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Barbados Report - Long'ish

  • m

Just got back from 10 days in Barbados and had some good, and some awful meals. Here are a few:

Cocomos - Great lunch place with fabulaous rotis and an amazing blackended flying fish wrap

The Cliff - What a great spot, unlike the rest of the island where service was at best spotty, this place rocks! (please excuse the pun). had the terrine to start (excellent) as well as the crab salad (OK). Main courses were braised lamb with mustard mash and the thai seafood curry. Accompanied with a fine bottle of Gaja overlooking the sea this was a great evening, but not a cheap one!

Daphnes - Service was really quite awful but the location was great and the food was good. I requested a specific table in advance and they said they would hold it for me. A couple came in just before us and were seated at the same table I requested even though the restaurant was empty. Not a good start as they were completely unapologetic. Daphnes calls themselves an authentic Italian restaurant but it was quite an ecclectic menu. Had the sea bass baked in salt (amazing) and the fishermands linguini.

Lone Star - Great location and amazing service but the menu and food was not so good. Trying to be very Ivy (London) with an eclectic menu that featured everthing from shepards pie to Thai cury. Had to send my pasta back as it was way to salty (and I love salt) and the crispy duck in pancakes was dry and tasteless.

Roti Hut - Home made rotis that just taste amazing

Sitar - Fabulous curry restaurant in a little alleyway/mews on the west side. The naans are huge an dthe butter checken to die for.

Fish Fry - every weekend in Oistins. A food experience you will never forget.

Cheffette - Dont, please dont......

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  1. I live in Barbados and this is one of the best reviews I have read about the restaurants and service here from a visitor. I think that its a very fair review.

    I often experience some of the same problems you identifed. I have eaten at all the places you mentioned except the Cliff which I will do someday soon.

    I DON'T, EVER, do chefette:)

    1. Ooooh, jealous. I used to live in Barbados and I often dream of Sitar's butter chicken. I have yet to find a place that duplicates that heavenly flavor! Also dream of Tide's rack of lamb and lemon tart. Mmmm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dinami

        You know, I am embarrassed. I didnt include Tides on my original post and it was a great place. Service was wonderful and the food was excellent. I had the special lobster with saffron rice and vegetables and it was fab. The setting is beautiful also. There were 4 of us and we all agreed that the food was on a par with The Cliff but the meal was a fraction of the cost. Thanks for jogging my memory Dinami!

      2. Nice report. I've been travling to Barbados for many years and love the island and the many great restaurants. But I haven't been on the island in about 4 years. In the past I've had excellent meals at The Cliff. But I didnt see Carambola. So,is Carambola still in operation... I imagine it would be. Have you been there? They always had a great chef and an amazing, amazing view right on the cliffs. On a much more casual note, I've had some nice meals at Olives.

        Also, have wonderful memories of La Cages au Folles in the old days... anyone remember this special spot and the owner, Nick?

        Barbados is such a wonderful place... timeless. Amazing weather, wonderful restaurants, great beaches (I stay in the St. James area), and warm friendly people.

        1. I've been to Bdos a number of times and sometimes a quick roti & juice from Cheffette hits the spot - especially if you have been out and about all day.

          A great made-in-Barbados alternative to lousy fast food, imho.

          1 Reply
          1. re: westhead74

            I agree--yummy rotis. And the potatoes they use for the fries have so much more flavor than what we get in the US--they must come from South America.

            Also Chefette is cheap! When in Barbardos on a budget there are not a lot of options--restaurants are expensive! Does anyone have any tips for bargain, authentic chow?

            A fish meal from one of the small kitchens at Oistins was probably the best thing I ate in Barbados...

          2. I thought I'de add Aqua on the list - I had an amazing dinner there a few months ago...it was hands down better than The Cliff which too many people rave on about :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: fifi

              To compare Aquas to the cliff is hilirous Aquas food was awful they hired a former chef from The Cliff and not to be rude but I can see why he isn't at the cliff.
              The food was over priced and portions small. I wa svery dissapointed to say the least.

              The South Coast( South Seas), Pisces, and West Tides and Yes Daphnes Of course ( The Cliff) Aqua will never be in this league period!

            2. I will be in Barbados starting this weekend for 7 days. Could you post some of the US cost for meals at the places you have mentioned? I've been surfing the web quite a bit and it looks pretty expensive to me.


              1. We're off a cruise ship for one day (have to laugh as I could "hear" the cringe as I used to feel that way but now that I'm one of THEM.....)and want a great place for lunch. Would Cocomos fit the bill? We love roti! Linda

                2 Replies
                1. re: Linda VH

                  Barbados is not known for it rotis. If you are looking for local Bajan (local word for Barbadian) fare, you can try The Coach House Restaurant in St. James. Coach House is on the same road to Cocomos. The lunch is served buffet style. It works out to be US$18 per person - that does not include drinks.

                  You can check out the Indian Grill on Bay Street if you are really desperate for roti but you have to go early and join the lunch crowd (11.30 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Inexpensive.

                  1. re: Linda VH

                    If you don't need roti's, then Cocomos is a fine choice for a casual lunch, it has a lovely ocean view!

                  2. oistins is great and a walk down the GAP at night you will find local food which is quite tasty

                    1. Frankie's across the street from the airport--great mauby-great fish and chips-great original Bajan food--rum shoppe/restaurant

                      1. If its still there, I must recommend the Fishpot. Recommended by Ushi (ownder of the Sea U Inn). She was right on. We had some really great food there. Right on the water, great ambience.....good food. An awesome dining experience. Ditto on the Daphne's reviews above - pricey but good!

                        1. Hi there.
                          I am off to Barbados with my GF and 9yr old tomorrow (Dec 12th) for just less than 2wks . Is there a must go place that I can take my son and GF together day or night. I have been told Sugar Sugar might be such a place. Interested to hear what others think. Also, as I am staying at the Crystal Cove how are the restaurants there? Of course we will venture forth but wasn't sure what the on ground restaurant is like.
                          Look forward to hearing from Foodies and as I live in London and a son of a former chef, if anyone wants a view on the scene here, I will be happy to give my most honest assessment.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: salmonriver

                            I second Oistins, relaxed, fun, lots of stuff to run around and look at (boats, the fish market, etc.). Which side is Crystal Cove on, South or West? The west side of the island is much pricier and more glamorous. If you are on a budget don't turn up your nose at Chefette, we love their fries and roti.

                          2. A friday night at Oisten's fish market will be a great night out for your whole family. As far as restaurants go Suga Suga is a good idea, Lone Star and Groots might be nice too for them. Also there's a restaurant on the dock in Bridgetown called Waterfront which might be appropriate.
                            Hope this all helps :)

                            1. Crystal Cove is on the west coast. Kenito is is right roti's are a good idea too...there's the Roti Hut (which is pretty close to where you are staying) that would be a nice alternative to the posher restaurants...

                              1. We are now at Crystal Cove (west side near Appleby) so thanks very much for all your great suggestions. We will see how things turn out, and will report back to everyone. We ate last night at the hotel restaurant called Reflectsions. Food was OK but nothing specatcular and what one should expect at an all inclusive. Today we go touring and will try to see if we can eat at Suga suga for lunch.

                                1. Hi there. I am now back with the family from Barbados after our holiday there and wanted to give all the chowhound community my assessment of the places we went.

                                  Mannie's Suga Suga - went there twice, once for lunch and once for dinner, same kind of menu on both occasion. went for dinner on Monday when they have the Mannequin in Motions show which for cross dressing cabaret lovers not to be missed.. We stuck with their fish dishes whilest there and would generally say quality of food is good, service is friendly and usually attentive, and price is reasonable. Atmosphere is good and for those going to the beach as we did for lunch convenient once you stop from sun bathing, snorkeling etc.

                                  The Cliff - Expensive, but worth it. Setting is spectacular but one should try to get on the bottom level if one can and book after 8:00pm. Food is extremely creative, wine list is extensive. Portions are about right. We found those dishes that mix local flavours with international cuisinary style to be the most outstanding and innovative, and I would recommend non-fish to start, and than seafood for the main course, and do leave room for desert. Service we found to be a little abrupt at first, but improved during the evening. Overall bill for two can cost with a reasonable bottle of wine around US$200 per person.

                                  Daphnes - Setting is truly lovely (natural and romantic) and the restaurant can cater to Children's taste so this is a plus. Service was excellent, attentive, and informative. Food is Northern Italian with contemporary style. Overall impression was starters were very well done, but meal tended to slide in terms of delivery thereafter. Main courses were given the price and the standards advertised disappointing both in terms of flavours, and also presentation and taste. Desserts were rich. We spent nearly the same as the Cliff for ourselves a single dish for my son, and thus would have to conclude it was overpriced, and will need to pull up its socks a bit.

                                  Cocomos - went for lunch, nice location right on the beach in Holetown. Quality of food for as a casual dining place was good. Portions were generous so if one eats there during lunch, one can probably last the day. Prices were very reasonable and the kids will certainly like it, though I would not rate the pizza that my son has and would suggest sticking with sandwiches, burgers, simple main courses instead.

                                  Olives - Another restaurant in Holetown, went for a latish dinner with son and GF. Food was prepared in an interesting way and there was certainly a number of fusion styles available on the menu. The wine list was limited but those that they had on offer from New and Old world were good quality and fairly priced. We ate dinner El Fresco style and though this is a bit more rustic than inside perhaps I would highly recommend it if the evening is cool and it is not too busy. Pricing was midrange for me, given that I live and eat out in Central London, but those from the US might find it on the expensive side.

                                  1. Went to Cocomos and it was very good. Recommended it (from your reviews) to other cruisers and they thanked me profusely. Linda

                                    1. We thought COCOMOS was pretty average for lunch. It is very casual. We took our driver out to lunch on the day we did out island tour. Much to our dismay our waitress recorded our credit card information and when we returned to the States we found that there were over $800 in FRAUDULENT CREDIT CARD CHARGES. Thankfully our credit card company discovered this and shut down the card. We were able to narrow down where this happened because we only used that card 4 times and this was the only time the card was taken out of our site. So, be very careful if you eat here.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: cburke1

                                        unfortunately Barbados has changed and is not as nice as it was--I still recommend Frankie's across the street from the airport--try the banana cou cou and fish-try some mauby too-this is island cooking