The secret ingredient might be love







Kiss Yo Mama

4926 Imperial (and Nelson), Burnaby


Open Tues-Sat 12-9 pm, Sun 5-10 pm

Dinner for two, including tax, tip, and non-alcoholic drinks: $57.50

**** (out of 5)

Lisa Brown says she doesn’t add any sugar to her oxtail stew; that molasses-tinged hint of sweetness I’m detecting is her secret ingredient of ‘love’. From anyone else that type of comment would set off the cynic alert, but I can believe it from her.

The self-taught chef with the rollicking belly laugh has turned the former Spices Of Africa restaurant into a family affair. Before we even order, her little granddaughter shyly brings out some square plates with some iceberg lettuce and tomato.

The feel of an impromptu meal at a friend’s house continues when Brown says the menus haven’t been printed yet. (The individual prices on my bill don’t match those on the menu I later find online, but the math works out.) She essentially tells us what to order — jerk chicken, jerk salmon, and the oxtail.

The sunny yellow walls are plastered with things that shout pride in her Caribbean community, but it’s a wall of photos that reveal another side to Brown. There she is with Nas, Busta Rhymes, Treach from Naughty by Nature, Fat Joe, Lauryn Hill, and Snoop, all because of the Hip Hop for Hunger fundraiser she ran for a decade.

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