Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blue Caviar, Le Restaurant, nr Lyford Cay

                                            It was Saturday night. The Juggernaut and I donned our glad rags and journeyed to Lyford Cay to sample the new Blue Caviar restaurant. When I heard there’d be truffles, I knew we had to get our asses over there.
       The funky entrance with its zebra patterned lounge chairs and baroque silver mirror, reminded me of an episode of Changing rooms. An open plan room with high vaulted ceilings lay before us. Bold abstract paintings hung on the white walls. Soft flattering light illuminated the room. Tables with white tablecloths promised fine dining.
Following a friendly welcome from the familiar staff at the Blue Caviar  we were presented with two menus; a tasting menu, with or without wine pairings and the dinner menu. The wine list ranged from a $35 Italian Chardonnay to a heavyweight Burgundy for $250. A few of the wines hailed from the USA, Australia but most were from France and Italy.  We decided to go the whole hog and have the tasting menu with wines (not listed) at $135 pp. Eek. It seemed rude not too; after all, the owner and chef, Jacques Carlino, cut his teeth at a couple of two Michelin starred London restaurants. The man can cook. The tasting menu read like a culinary wet dream; Amuse bouche, seared ahi tuna with avocado and Andalusian gazpacho, handmade wild mushroom and chicken tortellini with truffle foam, fillet of Swordfish with Piperade couscous and red pepper olive oil, tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce and cocotte potato, pre-dessert, chocolate trio then coffee and petits fours. Serious applicants only need apply.
We were informed of a slight change to one of the courses- swordfish was to be substituted with the cod off the main menu- served with cauliflower puree, shitake mushrooms and demi glace. Pas de probleme. We were then asked how we wanted the beef done; clearly Jacques was not too precious about serving everyone rare beef if they would prefer no to. It’s refreshing to see a chef who can park his ego at the door and accommodate his diners. Having said that, any self respecting foodie would have it pink.
We were brought our first wine, a Californian Sauvignon Blanc. Although it wasn’t terribly busy, we had to strain to hear the softly spoken waiters, thanks to the poor acoustics. The amuse bouche came; a shot glass of spicy pumpkin soup; the taste of Thanksgiving. It was shortly followed by the tuna and gazpacho. The fresh and vibrant flavours of the tuna combined well with an excellent and authentic gazpacho. A clever idea. The glasses of  American Riesling came out; really pleasant. I was going to get totally pissed if I wasn’t careful. I slipped off to the ladies room. It was decorated in a pretty palette of lavender walls, a glossy pewter splashback and cream tiled floors but spoilt by an unapologetically bright ceiling light.
The mushroom and chicken tortellini came along. Oh sweet Jesus it was good. My insides did a round of applause. The courses were well paced, not rushed. The cod was next. Soft and succulent, the textures and flavours were a joy. A glass of Cote du Rhone came to compliment the highly anticipated meat.
The beef was superb, definitely the best we’d had in the Bahamas. There was a pile of chunky fries; like a mini stack of Jenga. I was seriously full and quite pissed now. I needed to find space for the last leg of the gastronomic marathon.
The pre-dessert consisted of a shot glass of fruits of the forest and a light yoghurt, which I hoped would help with digestion.
A glass of Prosecco came out for the finale. The dessert was quite simply a n orgy of chocolate. Chocolate mousse, chocolate tart and chocolate fondant, which gushed forth molten chocolate. I couldn’t finish it, as wonderful as it was. The Juggernaut saw his off without further ado. I dreaded to think how much butter I’d eaten over the last couple of hours but damn, it was worth it. We could scarcely manage the petit fours, so took them home with us for tomorrow’s breakfast.
I would go so far as to say that Blue Caviar serves some of the best food on the island. This is extremely competent food worthy of the hefty price tag.
The service, although courteous, could do with more attention to detail. The wines need to be explained or at least mentioned on the tasting menu; we kept having to ask what they were when they were placed on the table. There were things that needed tweaking but the main thing is, the food, c’est delicieux mes amies. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dune, One and Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island

         Hurricane Sandy was kind to us.  Howling winds and driving rain  provided the perfect excuse to indulge in back to back episodes of Downton Abbey and daylight Scrabble. Having been holed up at home for a couple of days, it was high time to get out. Once the risk of decapitation by falling tree trunks was just about gone, SG, the Juggernaut and I decided to treat ourselves to lunch at Dune. The driveway into One and Only Ocean Club seemed virtually unscathed by the storm; pristine palms and tropical foliage were only slightly frayed at the edges. Well, I suppose it is a Bond film location. We strolled through the neatly landscaped grounds towards the restaurant, feeling the glamour. We were seated at a table in the bar area, a chic white room with exposed white painted wooden rafters, a large exquisite marble bar, oversize raffia lamp and jaw dropping views of the ocean. It was my fantasy beach hut. The massive waves crashing onto Cabbage beach below looked a bit like the final scene from Pointbreak, where Patrick Swayze’s character goes for that fateful surf. We ordered some designer water and pushed the boat out with a bottle of Spanish Albarino ($60). The bottle was decorated with a pretty polka dot label which matched SG’s dress nicely. Some fluffy focaccia along with rosemary and chili oils were brought to soothe our empty bellies. Stanford our enthusiastic water served us well. The menu is supposedly Asian/French with Bahamian influences but there are plenty of American dishes in there.
We ordered a couple of appetisers for the table. The tuna tartare ($24), arrived first; a compact mound of silky diced tuna on a bed of soft avocado with ginger dressing and thin slivers of radish. It looked magazine-perfect but we were not prepared for the serious flavour explosion that followed. Tastebuds were dancing with joy. This was easily one of the best dishes, perhaps the best I’d had in the Bahamas. The crab salad ($25) arrived shortly after. Well chosen ingredients; white crabmeat, radicchio, endive and avocado and were overpowered with too much oily soy dressing. It had a lot to live up to after the heights of that delicate tuna tartare.
We had a nice pause before our main courses arrived. SG got a bit squiffy into her second glass of wine. Optimistic pigeons roamed around looking for scraps. Fellow diners sipped Martinis (a la Casino Royale) whilst strong gusts of wind sent napkins flying. We discussed baby feeding tactics; nearly four months in and he’s yet to sleep through the night. Meanwhile, baby Ru sat in his pram, as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. I visited the ladies. With high dark walls and stone sinks, they were very slick and imposing but with such dim lighting, it is very hard to see what the hell you’re doing when you’re in the cubicle.
Our mains arrived, hiding under metal covers. SG and I had the lobster burger ($30); which sounded decadent yet comforting. It had a patty made up of minced local lobster and shrimp, with green chili mayo, mild cheese, round lettuce and sliced tomato and was served with sweet potato crisps. They looked like extravagant packing material but tasted a whole lot better. The subtle cheese worked well; the lobster could take it. SG said it was the best burger she’d ever had. It was easily the most expensive. However, the bun was a bit budget, which lost it a few points. The Juggernaut had Salmon with truffle mash and truffle vinaigrette and sugar snap peas ($46). The salmon was succulent, the mash well seasoned but the vinaigrette was a mistake. The acidic vinegar obliterated the heady truffle flavour. It could have been better.
Our gregarious waiter Stanford offered us dessert menus. I always like to have a look even if I’m full.  I just love looking at menus. The choices included Banana Cake with salted caramel ice cream, Crackling key lime pie with basil cream and a trio of tropical sorbets, all $14. I am a sucker for a good caramel ice cream, so we asked Stanford if he could accommodate our request for a bowl of the stuff. He could and he did. A big martini glass of three generous scoops arrived. The ice cream was amazing; rich, toasted caramel, not too sickly- very grown up. We finished off this leisurely lunch with some coffees, drinking in the view. Yes, Dune is expensive but some of its dishes are worth paying for. Days later I am still reliving that incredible tuna tartare. If you haven’t yet, please go and try it. It is heaven on a plate.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Poop Deck, East Bay Street.

Hello fellow food lovers and epicureans. This is my first review since baby Ru was born, three months ago. I’ve had rather a lot on my plate with the wee poppet and consequently, our dinners out have taken a nosedive.
It was another weeknight on the ‘rock’ and the Juggernaut and I simply couldn’t be arsed to cook. We had an irrepressible urge to go out, so we took Ru, invited a couple of our favourite Brits and headed to the Poop Deck East. We last ate there in 2010 and weren’t displeased with the classic Bahamian seafood; I’m not sure why we hadn’t been back sooner.
The parking lot was clogged with taxi drivers delivering a steady stream of tourists from the hotels. You could barely move for vans doing three point turns. We walked into the bar, which was full of salty sea dogs at the bar drinking and smoking. The place has a nautical but nice feel, if a bit worn, with an interior decked out in polished wood, complete with ropes and oars. There was an enticing display of the day’s catch on ice, which featured Mahi Mahi and lobsters. They stared up at us with their glassy eyes, as if to say ‘pick me’.
Walking out onto the verandah made me wonder why there weren’t more restaurants on the island that overlooked the ocean like this. The magnificent view of Nassau’s yacht haven provided the perfect spot to indulge in a bit of boat perving.
Rows of white shiny floating toys were lined up, waiting for their next outing in paradise.
The pleasant balmy breeze made for particularly good alfresco dining. As night fell, the lighting revealed itself to be sympathetic; flattering to diners and condusive to intimate conversation.The lovely waitress gave us menus to study. We ordered a bottle of Sauvignon blanc to be getting on with. I couldn’t possibly tell you what it was or how much it cost, as I was probably busy catching up on gossip or staring at my baby, but I definitely enjoyed drinking it.
Onto the food then. Appetisers included fresh crab claws, Paula’s conch fritters ($7.75), Andros crab cakes ($9.75). The main events included Bahamian favourites such as Rosie’s chicken $20.75; smothered in down home tomato, onion and green pepper sauce, Mama Mary’s fish ($29.75); Grouper simmered in onions, tomatoes, sweet pepper and a harmonious blend of island spices. The Poop Deck seafood classics included the Poop Deck Lovers delight $33.75 of cracked conch, groupers and island shrimp. I suspected one might be too full up for any loving after eating this.
I ordered the catch of the day, Mahi Mahi, $28 which came with a choice of two sides from a selection of traditional Peas n rice, plaintains, coleslaw and all that good stuff. I went for the more uncommon garlic roasted potatoes and some coleslaw.
The fish was delicious, perfectly cooked and seasoned, if the portion was a bit on the small side. The potatoes were wonderfully garlicky. The coleslaw was well made, with the right amount of mayonnaise and good crunch. There was a little ramekin of pineapple salsa; great if you like that sort of thing but I am not a fan of pineapple in savoury situations. Give it to me in a cocktail any day. The Juggernaut had the fresh snapper, with peas ‘n’ rice. It was tasty but marginally overcooked. The grouper fingers that my lady friends ordered were beautifully tender. All our fish was freshly caught, which is not always the case on this island, where supply falls short of demand and you can be fobbed off with a previously frozen piece of fish if you’re not careful.
There was still some space for dessert. An illuminated glass cabinet hummed with an array of fluffy cakes and desserts. Eat me, they said. Sadly, there was no more guava duff. We greedily ordered a key lime pie, a cheesecake and triple chocolate cake. They were all firmly on the sickly side. The cheesecake had a topping of glace cherries. I’ve never seen the point of the glace cherry. Does anyone actually eat them? They should go back to the Eighties, where they belong.
I made a visit to the ladies rooms. I was almost blinded by the brightness of the lights. It was like stepping into a service station after spending hours clubbing. Ru got lots of attention from the adjacent table of college girls; almost to the point of embarrassment.
Overall, a jolly good time was had by all.The service was efficient and friendly, we were in good hands. The fish was succulent. I’ll be back when my Ma visits for more catch of the day. I must say I quite like the Poop deck…it’s less poop, more woop.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

East Villa, East Bay St, Nassau

I had driven past East Villa's sign boasting 'Fine Chinese cuisine and World famous Steaks' on my way home many a time, thinking it was a bit far fetched. Chinese food (or what we get in the Western world) is like entry-level Asian cuisine, I remember eating a fair bit as a kid and teenager but then losing interest in it after that. I always favour Thai or Japanese. Nevertheless, out of curiosity and for the greater good of Nassau on A Plate, I decided to put these wild claims to the test.
I arrived first and walked in. I was greeted with the smell of stale smoke and a mildly surprised reaction when I asked for a table for two. The inside was a real car crash in bad taste, with some dodgy neon lighting, varnished pine ceiling and a really unhygienic-looking carpet. I was given a wide choice of tables to pick from, as the restaurant was largely empty. An enormous laminated fold out menu was placed before me, which was almost as big as the Sunday Times. Uh oh. Too much choice did not bode well. Had these people never watched Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares? There were some Continental dishes such as lamb rack and the celebrated steaks but I ignored that section to concentrate on the Chinese food. Typical dishes such as Lemon Chicken ($18.50) and Sweet and Sour Pork ($12.50) featured.
The Juggernaut waltzed in, looking mildly concerned. I ordered some baby friendly jasmine tea and J had a Tsing Tao beer. We were immediately brought over a bowl of dried cardboard strips, which resembled hamster food and some dips, one of which was incredibly strong mustard, made from powder. How very random! And wrong. There was some sort of sweet mango thing too. I wasn’t remotely tempted to try them but J was the guinea pig and dipped a tentative fingertip into the sauces.
J said you could judge a Chinese restaurant by its spring rolls, so we ordered some vegetable ones for $5. After studying the menu for a while, we settled on Schezuan shrimp with scallions, ginger, red pepper in rice wine sauce ($23) and Moo Shoo chicken- shredded and combined with wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, cabbage with pancakes and plum sauce ($18.50) and some baby bok choy ($11.95).
The Spring rolls, arrived, one each. They were okay, crispy enough and well fried but clearly from a packet. A bit bland if I’m honest.
A while later, our main courses arrived. This was the real test. My shrimp were smothered in a disturbing red gloop. What the hell was this? I tried one. Lukewarm prawns in jam. It reminded me of the so-called Mango chutney at the Taj Mahal. Some spring onions scattered on top for decoration. In fact, to say it was like jam is an insult to jam! There was no ginger to be found; I think it had left the building. I ate one more to be sure and then pushed the offensive creatures away. What an undignified death for those poor shrimp. J declared it the worst Schezuan dish he had had in his life. It came with a vat of plain rice, which was a welcome respite from the sickliness. The Moo Shoo chicken was nothing to write home about; a sort of fried mess of chicken and vegetables; there were no discernable flavours here. The plum sauce it came with was an unctuous treacle-like tar, to be used with extreme caution. The ‘homemade’ pancakes were quite good though. The bok choy was sort of a saving grace, crunchy with a generous amount of garlic. Everything had a liberal sprinkling of MSG over it. My poor unborn baby’s first experience of Chinese was not great. Sorry Peanut. We managed about half of our dinner before emancipating ourselves from culinary induced depression. The discarded plates of gloop stared sorrily back at us whilst waiting to be cleared. I realised that there were no Chinese people eating here. The fact that there were other diners at all was a small miracle. The staff were surprisingly buoyant considering the dreary atmosphere that pervaded the room. Later on that night, it all came back to haunt me in a bout of fever. I really only have four words to sum up East Villa; Do Not Come Here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spritz, Olde Towne Marina, Sandyport

Spritz, an aperitif consisting of wine sparkling water and liquer is an apt choice of name for this revamped canalside bar and restaurant. Opened last October, it was just the pick me up that the Old towne area of Sandypants badly needed. Its previous incarnation was possibly called Barnacles and a rather sad and empty place, languishing on the rocks.
Under new management, the team behind the News cafe, Spritz seems to be positively fizzing with energy.
The Juggernaut and I popped down for dinner last weekend. It was alive and kicking, with bodies filling the bar area and tables outside. There were as drinkers as there were diners, with a healthy dose of kids added to the mix. Clearly this place has quite the following now. It was as noisy as a busy pub on a Friday night after work. Having neglected to book, we were lucky to get a table. The makeover was attractive and simple; with dark exposed beams, pendant lights and fairy lights twinkle away. Nautical touches abounded, from rope-clad columns to anchor patterned upholstery, which managed to avoid looking too cheesy. The gaps in the wooden decking went straight down to the canal below. Lo and behold anyone who might drop a credit card, wedding ring or car keys down the slot. There could be quite a collection lurking in those waters.
The menu was filled with crowd-pleasing Italian inspired fare, from appetisers such as tomato bruschetta with feta and oregano ($8) and involtini di melanzane ($10) to enticing pastas such as Orechiette with pancetta, spicy tomato and arugula ($19) ), Linguine with shrimp and zucchini ($24), entrees like grilled salmon with Mediterranean dressing ($26), pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto with lemon and sage ($28) and Ossobucco di Vitello alla Milanese ($30). Prices were fair and square for this island, actually pretty damn reasonable. J was ravenous and ordered some deep fried calamari with tomato and herb dip ($12) immediately. We also ordered some San Pelegrino and kicked back in the pretty bistro chairs. Our friend JB joined us and we ordered one of three Pinot grigios on the menu, the ubiquitous Santa Margherita.  Meanwhile we strained to hear each other speak. The wine was slow to make an appearance and despite an abundance of waiters, we had to chase it up. Our sweet waiter came over to inform us that our drop of choice wasn’t sufficiently cooled, so we opted for one of other Pinot Grigios on the menu. No one likes a lukewarm glass of white wine and with my pregnancy-induced-two-drink-a-week-limit, I ain’t settling for no below par beverage. Our poor waiter, under mounting pressure to open the damn bottle, proceeded to snap the corkscrew. We placed our orders and strained to hear each other speak. It was so bloody loud that conversation became rather difficult. The Juggernaut offered one of his architectural pearls of wisdom; ‘This place needs some sort of acoustical material to absorb sound.” Hmm, yes, quite.
Our food arrived in good time. My Penne Portobello ($20) was a steamy pile of heavenly smelling pasta, woven with strands of spinach and mushroom. The sauce was delicious, with the picant notes of gorgonzola balancing the creaminess. Very well made. My unborn baby was in for a treat. J had the chicken breast with Marsala sauce, roast potatoes, carrots and broccoli. It was like a proper Sunday roast,  really satisfying. JB had a rib eye steak with roast potatoes and grilled peppers, zucchini and eggplant. He seemed very pleased with how it was cooked but like a teenage boy, didn’t eat any of his vegetables. I can’t tell you what both of these cost but I think they were around the thirty dollar mark.The hearty portions obliterated any need for dessert, although the chocolate and orange cake and homemade rum and raisin ice cream would have been my choice. Instead we got some espressos. The Juggernaut had a great big whisky, whilst JB opted for a beer. It was the start of booze fuelled odyssey for them, while I looked wistfully, trying to recall the last time I got drunk and looking forward to the next time I could. Apart from the noisiness, I must say I’m a big fan of Spritz. The food is delicious, unpretentious and affordable. A breath of life has restored this deserted area behind the gas station. The residents of Sandypants are well catered for here. It was a smart move to ensure longevity. Spritz is as refreshing as its namesake. I hope it’s here to stay.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brussels Bistro Frederick St Downtown

Twas another Tuesday night and not a lot was happening, so the Juggernaut and I ventured off to dine at the Brussels Bistro. Previous visits had not been disappointing. Continental cuisine was calling. Oui monsieur. I’m rather fond of this bijoux restaurant, with it’s wooden panelling, wall sconces and yellow glass lighting. Gallic music (accordions) sets a romantic tone. You feel a bit like you’re on holiday. They were enjoying a healthy weeknight trade with only a couple of tables to spare. Mind you, it doesn’t take too many people to fill the joint. We were seated with menus and offered drinks. J had a glass of pinot noir whilst I stuck to Perrier water; one of the joys of being pregnant. The menu has a quote from the famous gourmet (never heard of him) Arthur Buchwald. He wrote that ‘the best food in the world is French and the best French food is in Brussels.’  Come to think of it, Belgian and French food do seem pretty similar.  Who has a claim on Moules et Frites? They do a great line in them here but only on Thursdays to Saturdays, when they are flown in from Canada.  Quelle domage. Always on the menu are Gallic classics Escargots $14.95 and frogs’ legs with garlic butter $14.95. I am just too squeamish to try them. They taste just like chicken, apparently. My Dad always told us not to eat with our eyes. Well, I can’t. We were brought some bread and butter, on a neat little wooden board with recesses for the butter dish and knife. I like to have something to eat straight away; more so at the moment, as my appetite makes urgent and sudden demands on me. We had a starter each. J had the soup of the day; Cream of broccoli, for $6.50. Intensely green, well seasoned and just creamy enough; it was well made and pleasingly presented in an earthenware bowl with a handle. Homemade comfort. Extra bread was brought to us with tongs. J said it was the best soup he’d had in a while, as he happily slurped away. My salade maison $8.50 consisted of frisee lettuce, tomatoes, slivers of carrot and green beans coated in a fantastic vinaigrette. The perfect emulsion. Ah, the joy of a good salad. Max the manager saw me scribbling notes and smelt a rat; he came over and asked what I was up to. I had to spill the beans and tell him I was reviewing it. The service had been great up until then but it went up a notch. J got offered another glass of wine. It arrived almost instantly, much fuller than the last one. The slight wait for our main course wasn’t an issue as we’d put away quite a lot of delicious bread. Max kept us updated on our food’s progress and offered an apology. I had the baked salmon with béarnaise and a hearty dollop of Stoemp- a chunky mashed potato and carrot dish, with a healthy amount of butter in it. The salmon was a tad overcooked but still tasty. The béarnaise was a bit too vinegary but otherwise of a good consistency. The Stoemp was an absolute winner though. The Juggernaut went for gold with the Surf and Turf special $38.95. A juicy looking filet steak with béarnaise and half a lobster with garlic butter. Some grilled vegetables brought colour and vitamins to the plate. The steak was perfectly tender and medium rare but the lobster was a bit on the dry side, even borderline tough. I’m pretty sure he ate it all though.Given my license to eat, well, more at the moment, we had pre-ordered a soufflé with Grand Marnier in it. The booze tasted pretty intense to my palate, which has been alcohol deprived for the last few months. To J, it was a more subtle flavour. A soufflé is notoriously tough to pull off; many a Masterchef contestant has fallen at this hurdle, with failure to rise. It was marginally overdone but still good…it’s not something you see on many menus and as such, is quite a treat. Two pert macchiatos followed with some gorgeous little Belgian biscuits. We were the last table in the restaurant but not made to feel rushed.The Brussels bistro makes good, simple food with heart. It aims to please without showing off. I always leave with a warm fuzzy feeling, of having been taken care of. C’est bon, mes amies.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

RAW ON DA PORCH Fifth Terrace Palmdale

As we near the end of January, New Years Resolutions to eat well and do more exercise may have fallen flat. Whilst I’m not one to make radical changes that are impossible to maintain, I reckon purging yourself of the badness every once in a while has to be done. Your gut flora will thank you for it. Incorporating healthier food into your diet all year round is the only way forward . And it needn’t mean rabbit food and hunger pangs. One pioneer flying the flag for healthy eating in Nassau is Raw on da Porch. With a name that sounds more like a hip hop night than an vegan eaterie, Raw on da Porch is dishing out funky fresh eats that will challenge any preconceptions about vegan food being bland. The owner, Chrissy Love, cares deeply about the food we eat, albeit not in a holier-than-though way. Raw on the Porch was borne out of a personal need to eat well, lose weight and be healthy. She is the proof of the pudding; brimming with energy and charisma. In a nutshell, Raw foodism is the practice of consuming uncooked, unprocessed food which has not been heated above 115F. Raw foodies believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthful or even harmful to the body.
Located in Palmdale, Raw is a modest hut with a couple of wooden tables outside. Open during the day, it provides weekday lunches to locals. I brought my lovely blond friend. Having both been here a few times already, we were aware that we might have to wait a bit for our lunch. As Chrissy acknowledges “ Our clients know that our food is not fast, it’s good. Thanks for your patience.” Good things do come to those who wait.
Quirky dishes with cute names like ‘Ish’ and ‘Nibs’ make up the menu. Everything is made using only nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and oils. I started off with a small Green Smoothie ($5); a palatable way to get your quota of greens. Kale and Spirulina are blended with some banana and ginger to make them taste, well, nice. You can just feel the goodness running down your throat as you slurp it.
We opted to share the Thai Salad wrap ($10) and the Sample Platter ($15). A shorter than usual wait and our food arrived, beautifully presented. The Thai Salad Wrap was a pretty parcel of rice paper, jam-packed with lettuce, tomatoes, carrot, ginger, red and green cabbage, avocado, cucumber and sesame seeds, accompanied by a soy sauce and garlic dip. It had great texture and was filled with flavour. So clean and revatilising. The sample platter was truly a ‘ting’ of beauty. It was made up of three dishes; the Scramble bowl; Ish and Chips and Nori Nibs. The Scramble bowl was fried vegan burger with sweet onions, tomato, thyme topped with fried plaintain. It was partnered with vegan coleslaw with a creamy mustardy dressing. Chrissy told how the dish was inspired by ghetto food. Her mother used to make a meal for their large family with one burger and lots of onion. This was an animal friendly versions and every bit as tasty. The Nori nibs were seaweed wrapped salad, like sushi. A bijoux portion of Ish and chips ( a play on fish and chips) consisted of a tuna-inspired concoction, made with chopped sea lettuce, garlic, almonds onions and lime, accompanied by vegetable crisps, almost like a chunky nutritious dip. Sounds a bit suspect I know but seriously moreish.
All of this was quite filling but again, in the name of research, we had to check out the dessert options. There very various ‘nice creams’; non dairy alternatives to ice cream. We opted for a paper cone of Sugar Apple ($5). I had yet to try this local fruit. It tasted unlike anything I’d eaten before. The flavour was intense, interesting but quite acidic. An acquired taste I’d say. Not sure if it’s for me. Hats off for originality though.
There is a lot of skill involved in the presentation and assembly of the food, not to mention in the cooking. Making vegan food taste great and provide all the necessary nutrients ain’t no easy task. Chrissy really has a finely tuned palate and understanding of food that could win over many a die-hard carnivore.
We left full of the joys of spring, promising to return soon. I urge you to go if you haven’t yet. It is lip smackingly good.