Good morning Cayman!
Waking up to a window overlooking the Caribbean Sea is absolutely priceless! I really could do this everyday. Couldn’t you? In this post I will give you four restaurant suggestions found mostly in the north eastern part of the island, including the best restaurant in the Cayman Islands!
Where to eat? I take great pleasure in enjoying some of the most simple things in life, one of them being a delectable meal. Trying new food with good company and great conversations that last for hours, could make for a perfect day if you ask me! With that being said here is my list of restaurants that you must try when visiting Grand Cayman.
#1 Kaibo Upstairs
Kaibo Upstairs was by far my favorite restaurant in Grand Cayman. If you’ve heard of it, it might be because it has been awarded Grand Cayman’s number 1 restaurant every year from 2012-2016. Michelin star Chef Laurence Tham from London creates dishes that are a fusion of European techniques with Caribbean ingredients that are absolutely exquisite. I could really write an entire post on this restaurant experience so I will try to be brief. The restaurant has an elegant but relaxed vibe with a lovely open patio with muslin sheers and a squared rare rum bar in the center. Additionally it has what they call a boutique wine list which are wines that were hand picked exclusively to make the best possible match for each particular dish and menu. It also has a Rum Cabinet which has a wide selection of some of the most rare rums from all over the world which are usually only for sipping and savoring. We got there a bit before our reservation so we enjoyed a drink at the bar and chatted with the friendly bartender from New York who made us fresh tropical drinks and let us try some of the rare rums. I like rum, but these were pretty exotic and strong. A little too much for my palate but definitely worth trying!
After being seated at our table, we chose to have the six course tasting menu while enjoying different rum cocktails and wine. Dinner started with a savory cucumber cold soup that was accompanied by bruschetta with an exquisite cream cheese topped with salmon. Next was fresh sliced scallop full of flavor with red peppers, rings of red onions, shallots and shrimp marinated in fresh lime and topped off with a sweet spiced pepper jelly and cilantro! A-mazing! The service was impressive as empty plates were cleared ASAP followed almost immediately by the next course. Cannelloni filled with velvety goat cheese mousse with baby greens on the side topped with raisins, crisp green apples, toasted walnuts and a cabernet sauvignon & red grape chutney were next. As plates kept coming out, they only continued getting better! We were next served a sesame, king crab crusted grouper in a bed of sea lettuce with a sweet corn espuma and coconut jasmine rice! Yes, it was as good as it sounds! The caribbean seasoned angus beef tenderloin came next with roasted shallots, kale, and potatoes in a ruby port beef jus reduction. Enough said! And lastly, my favorite part, dessert! A dark valrhona chocolate pavé, mascarpone chantilly over honeycombe and an orange glaze. Delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Not only was the food incredible, but the service was just as amazing. The diverse staff (all international) extremely friendly and attentive to every single need. It is easy to see why Kaibo Upstairs is the best in Grand Cayman!
Ahh…so much for being brief!
#2 Over The Edge
If you recall on my first Cayman post, Cayman Sun, I mentioned we had our first dinner here. If you want to experience how the locals enjoy a relaxing dinner by the sea, Over The Edge is the place to go. There is nothing pretentious, it’s filled with locals that know each other by name and you are treated with typical Caymanian hospitality. Everything from the art on the walls to their conch fritters, mojitos and people are all representative of the Caribbean. It sits oceanfront so you have a really cool view of the turquoise waters if you are sitting out on the deck. The food has the smoky jerk flavors of the Caribbean and the ambience is nice and relaxed. First time here as you know, was the day we arrived and enjoyed some savory lobster for dinner. Second time was during the day to watch America’s Cup while enjoying some mudslides and rum drinks. This second time we had a chance to chat up some locals and discuss the Cayman life! I’ll talk more about this on my last Cayman Islands post.
Tukka is owned by Australians and shares the Aussie flavors with a Caribbean twist. Its colors are bright and cheery with yellow walls and multiple and varied art decor. It is also oceanfront with a deck and has a decent sized bar. Here we enjoyed some lobster spring rolls with sweet chili sauce and a lime mayo drizzle followed by a grilled shrimp pizza with sweet peppers, burnt lemon and thai curry sauce. Very different but very tasty and highly recommended. Tukka also has a happy hour menu from Monday – Friday that is worth the visit.
#4 Rackam’s Waterfront Bar & Grill
Rackam’s is located in George Town right by the Grand Cayman port. Our experience here was quite unique as there was a downpour after our dinner that gave us the ultimate island experience. The Canadian waitress was extremely friendly and promptly served us with some tropical rum drinks, crispy calamari, red snapper & caesar salad. Rackam’s is on my list not only because the food was good as well as the service, but because it has an upbeat atmosphere and the location is perfect for doing some shopping after lunch with all the duty free shops around the corner.
A common theme I noticed in all restaurants was the friendly staff. It’s obviously not hard to always be happy and friendly in such a remarkable spot. Additionally, most of the employees were foreigners from all over the world. Canada, Britain, Scotland, Australia, Honduras and USA were some. All happily sharing their stories and inclusively suggesting and recommending that we move to the island as well! Incredible people with incredible stories all at Grand Cayman!
If you enjoyed this post, please share with someone that might want to make a move to Grand Cayman or simply someone that might just be a foodie like me! 🙂