Eat your way around the globe
Love to try exotic food? Well, there’s no need to leave the Caribbean to taste global flavours! Janet Kipling plots her ideal day, dining around the world – within the region
Italian in Barbados
Start your day the best way – with quality cappuccinos at Coffee Barbados
This popular family-run café in the old stables of the George Washington House will set you up for a day exploring the historic Barbados Garrison. Try a latte with a freshly baked croissant for breakfast, then return later for espresso with a slice of the amazing Chocolate Chocolate Cake – so chocolatey they named it twice! There are plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, too, such as the scrumptious almond, orange and Italian polenta cake. Don’t leave without trying the wonderful homemade biscotti.
Everything at Coffee Barbados is made with love, care and high-quality ingredients. The favoured coffee blend is Caffe Torelli’s Perla Bianca, a medium-dark roast with a rich and distinctive flavour. Neville and Caroline Robinson started importing coffee wholesale in 2014, quickly gathering an appreciative regular clientele at the Holders and Hastings markets. The couple ran a café in the UK, and love mixing European café culture with a Caribbean twist.
• The Garrison, St Michael; www.facebook.com/coffeebarbadoscafe
Spanish in St Lucia
Share tasty Mediterranean plates at funky, marina-side Tapas On The Bay
Tapas On The Bay’s philosophy is all about making meals a time for fun and laughter. The Spanish influence is obvious, but classic dishes such as meatballs in tomato sauce happily rub shoulders with more local fare like desizadores (barbecued plantain pulled pork) or Bahamian-style lambi chowder.
Among the range of tapas is gambas pil pil (shrimp pan-fried in chilli, garlic and olive oil), pollo al ajillo (chicken wings in sweet and sour sauce) and croquetas con tonic (sweet potato croquettes with sweet chutney). And what better drink to wash it down than a jug of traditional Spanish sangria, a mix of red wine, Triple Sec, brandy, citrus juice, fresh fruit and fizz. Tapas On The Bay overlooks the twinkling lights of Rodney Bay Marina, so you can enjoy cocktails while you watch the boats bob up and down.
• Rodney Bay Marina; www.tapasonthebay.com
Japanese in Trinidad
Eat amazing Asian creations at Samurai, Port of Spain
With Japanese executive chef Kenji Miura at the helm, Samurai brings a taste of the east to Trinidad’s capital, blending local produce with myriad oriental flavours and unique creations. It’s not all sushi. Among the must-try dishes are the wonton tacos, which fuse two world favourites in one delicious package. The gyu gyu wonton tacos are delicate creations of steak, baby lettuce, mozzarella, sesame seeds and spicy mayo.
If you can return for dinner, Samurai has a teppanyaki grill where you can watch skilled chefs preparing your meal on a hotplate right in front of you. It’s dinner and a show all in one! Finish off with the eye-catching and delicious green tea tiramisu and one of Samurai’s signature cocktails such as the Pear Sake Mojito or the Cherry Blossom Martini.
• One Woodbrook Place, Port of Spain; www.samuraitt.com
American in St Lucia
Build your own authentic, homemade burger at Jammer’s
If you like a burger, you’ll love a Jammer’s burger. They’re just a little bit different and extra delicious, because you can pick and mix from a wide menu to create the perfect burger for you. Start with the patty – do you want traditional all-American beef, jerk chicken, vegan red bean or maybe mahi mahi? Choose your favourite cheese to top it off. The buns range from gluten-free to tomato and olive – even squid ink! And do you want regular, sweet potato or truffle and parmesan fries? Providing plenty of high-quality options is the Jammer’s secret.
In fact, René Cahane, executive chef at Windjammer Villa Beach Resort, has created a menu that offers a complete ‘around the world’ eating experience in one lunchtime. As well as delicious twists on the US favourite, there are French brie and Greek feta paninis, a Cuban sandwich, an array of rotis and mouthwatering salads.
“My experience over 25 years as a chef has been at five-star hotels, AA rosette restaurants and private members’ clubs in London and the Caribbean,” says René. “My love of the culinary world has also led me to learn many global cuisines, and I enjoy using an eclectic range of modern and traditional food styles and techniques.”
• Labrelotte Bay, Castries; www.windjammer-landing.com
Dutch in St Maarten
Grab some pre-dinner snacks inspired by Dutch dishes at Marty’s
This bar and restaurant was founded in 1994 by the titular Marty, who came to St Maarten with a passion for the Dutch Caribbean and its people. At the time the island was starting to develop, and he saw a gap in the market for a fun hangout that everyone could enjoy.
Other bars have sprung up around Marty’s, but it retains its position as the first and original spot to drink and dine. The great Dutch snacks have also gained an enthusiastic following. Try a frikandel (a Dutch take on a hotdog), kaassoufflé (breaded and deep-fried Gouda cheese) or a loempia (an eggroll filled with vegetables, ham and chicken). And, of course, there are plenty of French fries. Enjoy the food alongside regular entertainment such as DJs, live music, sing-alongs and movie nights.
• Welfare Road 113, Simpson Bay; www.facebook.com/godutchmarty
Indian in St Lucia
Savour the subcontinent – tuck into a top-rated curry at Spice of India
Supported by their loyal local staff, husband-and-wife team Adil and Nady Sherwani have been winning awards for their food since 2010. Spice of India is right in the heart of Rodney Bay, and is a favourite with locals and tourists alike – since it opened it has consistently been the top-rated St Lucian restaurant on TripAdvisor.
The Sherwanis’ menu promises a wide range of dishes from across India. You’ll find top-notch versions of all the classic dishes, from vegetable biryani to a fiery chicken vindaloo. But they also cook dishes you might not have come across before, such as Himachal goat curry (a Himalayan delicacy with fragrant spices) or pan-fried scallops with a coconut and tamarind glaze. Save some space for one of the rich and delicious Indian puddings, too: try coconut saffron burfi (fudge with caramel sauce) or gulab jamun (warm milk doughnuts in cardamom syrup). There’s an impressive cocktail and wine list to accompany the wonderful food.
Though the chefs hail from India, they’re supported by St Lucian team members, most of whom have been with the restaurant since it opened, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant manager prides herself on remembering her regulars’ favourite dishes, and returning customers are greeted like old friends.
• Rodney Bay; www.spiceofindiastlucia.com
French in Guadeloupe
Find fresh local fish with a Gallic twist at Restaurant Le Vieux Port
This charming restaurant, opened in 1982, is set in an old fisherman’s house overlooking the port of Saint-François. Eating here is a real discovery of the delights of French cuisine, beginning with entrées (fish fritters, foie gras, urchin flan), moving on to delicious spécialités and Morceaux du Boucher (‘Butcher’s Pieces’), and finishing with the Festival de Douceurs Maison – an array of sweet treats, from coconut flan to fresh fruit clafoutis.
Seafood features strongly, from grilled lobster to the amazing Festival de la Mer au Champagne extravaganza – fish and seafood of the day stewed with fizz and cream. The drinks menu includes a fine selection of old rums for a real taste of the Caribbean. Originally from Haiti, chef Claudia brings solid French Caribbean favourites to the menu as well: try coconut chicken and jon jon rice with black mushrooms and peas.
• Saint-François; www.restaurant-levieuxport.com