We dine out pretty regularly, but we save the really top notch restaurants for special occasions, so it was with great delight that a family member decided they would like to go to Calypso Grill to celebrate a big number birthday.
As George Town residents for almost a quarter of a century now, we still enjoy the trip up to West Bay with the prospect of a lovely meal ahead. The 25 minute journey itself adds to the anticipation and the winding lanes that lead to the restaurant indicate a change of pace at this quiet, laid back and rustic spot, perched on the edge of Morgan’s Harbour overlooking the ocean and the bobbing boats of the harbor.
At first glance, Calypso Grill, as the name implies, offers everything you might want in a Caribbean restaurant. It’s a beautiful building with vivid colours of the Caribbean – yellows and blues – as its back drop. Shutters are an authentic touch and the indoor/outdoor interior offers diners shade from the sun during the day and ocean side dining on the deck under the stars at night.
Chef George and his team are renowned for their cuisine, so much so that the road that leads to the restaurant is named Sticky Toffee Lane, in honour of the restaurant’s iconic dessert. Chef George also has a cookery book selling at local book stores, called, Going Down Sticky Toffee Lane, which is a treasure trove of his culinary secrets and well worth the spend.
After chatting with our knowledgeable server, Sebastian, about the chalkboard specials for the night, we began our meal with a glass of Prosecco and a “Cheers!” to the birthday girl, then headed straight into the chicken liver pâté, complete with French bread slices, sweet traditional Cumberland sauce and vinegary crunchy cornichons. It would be pretty rude not to order a fish dish at this gorgeous location, such is its reputation for cooking amazing seafood, so our chosen meals were two ‘Fresh Fish from the Dock’: the grouper pan fried and the mahi mahi blackened, as well as the seafood linguini, the latter of which was a medley of seafood, including lobster, mussels, clams and calamari (the birthday girl’s all-time favourite mains). The beautiful melt-in-the-mouth fish dishes came with a pile of crunchy string potatoes which were highly addictive and added a salty crunch in the mouth.
We could have chosen a crème brulée for dessert, a personal favourite, but the choice really had to be the sticky toffee pudding, a scoop of ice cream and three spoons. Not normally a dessert eater, I am sure I ate more than my third share of this dish. Its gooey, sticky exterior belied the lightness of the sponge beneath, perfectly complemented by the creamy vanilla of the ice cream. You just cannot come here and not order a slice!
Saved for special occasions to really savour the experience, Calypso Grill is easily a top three all-time favourite Cayman restaurant for me.