Negril, Jamaica Zimbali Retreat- The Food

Negril, Jamaica Zimbali Retreat – The Food Tour (part 3)

After our ride and our walk around the farm, we made our way to the kitchen.  This is where we met Habba, our chef for the lunch food tour.  My husband and I are “foodies”.  We love to cook, entertain and eat.  We LOVE dining experiences.  Dining is not just about the food it is about the prepping, the cooking, the conversations and the enjoyment of consuming the meal.  This experience was off to a great start.

Habba, chef extraordinaire greeted us with his charm and charisma.  Right away he asked about any food allergies.   Making sure our wellbeing and health were not compromised.   He invited us to sit, have a glass a wine and explained what was going to be happening over the course of the meal.  The kitchen is set up with a rustic feel with modern appliances and technologies.  There is even a flat screen tv that films the chef from behind so you can see how he is preparing everything at all angles.

My husband is an amazing amateur chef so much so that many times I would rather eat at home than eat out at what some consider a nice restaurant.  Being on the other side of the stove with a creative chef while watching Habba in action is very entertaining.

Our first course was a beautiful presentation of cooked plantains, green onions and black beans all set in an array of a flower.  As delicious as it is beautiful!

Habba explains his methods of preparations as he prepares everything.  He tells of his history growing up in Jamaica and England.  He shares his passion of cooking.  Habba is so creative with his foods.  He figures out creative ways to make his food healthy and delicious.
The second course is an “untraditional” Jamaican meat patty.  We are huge fans of this popular dish.  Habba likes to make sure that his meals are not only organic but also healthy and delicious.  This meat patty was made with a homemade pie crust.  Habba made his pie crust from organic ingredients.  The “meat” was not meat.  The meat was made of lentils.  These lentils were cooked to perfection with the perfect texture and taste.  The taste and texture of meat, perfectly disguised to fool experienced pallets.   I am one that does not eat beans or lentils (ever)!  I despise the texture of them.  I was very grateful that Habba did not reveal his secret until I was almost half way through the tastiest meat patty I had ever eaten.


The salad.  Veggies fresh and crisp.  Tossed lightly in oil and vinegar with herbs.  A refreshing taste of freshness.

The main course we were given a choice of chicken, shrimp or vegan.  I chose chicken and Rich chose the shrimp.   Habba prepared both dishes with sides of vegetables cooked down in coconut milk. He showed us his process of making his own coconut milk.  The shrimp was filled with flavor and a little bit of a spicy kick to it.  The chicken was tender enough to cut with a fork and flavored with a delicious topping.  All of the sides were equally tasty.


Oh and dessert.  We will never forget the dessert.   A yummy chocolate cake.  Chocolate is always yummy, right?  Well, this chocolate cake was just that and more.  Yumminess drizzled with honey. Accompanied by a mango salsa. Habba asked us if we could taste his “secret” ingredient.  We took a few bites.  Richard made a couple of guesses. Wrong guesses.  His secret ingredient was BLACK BEANS.  More beans that I was loving.


This cake was so rich in taste.  I wish you could taste it.  You can if you see Habba at Zimbali retreat.

After the lunch, I got a tour of the rooms of the resort.  Each room is nicely decorated with all of the comforts of home, clean bathroom, coffee pots and a breezy balcony with a nice hammock. Zimbali retreat is a great getaway if you are looking for something different.  If you are looking for an experience of real Jamaican culture, beauty, and taste.  This place has other interesting tours and activities that you can do including visiting the Rastafarian.   I will be returning personally.  For a night of romance, tranquility and peace.

For more information about booking your romantic trip to Zimbali or any other destination contact Shannon at 225-303-2240


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