A continuation from Tuesday’s post, Bindu Grandhi, a.k.a. The Flex Cook and author of Spice Up Your Life, concludes her Aruban trip review. Being a self-proclaimed Foodie, she focuses this half on delectable, health-conscious Aruban cuisine.
Like many restaurants in Aruba, you have the choice to eat indoors or alfresco. At Chef’s Tables, eating indoors offers the special treat of watching the chefs prepare tasty dishes in the open kitchen. But we chose to dine alfresco because we found the outdoor atmosphere so inviting.
The rectangular courtyard with its charming tables and chairs is decorated with colorful paintings, local handicrafts, and large potted plants. In the middle of the courtyard, there is a small boat gently resting on large white rocks. The setting alone is a recipe for relaxation.
We started with the soup of the day – Potato, Leek & Bacon Soup, a creamy, tasty and a little heavy but thankfully a small serving, and Prosciutto di Parma – thinly sliced Italian ham served with fresh tomato and buffalo mozzarella, pine nuts, basil pesto and honey balsamic dressing. What made this dish so amazing is the dressing and buffalo mozzarella, which is made with buffalo milk. It is thicker, richer and tastier than your traditional mozzarella.
For the main course we decided to go with grouper again – just love that fish! I selected Fillet of Grouper with herbs, almonds and tomato (see fish dish on left) – a grouper topped with tomato tapenade, herb-almond, crusted in the oven and served with potato mash & fresh vegetables.
My husband picked Grouper cheese crust and white wine sauce (see fish dish below on right) – grouper fillet topped with herb cheese & parmesan from the oven served with potato mash and fresh vegetables. Once again, we were in food nirvana.
To compliment a perfect meal, we took advantage of the Chef’s Tables’ unique dessert menu in which they offer Dessert Tapas – an assortment of tasty desserts served in tall shot glasses at just $2 a shot! Talk about portion control.
We shared the Orange Stracciatella (orange ice cream and cake combo) and Banana Ice Cream with dark chocolate sauce – totally yummy. The tapas gave us that little something sweet to end a great meal and please our palette.
The Buccaneer has an underwater grotto setting with a saltwater aquarium view of sea life right at your table. El Gaucho Argentine grill carefully selects Argentinean meats and grills them using a mix of spices and herbs. My husband, who rarely eats red meat, ordered Bife de Filete – filet mignon prepared Argentinean style, and declared it to be tastiest steak he ever had. Gianni’s, as the name implies, offers Italian fare and is by far the best Italian food we’ve ever eaten. We ordered half portions because the food was so rich.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to dine at Driftwood (an authentic Aruban Seafood restaurant which boasts it’s owner catches fresh fish daily for the menu), Madame Janette and Chalet Suisse which were also highly recommended by the locals.
In a nutshell, whatever dish you choose you won’t be disappointed because Arubans have their own special way of preparing it, using a delightfully spicy mix of tastes, textures and colors with influences of Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and African.
It’s a safe bet that we will return to Aruba one day, a beautiful place for R&R and a nirvana for taste buds! Cheers!
Special thanks to Bindu’s husband, Preetham Grandhi (author of A Circle of Souls), for contributing his photography skills to this post.
Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavourful cooking, especially when it’s flexitarian. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.
Editor’s note: This final picture was taken at The Chef’s Tables.
Next time you go to Aruba, Readers, will you choose an all-inclusive or opt for the local cuisine and dining experience?