Welcome to Kingston 21
Meet our Founder, Kesian Bennett
(everyone calls me Kes)
It all started with a nugget of hope, an unemployed educator (me) and an obvious necessity. I became just another expat who lost her job (at the start of the pandemic), and was pondering what’s next? I missed home, I missed the food desperately. Oh, the delicious home cooked Jamaican meals, the juicy beef patties! There was no where in Abu Dhabi – at the time, that I could find fall off the bones oxtail and rice and peas, or some well seasoned jerk chicken. I thought, in a city so gastronomically eclectic why is there no dedicated Jamaican restaurant around? After all, our culture and cuisine is world renowned. Aren’t we good enough? Well, YES. Undeniably, the Caribbean folks here deserve to have a piece of home, and Abu Dhabi DEFINITELY deserves to share in the vibrant uniqueness that is Jamaican cuisine.
During lock down, I began to cooked a lot more than usual, experiment with fusion flavours, I even got the confidence to create my own YouTube channel (yeah, that happened too!) So alas, a passion for cooking and a determination to quell nostalgia while spreading my rich Jamaican culture, ending up giving life to Kingston 21.
With the help and sacrifice of my amazing partner we opened our doors in April 2021. Kingston 21 became the first female owned and operated Jamaican Restaurant in Abu Dhabi. What started as a dream borne out of desperation to find my purpose, make a living and contribute to this new place I called home (with no clue on how I was going to do it) is now a team of talented chefs making people happy through our authentic Jamaican dishes prepared with love.
If you have a dream that’s bigger than you, God will help you.