Friday, July 4, 2014

Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe - Catering

(Shorter version posted to Yelp)
First a bit of setup on this - you all know I love food and trying new restaurants and experiences. What you might not know is that I also scout restaurants as potential catering options for my work. Every Friday on a weekly basis, we bring food in and feed the office of about 60 people (this varies a bit as we often have guests from our Boston office or elsewhere). We combine this weekly group-munch with a Lunch-and-Learn program where either someone on the office or a guest speaker provides a presentation. This is a great way to disseminate information (for instance, from HR or Recruiting), to provide classes on inter-work related efforts, or to just promote general life-experience information that may be of benefit to the group. It also brings the office together into more of a familial situation by exposing everyone to a family-style meal (this comes from the Korean part of my heritage more than anything else - you Koreans will know what I mean).

We wanted to bring in some Caribbean or Jamaican style food and turned to the local Chef Rob's Caribbean Café in Sandy Springs. As usual, we order a bit more than the 60 head-count implies as we try to sample a few things on the menu. Chef Rob's has a separate catering menu that is quite reasonably priced.



This is what we ordered:
  • Jerk Chicken and Shrip Fettuccine Pasta
  • Curried Goat
  • Blackened Tilapia Stir Fry
  • Salmon (Pan Seared)
  • Braised Beef Oxtails
  • Brown Stew Chicken
  • Curried Chicken
  • Rice and Peas
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Fried Sweet Plantains
  • Stir Fried Vegetables
  • Caribbean Cole Slaw
  • Cocktail Patties (Beef)
  • Cocktail Patties (Chicken)
  • Roti
  • White Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Drinks
I sampled everything but only took photos of those items I actually used to plate-up:

Cocktail Patties

Cocktail Patties (Beef and Chicken)
These were your basic empanadas and they were quite good - strong flavors and a high filling to shell ratio




Jerk Chicken and Shrimp Fettuccine Pasta
The cream sauce was a bit heavy on this dish (it doesn't seem to be a dish that travels well).


Curried Goat
I do love me some curry, and most Caribbean restaurants know how to achieve these flavors right - this was no exception. I could eat that every day.



Braised Beef Oxtails
This dish was very rich and live with flavor. I usually don't order oxtails as they can be a bit over-powering, but I would order these again.



Brown Stew Chicken
This chicken dish was good but I could have used more spice.



Curried Chicken
As with the Curried Goat, I can eat this every day!



Rice and Peas
Has anyone figured out why this is called Rice and Peas instead of Rice and Beans?



Fried Sweet Plantains
Your basic maduros.



Stir Fried Vegetables
Tasty, but nothing really special. It does fill a small space on a heaping plate though (and may make you feel better about all the food "Eat your vegetables" as mom would say).



White Chocolate Bread Pudding
This massive bread pudding was tasty but a bit too sweet for me.

In general I liked the food we ordered, however I could have used one additional level of spice (especially heat) - I've had much better but then again, I've had much, much worse. The obvious item that was missing was just your commonly found jerk chicken - I tend to use that as a measuring stick when visiting Caribbean restaurants - I'm not quite sure why we didn't order any.  It was delivered on time and setup wasn't any more onerous than usual. We'll be ordering from Chef Rob's again.

 -- John

Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe on Urbanspoon