Shrimp overboard at Prendy’s
It’s the Restaurant Week launch party, the first of five more intimate parties to come. More intimate than the public is accustomed to. This one certainly feels different. It’s casual and familiar. We start off the night with trays of hot fish soup, packed with healthy bits of fish.
Yuh eva feel a heavy soup cup? People crowded around the high, blue-wrapped tables to rest their cups in between sips. It’s Prendy’s fish soup, “All prepared with love…” Donnette ‘Prendy’ Prendergast, owner and operator of Prendy’s on the Beach, explains. Sure, her energy is big. She’s excited for this night. That’s clear to see. She has a gentle and infectious excitability that is hard to match.
“I feel great to be a part of the Restaurant Week family! It’s an awesome feeling because guess what, Hellshire Beach being a part of Restaurant Week is unheard of!” She says excitedly, and it certainly is! It’s something we can all appreciate.
For their Restaurant Week signature dish, “We’ll have lobster tail we call the Shrimp Overboard,” Prendergast shared. Their must-tries include the Starfruit Jerk Fish, and if you couldn’t tell, there’s clearly a sweet theme at Prendy’s as she also recommended that patrons try her passion fruit guava sauces.
The DJ is pumping out top hits and walking around with an aluminium tray with Prendy herself, passing out fish, blanched veggies, and fruit skewers, coated in a rich, sweet June plum sauce. Later on, the fish skewers are replaced with shrimp and the demand that everyone declare their allergy status rings out. Certainly, even if they were allergic, they’d be willing to risk it.
Prendy’s shrimp is cooked perfectly, covered in the same thick sauce definitely making a swollen tongue worth it. In between skewers is a mixed platter of a lobster wrap and a blend of bell pepper, onion, and fish on water crackers and pieces of good-old escovitch fish. Food tried to get the recipe, but all we got was, “It’s Prendy’s little secret”, which is understandable and worth a trip out there.
When you’re not eating, this launch provided strong libations. There was the usual fare of a
never-ending variety of wines – reds and whites, dries and sweets – for whatever your taste provided by Stansfeld Scott, the distributors of Mondavi Wines.
There was also a Restaurant Week first: three very strong signature cocktails made with ‘Plantation Rum’, the Xaymaca Special Dry, the Xaymaca Collins, and the Plantation Planters Punch (with none of the signature bright- red punch in sight but definitely still smooth). The cocktails paired excellently with the desserts offered by Tortuga, a sort of deconstructed cheesecake with a base of Tortuga rum cake and cream cheese topped with fruits.
We caught up with Stephanie Scott, creator of the Restaurant Week brand, which is celebrating its 15th year with this bit of difference.
“For years, I always wanted to have a Hellshire Restaurant, and I felt there was something missing from the RW landscape, and that was the cookshops, the vibes-y types of things.” Scott gestures to Prendy’s open plan, “The inclusion of Prendy’s this year means a lot to me because it’s meaningful and represents what I wanted to move into, and tonight is testimony everyone is having a great time.” Truly, as there was never a lull in conversation or laughter.
“Eating out is an experience. It’s not confined to the physical space.
This is not white-gloved, black-tie service, and this is equally meaningful.”
When Scott started Restaurant Week, Prendergast was in the original listing until she wasn’t. For this the 15th year, Prendy and Scott are back together, making both of their dreams come true in an effort to shed its ‘uptown’ label and add some of that authentic Jamaican flavour the people needed and so desperately wanted. No time to go to Hellshire? No problem. You can get Prendy’s special touch at the Mayfair Hotel from Wednesday through Saturday.