When Ms Counting her Calories booked a rental car that dropped the car off at our home she got talking with the driver who turned out to be from the West Indies. They ended up talking about food and he recommended Newark as a place to get good Caribbean food. We were thinking of a trip to Newark on Sunday to visit Morristown and the Thomas Edison museum. A quick search on the Internet uncovered a Jamaican restaurant, “Munchies Take a Lickle Taste” so we planned to visit for lunch.
The section of South Orange where Munchies is located is quite nice. When we got to the restaurant around 1pm, it was empty. However, while eating there a sequence of customers, mainly African-American, came in to pick up takeaway. At least some of the other customers seemed to be familiar with the restaurant.
The inside of Munchies is decorated in a Jamaican theme with some pictures on the wall, including some cartoons. The tables are glass topped with LP and single covers and well as 45s and LPs which look like they were from the classic era of Jamaican music of the 1960s and 1970s – although the music being played seemed contemporary rather than reggae or ska.
The menu has a wide range of dishes from the familiar Jerk Chicken and Oxtails to more exotic ones like Cow Foot. Unfortunately, the Jerk Chicken was not ready yet so we opted for the Jerk Ribs, which as I’ll explain later, was not such a bad outcome.
Ms Counting her Calories ordered the Ackee & Saltfish because she had heard it was the Jamaican national dish and also because it came with eggs. I was keen to try the goat curry. Miss L was interested in trying the Curry Chicken but the waitress pointed out it would be spicy and that she could try the chicken in brown sauce instead. She also arranged for a kids sized meal even though it was not on the menu. In general the waitress was very helpful and friendly without being too attentive. She also arranged for us to have the Jerk Ribs as a side (another option not on the menu) and waited until the other food had arrived and checked we still wanted them in case there was too much food.
For drinks as well as fruit juices made in house there are a range of Jamaican soft drinks and juices. The waitress took Miss L. over to a cabinet look at the different flavours – she decided on Ting – a grapefruit flavoured soft drink which was also the choice of Ms Counting her Calories. I decided to try a Trujuice – the waitress said she would choose the flavour – it turned out to be quite a nice cherry flavour. The Tings were nice too though! When we went to another Jamaican restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi, we both had Tings again.
Everyone was very happy with their mains. The goat curry was very tasty with a strong spicy sauce. What really stood out about the goat curry though was the tenderness. Ms Counting her Calories commented that if goat was usually that tender she would eat it more often.
The other dish that really stood out was the Jerk Ribs. The edges were crunchy with a peppery taste but the meat closer to the bone was lovely and pink. The ribs came with a sweet spicy Jerk sauce that was excellent. Ms Counting her Calories seemed to like it so much she made sure she had every last bit!
The Brown Stew Chicken was very nice and Ms Counting her Calories enjoyed her Ackee & Saltfish, which came with fried dumplings and plantain, both of which are really tasty, though the dumplings could have been a little more moist.
Both the Brown Chicken Stew and the Goat Curry came with plantains, rice and peas, and steamed cabbage and carrots that went well with the meat.
We haven’t had a lot of experience with Jamaican food but the goat curry and ribs were terrific as dishes. And, if Munchies’ food were representative of Jamaican food, then we’ve become fans of Jamaican food. The service was also good. If this restaurant was in Melbourne we would definitely go back again. And Ms Counting her Calories wished that there were more Jamaican/Caribbean restaurants in Melbourne.
Food – 8.5
Service – 8
Ambience – 7.5
Price – 8
307C Irvington Avenue
South Orange NJ 07079
Ph: (973) 821-5471