Last year, Aficionados of the old Countryside welcomed back the memorable oasis not far from
Half-Way-Tree, which was a regular luncheon and evening venue for the best of Jamaican cuisine and entertainment in a ‘country’ ambience.
The reconfigured entertainment complex with food kiosks on Friday evenings still provides a respite from the city, from 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, in its beautifully landscaped palm treed venue, with entrance at 7 Courtney Walsh Drive, formerly Derrymore Road.
The new Countryside has special features from Wednesdays to Saturdays; and other days are available for corporate promotional events.
Wednesday is “Beer Wednesday” with specials on beers; and “all you can eat crab,” deliciously prepared by the “Jerky, Jerky,” Jerk Centre…a feature which is projected to be extended to other nights.
On Thursdays the Countryside Restaurant is operative with steel band and background music.
Friday it is about Street Vibes, featuring food kiosks including: Shea’s at Countryside’ which tastefully serves up curries—chicken, mutton and vegetable wraps; Lisa Gordon’s kitchen is the locale for seafood…fried fish, Cantonese and curried lobster, Oriental and garlic crab and spicy garlic shrimp.
There is also Sweet Moments by Nadene Lazarus, offering chocolate, carrot, raspberry and Bailey’s cheesecake cupcakes; and Gina Lazarus, delivers ginger bread and mocha lattes, hot shot espressos; and caramel, mocha and pumpkin frappucinos.
Also on Fridays, one of two steel bands, Humming Bird or Strings and Steel, play from 7:30 to 8:30; and the DJ takes over for the rest of the evening. And, there is a Soup Kitchen… “A di soup dis,” by Michaelel Chai.
Saturdays are open for live concerts and special events, such as album and media launches; and other days are available for corporate events.
The feedback from local and overseas visitors who welcome the added features is positive. “The ambiance and the food stalls give it a real country feeling,” said one patron, who was amazed that the restaurant was really in the city. And, another deemed it a “good hangout venue in the heart of the city.”
Countryside has ample security and parking facilities; and, additional parking, with a shuttle service, is available at Melbourne Cricket Club.