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.