What can you say about the seafood? Actually, not much. It gets a lot of drawn breath. It gets a lot of "How did you get that flavour?" It gets a lot of "That's as good as I have ever tasted." Those reactions cover much of the food, too.
I had mentioned to the hotel management when I made an impromptu tour a few weeks ago that I believed that when locals stay at the very good hotels they do not want to be treated like European tourists. They want the very good service promised to be delivered with no 'cut eye' attitude or 'you sure you should be here' kind of remark. They want also a quick recognition that, because locals know the island, they could expect local food but done in the best possible way. This is especially true for seafood dishes, which should be among the finest things on offer. They also wanted the hotels to realise that good or bad word would spread fast. Knowing the other options on the island means also that the feet would do the talking.
You have never had caviar? That's a big shame. I had the luck to work in one of the countries bordering the Caspian Sea--home of the best caviar. I first tried the fish eggs with so much reluctance it was silly. But I learned the trick. Plenty of bread, and ice cold vodka. I always tried to take a few tins home and would offer them as gifts to my hosts during London stop-overs. The way the caviar was done at Cobblers Cove was very special. On display, was a vivid array of coloured caviar; proving flavours ranging from sweet to very salty. An English couple looked on at the array of eggs: "No. Can't do it." The slim girl said as she looked on. The man had his plate piled with an array of colour. In no time, his plate was all white again. We did similarly, though a bit more slowly. I savoured the salty eggs till last and had to have extra whole wheat bliny to tackle the last mouthfuls. It was well over eight years since I had had such nice roes.
Vodka needs to drunk icy cold; the best way to keep it is in the freezer. With caviar, it is a very happy partner. I'm no expert of the grades, but know that I do not like vodka that is too harsh tasting.I had never had Grey Goose so I decided to give it a try. I was more familiar with Stolichnaya, but not was available. Belvedere, which is smooth-tasting, was the choice of my wife. I recalled nights with a lot more to drink and then work to do. But that was in another time and place.
I love snapper, but blackened, dressed with a little grated coconut and sitting on a base of pineapple curry, with basmati rice, I had to rethink what flavours really work. Never before. In Jamaica, we often have savoury and sweet, but this was very imaginative.
Lobster is always enjoyable when simply grilled, though I like mine done with a little hot pepper sauce (or jerk seasoning) inside the shell. We had waited till Sunday to get the lobster lunch. But we had a problem. "The lobster flew away," the waiter said, no smile on his face. "But, let me see in the kitchen," he quickly added. "We have two," he whispered in my ear. All was well. Had he been joking? I was glad that I had not fallen for it. A nice glass of chilled Chablis for madam, and a lovely flute of Champagne, for sir. We were set.
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