Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
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Indulge your taste for down home cooking at Jumbey Café

Jumbey Café proprietor Valentino Munroe outside the restaurant in the Village Road Shopping Plaza at the juncture of Village and Bernard Roads.

Down home cooking is embraced at Jumbey Café is the order of the day. It’s not a restaurant for “highfalutin” eaters with a preference for frills. It’s an unassuming diner for people wanting delicious, reasonably priced food.

The restaurant features Bahamian breakfast staples such as chicken and sheep tongue souse.

Popular menu items, however, include almost every dish featuring fish or crab, whether it’s a side, like crab and rice, or an appetizer, such as baked crab.

“Customers crave the stew fish and stew conch with potato bread, but they also love our fried fish and our crab and dough made the way your Andros Grammy would cook it,” said Munroe.

Opened to the public, mere months, the interior remains a work in progress although the final décor is expected to embrace components unique to The Bahamas’ environment and culture — mangroves, flamingos, Junkanoo, fly fishing, boating and the like.

At Jumbey Café, patrons are invited to linger, embodying the establishment’s slogan — come taste the rhythm. Many persons do just that, dining under the pulsating sounds of Bahamas music.

The restaurant in the Village Road Shopping Plaza, is the brainchild of computer systems engineer, Valentino Munroe, who owns the computer store Onit Systems just 10 doors down.

For those who know Munroe’s family’s history, owning a restaurant is not such a big leap. His family owns restaurants and lodging accommodations in Andros.

“Growing up I worked in our restaurants. I have always had a passion for the restaurant business, so when this window of opportunity emerged in the form of this space becoming available, I jumped on it recognizing that a window of opportunity never stays open for very long,” said Munroe, who opened the establishment in February. “My fiancée Tiffany Rolle is also in the food and beverage business and she has been a great help.”

For Munroe, quality is the key to success. He prides himself on ensuring that the effort that goes into creating each Bahamian dish is beyond reproach. Moreover, he sources produce from Andros, utilizing local products as much as possible.

The restaurateur is not a fan of flavor enhancers, and patrons won’t find the food additive Monosodium glutamate (MSG) in any menu item.

A second and no less important component to the restaurant’s success he says is the Jumbey team. He says they go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure every serving is perfect and every customer is pleased.

At Jumbey Café patrons will only find Bahamian saltwater fish such as grouper, hog snapper and snapper on the menu.

“Some places tell you it is grouper, and it’s not. A few years ago, it would be obvious to assume that a Bahamian restaurant would only serve Bahamian fish. Unfortunately that’s not the case today,” he said.

To promote customer loyalty, the restaurant offers free Wi-Fi and has a customer loyalty program — the 11th meal is free.

Munroe’s long-term goal is to build-up a franchise offering a unique, dining and cultural experience for locals and tourists alike.

“Our patrons have been the best form of advertising, word of mouth,” he said. “They took us up on our offer to taste the Jumbey rhythm and they’ve been by our side ever since.”

Jumbey Cafe opens seven days a week. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday — 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday — and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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