For this month’s food review, I decided to switch it up and leave West Hartford Center to go to Hartford for some quality Jamaican cuisine and culture. With Juliana Kulak by my side, I took off for Sun Splash Bar & Grill. They are known for comfort food and a quick bite; however, when it says small plates that is far from true. The main course meals come on a normal sized plate, but the plate is practically overflowing with the main course, a side of rice, and a side of either slaw or vegetables.
The restaurant’s menu provides multiple options for different types of proteins along with a vegetarian section of the menu; therefore, every type of palette can be pleased. We started with an order of the coconut shrimp and the Jamaican beef patties. The shrimp were light and well-cooked. They were covered in toasted coconut, and the coconut added a nice sweet flavor that danced across the palette. The beef patties had a nice kick to them with a spicy surprise inside.
However the meals were not all as exciting as these appetizers. I ordered the fried chicken with vegetables, plantains and rice. The fried chicken came drizzled in this delicious sauce that enriched the flavor that made it come alive. However, it did soften and soak the crisp so when you bite into it you don’t get that crunch that you should get from fried chicken. The chicken was cooked to perfection, not too dry and not undercooked and comes with it pre-cut. You would expect it to be deboned, but the chicken did have little bones still inside, so I was constantly picking bones out of my teeth and mouth which, as you obviously know, is unpleasant.
Another meal we ordered was the peppered steak, I expected to receive a whole traditional steak. However, that was not what we were brought. The shredded steak was served with vegetables and rice. The steak came in a sauce that had such a rich and savory flavor that added to the steak. In my personal opinion, the sauce was the only pleasing part of this meal. I would have preferred the protein be chicken rather than steak. Just because that is not how I like my steak prepared. It felt as though the steak had been dried out and the sauce, as delicious as it was, was used as a coverup. However, the last dish was exquisite. The last meal was jerk chicken. The chicken was cooked the way it should be cooked. There were no bones in it, and it also had another delicious yet different sauce. The dish was very appetizing. I would say I was 50% satisfied because two of the dishes were okay but not great, but the other three meals were fantastic.
The prices of the meals were expected. It was not expensive at all: for three people, the meal was roughly $40.00 with tip. It is in a good area, but parking is definitely limited. There is a small parking lot behind the restaurant and there is also side street parking. The Sun Splash Jamaican Bar & Grill can be reached at (860) 904-9310 and is located at 428 Franklin Ave, Hartford, CT 06114.