) and, in fact, it WAS great...

                    1. re: aklein

                      Blue Marlin closed the winter of 2003. Still missed, as is Armadillo Crossing...

                      1. re: equal_Mark

                        thanks for the clarification, thought it was more like 2000, but the memory fades... must have been all those Red Stripes on the Monkey Hill deck

                      2. re: aklein

                        Ha! That's funny. I used to live in Ocean Grove a while back and went to Blue Marlin a couple times then stopped going. For me I had no reason to go there because I liked castaways much better. I had no idea they closed and I just figured they were still around when someone mentioned em. :)

                      3. re: joonjoon

                        Does Castaways have Jamaican Patties?

                        1. re: shabbystorm

                          Yes they do. But then so does every other fried chicken joint in the area..

                          1. re: joonjoon

                            Thank you. Ah...
                            Don't normally eat fried chicken, now I know.