Perfect Oxtails and Outstanding Dark and Stormys - Kingston 11 Review (Oakland)

Oxtails - Kingston 11 | Bites & Bourbon

Last week, Kingston 11 was recommended by Michelin Guides in their 2015 SF Bay Area Guide and I can't be more excited for them. I was introduced to Kingston 11 when my friend Christina of East Bay Dish had her 5th anniversary celebration there last year in October.  I instantly fell in love with their Jamaican food and dark and stormys. It was an awesome experience because it felt like I was learning about the culture of Jamaica with my mouth. The food is truly a harmony full of flavors that are bold, yet well-balanced. I swear, the food at Kingston 11 runs through my mind at least once every two-three weeks.  

There's a lot of options to choose from their menu and vegans and vegetarians will find nearly as many options as meat lovers have. 

Here's a look at my three favorite dishes at Kingston 11 that absolutely cannot be missed. I'm going to warn you that you may be very hungry after reading this post. 

Kingston 11 | Bites & Bourbon

The food

Dark and Stormy - Kingston 11 | Bites & Bourbon

Dark and Stormy

As soon as you sit down to dine, you have to start off with a dark and stormy cocktail. It is the best dark and stormy that I've ever had. The gentle spiciness from their in-house ginger beer makes the cocktail outstanding and robust. Christina told me to go easy on it because they're really strong and she was right. I had four that night and it did sneak up on me later. It was worth it. 

Cod Fritters - Kingston 11 | Bites & Bourbon

Salt Fish Fritters 

These crispy golden gems are loaded with gently salted fish and served with organic dairy and nut-free chimichurri. I ordered two orders of these because I couldn't get enough. 

Platains - Kingston 11 | Bites & Bourbon


You usually can't go wrong with an order of plantains, but these plantains were perfect. The ripe plantains are fried and served with a vegan black bean sauce and sour cream. It was almost like eating dessert. 

Oxtails - Kingston 11 - Bites & Bourbon

Oxtail Stew

I love cooking with oxtails at home and it's one of my favorite cuts of meat to eat, so whenever I see it on a menu I have to get it. The oxtails at Kingston 11 is served with plantains, beans and jasmine rice - and the meat falls right off the bone. It is super flavorful, rich and buttery enough to slowly melt in your mouth. I had very little leftover, mostly beans, but still took it home with me to enjoy later. 

Final Thoughts 

There's just not enough words to describe how much I enjoy dining at Kingston 11. The vibe is awesome and the service is super friendly to boot. This is the type of place that I want to introduce all of my friends to. 



2270 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612



  • Lunch: Tuesday - Friday 11am-2pm

  • Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 5pm-10pm

  • Brunch: Sunday 11am-4pm

  • Irie Hour: Tuesday - Saturday 5pm-7pm


(510) 465-2558

Kingston 11 on Urbanspoon

Exploring Vietnam: Fresh Seafood, Fruits and Vegetables at Hoi An's Street Market

In my first post about Vietnam, I shared 13 of my favorite specialty dishes of Hoi An and talked about how wonderful it was that the ingredients they use are fresh and sourced locally. In this post, we take a step back to visit the lively street market of Hoi An, where the locals and eateries shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood.

It was fun to look back at these photos and reflect on the things we tried. We didn't eat nearly enough fruit on this trip and that was probably one of our biggest regrets. Here's a look at the different varieties of fruits we came across and how they taste, plus my favorite snapshots of the market. 

the Fruits of hoi an

Due to its location in the tropic zone, Vietnam is considered to be fruit heaven. When exploring the beautiful ancient city of Hoi An, you will find heaps of colorful tropical fruit at the street market that will captivate you.

One of the many things we learned was the fruits offered in Vietnam vary by location. For instance, when we went to visit Hanoi, the fruits sold were not nearly as good as the fruits in Hoi An due to the north side's colder climate. In fact, because Hanoi doesn't grow many fruits, a lot of it is also imported from China. I am thankful that we decided to visit Hoi An because having the opportunity to try out these specialty fruits was a pretty awesome experience.

Mangosteens (Măng cụt)

Mangosteens are considered to be an extremely rare fruit due to the level of difficulty it takes to grow in non-tropical climates. The mangosteen has gorgeous dark purple skin that tastes bitter if mistakenly eaten. Inside are nicely arranged segments of white flesh called endocarp that has a mild sweet and acidic flavor with a strawberry-like after taste. 

Langsat (bòn bon)

We both thought this was some version of a longan, but was surprised to find out that it was a completely different fruit that we've never heard of before called bòn bon. It grows in clusters, similar to grapes, on a tree from the mahogany family. The fruit contains 1 to 3 flat bitter tasting seeds that are covered with a thick, clear-white aril that tastes sweet and sour. It tastes like a combination of grape and grapefruit. 

Star Apple (vú sữa)

The translation of vú sữa literally means “milk from the breast” in Vietnamese. This fruit is grown on orchards located in central and southern parts of Vietnam. Locals use a spoon to scoop and eat it. The star apple tastes sweet and milky, very delicious. Supposedly, it tastes like breast milk, which I cannot confirm. Overall, it was very messy to eat and the juices made my fingers really sticky. 

Custard Apple (mãng cầu ta)

The fruit that is appropriately named so due to its custard-like texture. This is one of our favorite fruits because it's fragrant and sweet. The skin sort of looks like a shriveled up turtle shell and tastes like a subtle soft apple. When it's ripe, you can pull it apart to open and eat the meat inside, spitting or removing the seeds as you go. 

Water Apple (mận)

This fruit brought back memories from my first trip to Vietnam with my mom and sister. When I was introduced to the water apple as a kid, I fell in love with its super crisp and watery texture. It's like a really juicy subtle apple. The kind of juicy that will drip down your chin.

Starfruit - Fruits in Hoi An

Star Fruit (Khế)

There are tons of star fruit trees in Cam Nam Village that's lined up along the river and we picked this unripe fruit off the tree. It's called a star fruit because when you cut it sideways, it makes a star pattern. The skin is waxy and the entire fruit is edible, juicy and tastes sweet and sour. It starts off green when young, but turns yellow when ripe and ready to eat. 

the Vegetables of Hoi An

Many of the herbs and vegetables that you see here are from Tra Que, a village in Hoi An. According to Good Morning Hoi An: "150 owners and 400 farmers live here and cultivate around 20 types of vegetables and herbs such as mint leaves, lettuce, basil, coriander and broccoli. Laid on more than 40 hectares of land, the farmers do not use any pesticides nor OGM’s but only natural fertilizers and in particular some sort of alga which is located in the lagoon of Tra Que, collected by the farmers themselves by boat in the morning. 8 tons of vegetables are sold every year from Tra Que village, mostly to restaurants in Hoi An."


 the seafood of hoi an

I wish we had a place with a kitchen so we could cook with the fresh seafood we found at the fish market. The diversity of the fishes offered looked beautiful. These fish were all caught locally by fisherman late at night. 


A lady helps out a customer while she uses a pair of scissors to cut off fish heads. 

Fresh live crabs are for sale and tied with banana leaves to prevent them from pinching. 


In the next post about Vietnam, I'm sharing my favorite moments of Hoi An that are unrelated to food.

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Sriracha Honey Butter Chicken Wings Recipe - Quick & Easy

Sriracha Honey Butter Chicken Wings Recipe | Bites & Bourbon - Brenda Ton
Sriracha Honey Butter Chicken Wings Recipe | Bites & Bourbon - Brenda Ton

I am very thankful to have a wonderful husband who knows how to cook good food. When I want to eat something that Patrick doesn't know how to make, he learns how to make it or tries to recreate it at home. He whips up things easily on the fly and they turn out to be really delicious. I was craving for chicken wings earlier today and Patrick came up with the idea to make sriracha honey butter wings. 

It was so freaking good that I had to share this recipe with you guys immediately, so you can all experience the same joy I had while gnawing on these wings and sucking the bones dry. It's sweet and tangy, slightly spicy. The outside is crispy while the inside is moist and juicy. 

I can see this being a weekly addiction. You have been warned. 

Sriracha honey butter chicken wings Recipe 

Serves 2 people (as an appetizer) 


  • 8 chicken wings
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt honey, sriracha and butter over medium heat. Taste and add more or less of the honey or srircha to liking. Remove from heat then set aside. 
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add olive oil. Season the chicken wings, add to skillet and sear on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side until brown. Remove from skillet and place chicken on a wire rack with a rimmed sheet pan.
  4. Brush the first side with the sauce and bake in oven for 10 minutes.  Flip over and brush the remaining sauce on the other side and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  5. Finish off the wings by turning the oven to broil and brown it to your liking. Be careful and watch it very closely so the chicken doesn't burn. 
Sriracha Honey Butter Chicken Wings Recipe | Bites & Bourbon - Brenda Ton

reader's success photos

It's a nice feeling to share recipes with all of y'all and to see that you took the time to try to recreate our dishes in your own home and share it with the people you love.  Here's how it turned out for people who made it. 

Sriracha honey butter wings. Thanks @nerb!

A photo posted by amos scattergood (@amos__s) on