All roads led to the Negril on Saturday, September 14, for the Grand Opening of Matthew’s Sushi Bar. Located at the Board Walk Shopping Village on Norman Manley Boulevard, free Sushi samples and Appleton specials were the main attractions for the night.
Being a part of a family that has been in the hospitality industry for several generations, Matthew Wallace, who calls Negril home, continued the family tradition, but with a little flare.
It all started off with his love for Sushi. He tested the market by introducing the town to a Sushi Night, which has now evolved into a restaurant. According to Matthew, this isn’t where the buck stops, as the restaurant will be expanding very soon while keeping on the path of healthy and unique food options.
Matthew’s Sushi Bar does not only offer sushi. The restaurant offers a variety of beverages, as well as a variety of meals. It also offers a child friendly environment and special packages for celebratory occasions such as birthdays, showers and anniversaries, just to name a few.
Sushi, usually prepared with rice, along with a variety of ingredients, such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits, is a Japanese dish more popularly known for its raw seafood inclusion. However, there is a Sushi at Matthew’s Sushi Bar for everyone. If you do not like the idea of raw seafood, cooked ones are also available; if you do not eat seafood, chicken is available; if you are vegetarian, then choose a vegetable or fruit Sushi. The top choice for many is the Volcan Roll with Shrimp Tempura, according to head chef Rumain Thorpe and manager Sophia Stewart.
“Despite the success of the Sushi Night, I still considered opening the restaurant a huge risk.” Matthew shared with the Western Mirror. “Sushi is not very popular in Jamaica, but I wanted to create something unique in Negril and I thought this was it. Also, I love Sushi, I love Negril, and didn’t want to have to leave Negril to get Sushi.”
He further went on to express his surprise at the number of locals who have been supporting the restaurant since it opened. “I didn’t know so many locals would be drawn to sushi,” Matthew stated, before sharing that he is overwhelmed with gratitude for the support he is receiving.
We also had a chance to catch up with Matthew’s father, Richard Wallace, who expressed the importance of investing in your children.
“The work we put in when we are young is not to benefit us, it is to ensure that the next generation has a foundation,” he shared.
At 31 years of age, this will be Matthew’s first business. Richard further expressed that he is merely the facilitator, but all decisions are made by Matthew.
Over the next few weeks the restaurant will be hosting a series of other specials, continuing their Appleton Jamaica Rum partnership. On September 28, for only $2,200 JMD, patrons will get one flask of Appleton Jamaica Rum along with one pound of Chicken Wings, for which eight flavours will be available.
Pick up a copy of the Western Mirror each Monday to keep up with the latest deals being offered by this destination!
Rosalee D. Wood