The Porch: Kingston’s new culinary oasis

Even from the entrance, you get an immediate feeling that The Porch is not your typical Kingston eatery (Photo: Don Waysome)

Six-hundred square feet of tropical escape tucked away from the pressures of work and the bustle of Kingston’s maddening traffic lies The Porch.

The newest kid on the ever-growing Kingston nightlife block, The Porch is a literal oasis, where one can relax without abandon.

It is, of course, their mantra and the 62-capacity eatery boasts a culinary experience like no other, even giving the BUZZ team an exclusive tour before their big opening near the end of November!

Sleek, inviting and pleasing to the eye, The Porch is a visual feast, firstly (Photo: Don Waysome)

Located on Phoenix Avenue, The Porch seems like the perfect place for an evening of fine wines, delectable food, and an ambiance that gives Bali a run for its money.

An Instagrammer’s dream…

Already a crowd-favourite are the swingable wicker-chairs, which have become an instant hit with Instagrammers, according to proprietor Chad Williams.

“We live in an Instagram society and that is a testament to the quality of work that our local craftsmen have done. The customer service lends to that appeal as well and I think Jamaicans wanted something for them. Something a bit different from the typical ‘night out’,” he began.

Swinging wicker chairs, an instant hit at Kingston’s newest culinary oasis, The Porch (Photo: Don Waysome)

“That was the inspiration behind The Porch in the first place. It was a void that needed to be filled and with the help of a lot of creative minds, we birthed [this] place,” Williams asserted.

From the entrance, you’re met with a beaming, warm smile, as a waitress escorts you to any of their exquisite, hand-crafted furniture pieces.

Blue Marlin Dip, served with crushed plantains…yum! (Photo: Don Waysome)

Airy and welcoming, even the layout is something Williams took much pride in ensuring The Porch got just right.

“What most people don’t get a chance to experience, or to see, is we have excellent craftsmen right here in Jamaica. With a little guidance and inspiration, you can get the world-class pieces that everyone talks about,” he said, in a measured response.

Family- and budget-friendly!

Not just for lovebirds and couples, The Porch is most definitely family-friendly, budget-approved, and a chill spot for those seeking to breathe fresh air after a gruelling, eight-hour toil on the job.

With spacious indoor and outdoor seating, The Porch’s homey, rustic feel is somewhat familiar but refreshing at the same time (Photo: Don Waysome)

“The space kind of gave the name away. It’s what the typical person wants their front porch to look like…water in the background, lush greenery, cool atmosphere – The Porch is distinctive. We don’t try to fit in with any particular mould,” Williams told BUZZ.

“We went to downtown [Kingston] and found the talented carpenters, who designed most of our furniture. Seeing as we wanted The Porch to be a Jamaican place, we wanted to support Jamaican craftsmen and local businesses. The response has been excellent, I would say at least 10 of the carpenters have gotten other jobs from just persons being amazed by our furniture,” he explained.

Check out our video feature on The Porch below:

From the onset, Williams told BUZZ that it was important The Porch offer an experience never-yet had in Kingston – enchanting, but still exuding that familiar mood as if one could “Relax, You’re Home Now…”.

“I think it is very difficult, in Kingston, to find a space that you can get lost in; you don’t see the metropolis around you and The Porch lends to that feeling. You’re surrounded by nature in the heart of the city,” Williams, who now adds ‘proprietor’ to his impressive events promotor rep, posited.

“Everybody looks for that escape, that experience that is relieving to a routine and we try very hard to be the preferred place, whether you’re going on a date or wanting to unwind from a long day at work. Come to The Porch, put your personal issues/problems on pause and trade it for an evening of enjoyment,” he said.

A wine selection that would make any connoisseurs drooling… (Photo: Don Waysome)

Well let’s get to it, shall we, BUZZ fam?

‘Jam-bistro’ fusion a hit!

Enough of my ramblings and on to the food.

I was smitten with The Porch’s Cr’Ackee Fries, their Blue Marlin dip was simply light and heavenly and for a first-time pork eater, that Pulled Pork Platter is my new fave.

If there was any complaint, it would’ve been that I couldn’t get my fill… I needed more!

Williams, pleased at my euphoric expressions told BUZZ that The Porch’s bistro-Jamaican-fusion was definitely a step in the right direction for Kingston’s food scene.

Ugh, just take my money. All of it! (Photo: Don Waysome)

“Typical bistro-style meals. Simple. Infusing local ingredients and cooking practices into our menu, we created a fusion that a Jamaican would appreciate – but not straying too far from what a typical bistro or wine bar would offer,” Williams noted.

“We put a lot of effort to get order information to the kitchen as quickly as possible, it’s been well thought out. We constantly train and re-train our staff, always putting the customer first. Once you do that and get everyone in that frame-of-mind, it [be]comes second-nature,” he passionately spoke.

My newest addiction: The Porch’s colourful Cr’Ackee Fries. Does she look stunning? ??? (Photo: Don Waysome)

“Jamaicans are naturally friendly and welcoming people, we just target that drive and I’m proud to say our team here does its utmost so that a patron can benefit from that,” Williams told the BUZZ team.

The wine bar is also impressive, but I couldn’t give it my full attention since I’m not an alcohol kinda guy.

I must say, though, The Porch could just be Kingston’s new hip strip for wine connoisseurs and booze enthusiasts – with their extensive array of signature drinks and mixed cocktails.

“We’ve worked really hard to put the elements together to create that atmosphere. We strive to include all, no one is excluded. Yearning for a good time should not come at an expense. Both our wines and menu are reasonably priced,” Williams said.

Surrounded on either side by water and lush vegetation, The Porch gives Bali a run for its money (Photo: Don Waysome)

“We pride ourselves on competing with the supermarket or wholesale at wine-bottle prices, so someone can decide to come and hang out with us. Consistency is what will make us unique,” he added.

‘Take a load off, on us’ – The Porch

The Porch is something new and different, I believe that a successful city thrives on various experiences and we wanted to recreate that. Everybody who comes here gets something different from it, but we are extremely comfortable, laid-back and top-notch quality,” Williams argued.

At the end of the day, what everyone wants from their hard-earned money is a great time, and if there’s anything The Porch strives for is just that.

This Pulled Pork Platter just oozes flavour…mmmm (Photo: Don Waysome)

Williams told BUZZ that even for him, especially with an extensive career in promotions and events, hitting all the right notes for Kingston’s residents is important because first impressions last.

 “My background is nightlife and events, being in that circle for a long time, I saw a need for a space that kind of encompasses everything that Jamaica represents, while at the same time creating a premium experience,” The Porch owner explained.

NEED?I?SAY ?MORE?? (Photo: Gavin Riley)

“At least for me, for someone that goes out, there are a few factors one needs to tick. The Porch is a safe environment, we are a comfortable space but most importantly, we try very hard to maintain the quality of service. When you have those three things at a high level, people will come and enjoy it,” he told BUZZ.

The Porch opens from 4 pm to 11 pm Monday to Saturday, so do give them a visit. A BUZZ-worthy experience awaits you.