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Curacao trip report

p
profmaher Sep 10, 2011 06:59 PM

I was just in Curacao for a couple of days. I didn't find many recommendations over here and I actually was there for work so went with my local colleagues recommendations.

we were staying at the Avila hotel: breakfast was ok but not great. Lunch on the other hand was more interesting, thouh the menu is somewhat limited. The seared tuna salad was nice (I prefer my tuna less cold) but in particular the keshi yena (a local specialty made of cheese stuffed with chicken and capers) was delicious.
As stated previously we were there working so didn't have much time to enjoy during the day, we had a bit more time for the dinners, so this is my experience:

Scampi's : the location was really nice, your feet are almost in the sea while you're eating, but the place feels very "touristy". We shared a few starters recommended by the waitress (chicken wings, calamari, shrimps and something akin to teriaki beef or something). It was ok, but definitely not worth getting out of your way for them. I then had "carco" a local shellfish that was tough, chewy and a bit bland. I'd suggest maybe going there late afternoon for a drink or something to enjoy the location, but the food was really not so great.

Seasons: near the hotel, has a nice terrace if you've had enough a/c for the day. The food was much nicer than Scampi's. With everybody apparently agreeing on their fish being perfectly cooked. I had a gooseliver starter that was very good and then a chilean seabass (perfectly cooked and delicious) and unfortunately bland side of noodles. and for dessert the vanilla ice-cream with melted belgian chocolate that was very nice but not extraordinary.

We tried to go on the Thursday night to "Cinco" that was recommended as a trendy place for dinner and drinks. When we arrived it was very uninspiring and quite empty of customers. (and there's a tatoo parlor in the place? seems a bad match with a bar...) We didn't actually give it a try. Then we passed in front of the Wine Cellar on our way back, and decided Fishalicious (in front of Seasons) looked more promising, so we went there instead.

Fishalicious: the best restaurant of my short stay: both food and service were great. The food was consistently delicious (compared to Seasons where the side dish was bland). I only had specials, off the menu. My starter was a full smoked eel (amazing), then I had some white fish (not sure of the name in Dutch but it looked like flounder, prepared meunière accompanied by some nice stir fried style veggies, with everything tasting fresh and perfectly cooked. The mussels mousse with truffles sampler we were offered at the start of dinner and the bit of chocolate with the tea/coffee were also delicious (if maybe too small).

Hope it'll help anybody traveling there.

  1. phelana Sep 11, 2011 03:45 PM

    great reviews...I have heard Fishalicious was divine..Carko or spelled Karko in Bonaire is conch..Karko is the Papiamento word..it's farmed from Venezuela so I tend not to eat it..conch fishing is not allowed in the ABC islands presently..Sadly it is very hard this time of year to get local fish in the ABC islands but when you can, shoot for Drado (Mahi Mahi)...I am in Curacao often in transit and look forward to trying Fishalicious..how was Avila? I frequent Floris Suites and Kura Hulanda.

    1 Reply
    1. re: phelana
      p
      profmaher Sep 11, 2011 08:51 PM

      Avila was ok. We had a corporate rate that made very good value for the price; I don't know if I would go there for the full price. It felt like a good 3 or 4 stars hotel. Staff was very friendly and helpful. I'm a bit picky on cleanliness and felt it was good in general though not perfect.
      Service at the bar is a bit slow, but nothing major if you're there relaxing :)

      They have a nice small private beach.

      And you can work from the terrace of the restaurant, looking at the wonderful landscape and send great photos to your friends to make them jealous.

      It was my first time on the island so I can't compare to other hotels around. Note that right now they have some construction work on the premises but I didn't hear or see anything during my stay (maybe work is only on the outside). One of my colleagues told me it was much better than the other hotel he had stayed at before but I forget the name (maybe Plaza or Royal something?)

      As for the food, see above.

      Thanks for the explanation on Carco.

      hope it helps.

      Prof.

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