The Reef

Written by on February 15, 2014 in I Eat Canada, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Main Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Reef Outdoor Patio & Entryway

How I heard of this place: When we alerted our friends in Vancouver about our impending visit, they quickly put their heads together and came up with The Reef as a good dinner locale at which to indulge our inner beach-bums and play catch-up after months of not seeing each other.

Type of cuisine: Though the Caribbean isles are well known to outsiders, Caribbean cuisine remains a hidden gem. Uncover the edible treasure of the tropics with our eclectic Caribbean fare and drinks. The Reef’s menus sparkle with the potential of lunch, brunch and dinner plates inspired by the styles and tastes of the Caribbean. Menu selections showcase flavourful West Indian curries , served vegetarian or with a choice of chicken or goat. For dinner, the Kingston quesadilla envelops either jerk chicken or tofu, peppers, melty cheddar, and refried beans, and the coco prawns roll around in toasted coconut before putting on a cool minted avocado yoghurt ski-bunny costume.”

The Reef Dining

What is jerk?

Our jerk is a spicy North Coast Jamaican west marinade of all spice, soy, tomato, garlic, ginger & scotch bonnet peppers. Most of our meals are marinated for 24 hours when slow cooked. We then take this marinade, add a little of this, little of that & turn it into our signature jerk sauce. This attention to tradition and love from our own Miss P is available to take home!

The Reef Bar

Ambiance: Vibrant colours, tropical plants, and kitschy signs bring you back to days spent skipping geometry in Caribbean boarding school, creating a casual, fun atmosphere for patron inhalation.

The Reef Corner Seating

The friendly and personable staff keeps the vibe upbeat, even when jerk seasonings rub off on the back-talking forks and napkins.

What I ordered: To start, we were offered a pail of delicious, fried bread, served with butter and spicy jerk sauce.

The Reef Bread Balls


Since being introduced to poutine at Local 360 less than two months prior, my husband was quick to jump on this appetizer! Under the Small Tings menu, we found Poutine (CAD$9), hand-cut kennebec fries with pulled jerk chicken or tofu, cheese curds & jerk gravy.

The Reef Poutine

Our dining companions selected the Tasting Platter ($24 for four), which included Chana salad (warm garam masala curried chickpea salad with organic greens, roti & dahi), plantain chips (crisp fried with jerk mayo), jerk wings (baked, not fried) and coco prawns (rolled in toasted coconut and served with a firecracker orange marmalade).

The Reef Mo-Ca Burger

For our main entrees, my husband and I shard the Jamaican Jerk Treasure For Two ($28) with jerk salmon (normally $16) and jerk beef (normally $15), served with rice n’ peas and coleslaw.

The Reef Jamaican Jerk Treasure for Two

Two of our dining companions enjoyed the Mo-Ca Burger ($14 each) with jerk seasoned 100% beef, grilled fresh pineapple, cheddar, jerk mayo & salsa.

The Reef Mo-Ca Burger

One of the wives chose the Saba Sub ($12), island spiced fried tilapia with crisp slaw, kaffir lime aioli & fresh tomato salsa,

The Reef Saba Burger

while the second among wives chose the Trini Roti ($11), chicken curry wrapped in a quick style West Indian flatbread, served with coleslaw.

The Reef Roti

What I loved: Our appetizers! From the poutine, to the chana and the coco prawns to the plantain chips, everything was made even better with jerk mayo!

Why I loved it: Simple yet robust flavors, slightly sweeter than my tastebuds need, in a vibrant and colorful island-flared atmosphere.

The Reef DJ

Cost: Low to average ($10-$19 per entree)

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