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So, first off: Happy Birthday, my Darling Jaime! I hope you like the copy of Girl Genius I got you; when I get paid you’ll have two more presents coming your way.

We celebrated this momentous 25th birthday by going to The Reef, Victoria’s most famous Caribbean restaurant. I’d never been there myself before, but it came heartily recommended by people I trust, so we decided to go there for a meal that was nice, but still casual. I never expected to fall so deeply in love with Caribbean food, but I came away from that restaurant wanting them to cater my wedding, and to have a wedding cake made of nothing but piles and piles of Johnnycakes.

What’s a Johnnycake, you ask? Jaime thought it sounded like a brand name for a urinal deodorizer, but we got a free bucket (yes, bucket) of them with our meal, with a sweet butter spread. Oh my lord, I may have to divide my life into two halves: “Before Reef’s Johnnycakes” and “After Reef’s Johnnycakes”. They are that good. They’re buttery and light, not-too-sweet, with a pleasant crunch and fluffy insides which could serve as a pillow for other foodstuffs. I ordered an extra helping with mine, and I swear I would go back just to carbo-load on them.

The rest of the meal was grand as well. We each had a cocktail, complete with a little umbrella, which I have a great big cheesy weakness for, having grown up in Hawaii. Mine was a delicious rum punch, Jaime’s was a bitter banana smoothie. There was, of course, an appetizer of jerk chicken, which I gobbled down, in spite of my aversion to new spices and food which will get my fingers messy. Whatever goes into jerk (Each one is different, apparently, The Reef’s is described on their menu) it’s perfect. My main dish was the Dominca Beef, covered with some wonderful salsa verde and served with a delightful mountain of mashed potatoes. It was the best variation on meat & potatoes I’ve recently had for dinner, and I want to build a statue dedicated to the genius behind the salsa verde it came with, which was, for lack of a better description, “spicily floral’.

We didn’t stay for dessert; the featured dessert of the month is key lime pie (One of my favourites…) because we had cake waiting for us back at home. But I will be going back again to complete the dining experience, and if you live in Victoria, I recommend that you go as well.

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