An appetite for Anguilla
Is this the Caribbean capital of cuisine?
The pretty north Caribbean island of Anguilla is only 35 square miles but is home to hundreds of eating establishments that range from top restaurants to roadside food stalls and beach bars and despite its simple ambience people are calling it The Caribbean capital of cuisine.Here is a taste of some of the best food experiences.
EAT LIKE AN A LISTER
Anguilla is simple and unaffected, with no high rise hotels or all-inclusives. But its friendliness, privacy and off the beaten track ambience attracts celebrity visitors who can turn up their collars, don their shades and dodge the paparazzi.
You might spot them at:
Veya, Sandy Ground.
The name means ‘ray of sunlight’ in the old Amerindian language and Veya’s cuisine is described as ‘cuisine of the sun’. Located in treehouse-style setting the restaurant has become must-go for fine dining. Run by Pennsylvanian couple Carrie and Jerry Bogar, Chef Carrie tells me that she prides herself on having a relationship with local suppliers of produce and was drawn to the island because of its food scene and the restaurant serves food influenced not just by Anguilla but other islands in the Caribbean region. Downstairs a Moroccan themed meze bar serves cocktails and sharing plates to the sounds of live music.
Grilled Skirt Steak Lettuce Wraps, Pickled Red Onion, Avocado and Cilantro or Conch Fritters with Lime Chili Aioli to start, followed by Korean BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Cucumber Kimchi Cauliflower - Parsnip Puree, or Grilled Jerk Spiced Tuna, Rum Coffee Glaze, Caramelized Pineapple and Fried Plantains
This is the Caribbean so you have to sample at least one rum cocktail. Veya’s take on the rum punch does not disappoint and the Veya sparklers made with prosecco were another hitGreen tea & mint infused white rum with ginger syrup & ting
Tokyo Bay, CuisinArt hotel, Rendezvous Bay.
The beautifully appointed CuisinArt Hotel on the beach at Rendezvous Bay is home to the island’s only golf course and no less than five restaurants including Café Mediterraneo, Le Bistro at Santorini, the Italia & Clubhouse Grill,the Lobby Bar and Beach Bar & Grill and Tokyo Bay - the islands first authentic Japanese restaurant.
American chef Joe Richardson at Tokyo Bay says the flavours found on the island lend themselves perfectly to ‘Japanese cuisine with a Caribbean twist’
The Tuna, foie gras, sherry unagi reduction, gold leaf followed by Hydroponic eggplant gyoza, yuzu soy or duck goose gyoza, sesame dipping sauce
My favourite CuisinArt cocktail is their Ginger martini, a sophisticated drink to be enjoyed to music in the hotel’s charming bar with just enough Caribbean spice.
EAT LIKE A LOCAL
As well as fine dining there are dozens of relaxed beach bars such as Straw Hat, Blanchard’s, Smokey’s and Elvis’ beach bar but for a real taste of authentic AnguillaI head to the food stalls at ‘The Strip’ in The Valley, Anguilla’s capital, where a row of stands like Ken’s BBQ do a roaring trade in chicken roti, local beef stew, oxtail and curry goat with locals and tourists alike. Open until 2 or 3 in the morning, this is old-fashioned Caribbean fun with no frills and the food is sensational.
At Blanchards lime green and orange beach bar, try the blackened mahi mahi or the mussel curry with the sounds of the waves for music.