Tuesday, May 21, 2013

bamboo blu, mammee bay, jamaica, aka, sometimes it pays to try new things.

we were getting the vacation bug pretty badly.

we didnt have any place in mind.

while randomly inputting destinations on expedia, i came across jamaica....


we both hate the idea and concept of places like sandals all inclusive resorts. why the hell would you travel so far to eat pizzas next to the perfect candidates for ugly americans?

so what did i do? look for the exact opposite.

i found a perfect little old world resort in ocho rios called the jamaican inn. this place is amazing. it feels as though you walked into the time of marilyn monroe, or you entered a james bond movie... well that makes sense because marilyn was a guest and ian flemming was a regular. more on the jamaican inn later.

though the jamaican inn is amazing, we dont travel to stay at a resort.

reading a few reviews on trip advisor, we chose bamboo blu.

and are we glad we did.


if you arent familiar with the public transportation, you might want to hire a private driver, but PLEASE only hire one associated with your resort. the cost? about $30 each way.

we were "seasoned veterans" with a day of public taxis so we decided to ride a westbound public taxi to the end of the ocho rios loop where everyone gets off, "the clock tower". public taxis are shared taxis and act more like tiny, little toyota corolla hatchback buses that pick up and drop off people anywhere along a loop route.

we hop on a cab at the end of the loop, parked at the gas station. we ask if he could drive us to mammee bay. he asked for a very reasonable $8.

no problem mon.

i asked him to come back later, got his number and the return trip was $8. i ended up gaving him $10 and everyone was happy.

as far as directions, bamboo blu is not that well known. even private drivers didnt know where it was. heres a step by step guide

tell your driver you want to go to bamboo blu in mammee bay, next to the riu resort. they might not know bamboo blu, but they will know mammee bay and the riu resort. the entrance is directly west of the riu resort entrance. theres a white gate with a guard.

left is the white gate into mammee bay. right is the riu resort.

tell the guard you are going to bamboo blu and he will hand your driver a ticket and open the gate. drive all the way down to the end of the path, about a few hundred yards and follow the road to the right. about a hundred yard or so, you will see a bamboo fence on the right. drive on in.

heres a google map, i zoomed in to exactly here bamboo blu is.


bamboo blu isnt just a restaurant, its more like a very modest, little resort restaurant. theres a couple of buildings.

one has a small gift shop which also contains the bathrooms. awesome that they provide showers, just in case you feel like you want to jump into the water.

theres a jerk hut which wasnt completed by the time we visited, but im sure is finished by now.

off to the side of the main building, theres even a volleyball court.

the main building consists of a kitchen, a bar and a little dining area with covered and uncovered seating areas.

along the beach, theres a few day beds, tables, the perfect area to soak up some sun. 

but we didnt come all the way here to just soak up the rays.

bamboo blu is a restaurant. food is why we are here. 

now while this isnt exactly authentic jamaican cuisine, meaning what you would find your average citizen of ochos rios eating at home, what i would compare this to is fresh local cuisine done with authentic touches. it was by far, one of the best meals we had in ochos rios. 

what did we eat? well of course, we had to try the jerk chicken, which was good and we had to try the lobster. when they say fresh lobster, they mean someone pulled it from the waters right in front of you, that morning. they asked what size, i said give me the biggest one from the mornings catch. 

look at the size of that spiny lobster! thats a red strip right behind it. this is really enough for a couple people, no, a few people. you can easily make four meals out of this lobster. this thing was huge!

for those not familiar with spiny lobster, its not the same as maine lobster with those huge claws. personally, i prefer spiny lobster over maine lobster. 

this particular spiny lobster was cooked perfectly. the flavor was amazing. and while the kitchen was nice enough to send out some drawn butter to keep us americans happy, i asked for some graces hot sauce and some jerk sauce. do it right.

easily one of the best lobsters ive ever had. how much? about 15-20 bucks USD. now this is very expensive considering local prices, but very reasonable vs resort prices and obviously dirt cheap compared to USA prices. 

we were happy to be out of the resort. we were happy to be here. amazing time.... then

yes, free live music. homie was actually REALLY good. live reggae music. on the beach. in ochos rios. you really cant get much better than this. 


oh wait, and after a flaming bob marley shot. ok now perfect. 

at the end of the night, we tipped the live reggae homie a $5 USD, tipped the super awesome waitress 20% (lets remember, these guys live on our tourist dollars) and our "private" public taxi driver picked us up from this little slice of heaven and back to our resort.