Wed | Feb 8, 2023

Nadz Bar and Restaurant: A savoury and sipping staple on Water Lane

Published:Thursday | November 3, 2022 | 12:12 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
Owner of Nadz Bar and Restaurant, Nadine Gentles, is happy to be doing what she loves: provide authentic island flavour for others to savour.
Owner of Nadz Bar and Restaurant, Nadine Gentles, is happy to be doing what she loves: provide authentic island flavour for others to savour.
Gentles had a heart-to-heart with Street Eatz about her journey to feeding family, which led her to become a chef and businesswoman.
Gentles had a heart-to-heart with Street Eatz about her journey to feeding family, which led her to become a chef and businesswoman.
Chef Gentles’ jerk chicken was hot and ready for those who strolled the streets of Water Lane for Kingston Creative Artwalk on Sunday.
Chef Gentles’ jerk chicken was hot and ready for those who strolled the streets of Water Lane for Kingston Creative Artwalk on Sunday.
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If art is food for the soul, then I was certainly at the right place, strolling on Water Lane, downtown, for Kingston Creative Artwalk on Sunday. While taking in the majestic murals on display, I saw a jerk pan neatly perched on the side of the street. Can you imagine the foodie excitement of seeing such a popular street food on this creative scene? What I discovered soon after was a rich history of marinating ingredients of natural herbs and spice to produce iconic local dishes.

Once queries and a formal introduction were made, Nadine Gentles immediately sported the most vibrant smile. Not only was she the proud chef behind the tasty jerk chicken hot and ready to savour in the pan, she was also the owner of the establishment before her.

“I’ve been cooking here for around six years. But I have been a business owner for the last two of those years,” she told Street Eatz.

The good chef opened Nadz Bar and Restaurant two years ago in the heat of the global pandemic, after the previous owner of the establishment closed its doors. Although the timing wasn’t perfect, she wasn’t going to waste this amazing opportunity to be her own boss and put her flavours forward in finger-lickin’ fashion.

“When I took over in the midst of COVID-19, we came together as a family and everyone helped out. It felt good to know that I had that support. My sons turned up, spraying hands at the door. If I can’t come today, my brother will come. My sister was there. Everyone just played their part,” she said.

Her love for cooking came from taking care of her younger siblings while living in Clarendon, freshly preparing fried dumplings and callaloo mostly. Gentles moved to Kingston, in search of a job, and it was that ignited her flaming passion.

“I used to do food and nutrition in school. And then, I got a job in a restaurant. And that’s how my food journey really began,” she added.

Some of her signature dishes include the breakfast delights of callaloo, liver, kidney, cooked every day. Sometimes ackee and salt fish, salt mackerel, tin mackerel and cabbage and salt fish will make their tasty appearances as well.

“I try my best to cook with natural ingredients. I don’t add a lot of artificial seasonings. I just blend up the scallion, thyme and pepper. It’s my love. And everything I cook, I eat. So I ensure that it tastes nice and I have the last say.”

It is Gentles’ hope to get bigger and better with each passing day and go towards her goal of opening branches at other locations.

So if you’re ever able to honour your eyes, minds and hearts with engaging, thought-provoking, enlightening and inspiring art take a walk on Water Lane and stop by the savoury and sipping staple of Nadz Bar and Restaurant. Tell her the Gleaner Food sent you.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com