What gives you pleasure? When you think about complete and utter bliss, what is it that you're doing? Well for me, the answers are FOOD and EATING. I love food. No, I luurrrvve food. Really I ought to weigh about 190 kilos and it's really only miracles (and exercise) that prevent this. I live for food. I dream about food. "Diet" is a very threatening four-letter word. The truth is that I don't eat in excessive quantities (usually), but I'll eat just about anything. In particular, new flavours make me happy. I love tasting something for the first time and deciding that I really love it. There is nothing better than learning about interesting and unique flavour combinations that work!
So this post is going to be in two parts. Part I: review of dinner last night at The Beach House, Barbados, and Part II: my top picks for Food P**n (I'm afraid of generating unwanted traffic with the p-word)
Part I: The Beach House
As a family, we like to go out for a nice meal when we're all together. Especially because we aren't all in the same place that often. Last night was my parents' 32nd Anniversary (big up) so that was our excuse this time. We went to The Beach House in Holetown. I'd never been before, and to be honest, it wouldn't have been my first choice of restaurants. But I'm really not that picky and I was happy to give it a go. Let me tell you, VERY good decision. The food was excellent!
First I ate Grilled Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto. Mmm! The scallops were big and juicy and perfectly cooked. Living in the UK, nice fresh scallops is not something I eat very often. So I was really pleased to have these. The risotto was just a tad undercooked (which is rare for risotto) but it was nicely flavoured and to be honest I was too taken with my delicious scallops to care. Other starters of note were the Crispy Pork Belly. I cannot describe it any better than that. It was crispy. It was pork. It was belly. And it make my belly very happy indeed.
For the main course I had Grilled Swordfish with Melon Salsa. The fish was delicious. Fresh, perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked; just a perfect piece of real Bajan fish. But the star of that dish was the melon salsa. That surprised me. I'm not in general a big fan of melon. I find it a bit boring and a bit tasteless. But this was anything but tasteless. First, it was beautiful! So many different colours really made it appealing. I took my time tasting each little colour at a time to identify it. As far as I worked out, it was honeydew melon, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, tomato, and butter-nut squash. These were all diced finely and seasoned with a mix of herbs, the dominant flavour being cilantro. It was absolutely delicious. It was surprising and refreshing and colourful. I'm definitely going to try to create my own version of this sometime. Amazing!
My family always shares desserts. In fact, we share most food, but there is an unwritten law about sharing desserts. So between us we had three: Bajan Lime Tart, Bread and Butter Pudding, and Apple and Sultana Crumble. The Lime Tart was not what I was expecting. It was a deep pastry shell that was thin and just a bit flaky. The lime filling was a mouse-like texture and barely-green colour. It was topped with a coconut meringue that smelled like bonfire-roasted-marshmallows. It was really very tasty. I like that the lime flavour was subtle yet refreshing and the thin pastry didn't make the dish too heavy. I would have preferred a bit more contrast in texture between the lime-filling and the meringue topping, but in general a very good dessert. The Bread and Butter Pudding was probably my favourite. This is unusual because this is not really my favourite dessert. This one, however, was not a heavy dessert as it often it. It was light and fluffy and had the perfect amount of cinnamon and raisins. It was also served with a really nice vanilla ice cream. The last one we had was the Apple-Sultana Crumble. This wasn't very good. It was more sultana than apple and there was too much of the crumble bit. It was the heaviest of the desserts we ordered and didn't really satisfy the sweet-requirement at the end of a meal. On the up-side, it was also served with that delicious vanilla ice cream.
My overall opinion: go eat at the Beach House! Just don't order the crumble. The food is simple but very well prepared. The menu blends West Indian and English inspirations, but I left feeling as though I had had a genuine Caribbean meal. My one critique is that the option for appetizers is not very great for a vegetarian or someone who doesn't eat seafood. Neither my mother nor my sister eats seafood and they were both quite disappointed at the options: Caesar Salad or the Pork Belly.The only vegetarian option was the soup-of-the-day (Potato and Onion), but I couldn't help but think that some days the soup might have a meat-based broth... So maybe not the best place to go if you eat veggie, but if you love a good piece of fish, a good view, and decent service, I would highly recommend The Beach House.
Sorry no pictures, I was enjoying the food way too much to get the camera out. Look at some photos on their website.
Come back Monday for Part II: Food P**n!