My holidays are usually pretty hectic. Every time I am snowed under at work, I keep repeating “I so much need a holiday”. Then I go on holiday BUT (as someone said I may suffer of FOMO – fear of missing out) while on holiday I do so many things that I get exhausted and on the last day I always say “Now I need another holiday”.
It’s with this spirit that I flew out from Amsterdam to the beautiful Island of Curaçao. We were staying at the luxurious Floris Suite Hotel, in the outskirt neighborhoods of Willemstad, the main city of this small Island. Since the very first day though we tried to wake up decently early in the morning (miserably failing sometimes) and to get out and explore the island. During our little road trips around the island, we wanted to experiment local food but also indulge in some more fancy european restaurants in several locations.
Though one night, after long days diving, snorkeling and hiking, we decided to have a lazy evening and stay in the Hotel for dinner. So we tried the Sjalotte Restaurant, the signature restaurant of the Floris Suite Hotel. The atmosphere is quite magic, with the al fresco dining area surrounded by palms and other tropical trees, where candles and torches create a cozy ambiance.
The dining formula is simple: you can taste a three course meal choosing among 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts; all this for just $30. The menu changes every week, depending on the seasonal availability of the ingredients.Fish, meat, vegetarian options, there is plenty to choose. I am usually a “carnivore”, but I got tempted by the mushroom soup. I was expecting a blended, smooth pure while what I got is a coarsely blended mushroom cream where the spices wonderfully enhanced the flavour of the mushrooms. The “fish of the day” was a flaky fillet served with beautifully seasoned stir fried vegetables.I have tried Chateaubriand before and, again, I thought I knew what I was going to eat when I ordered it. Once again, the palate was delighted by unexpected exotic fragrances and flavours at the very first bite. As dessert we ordered a spongy and moist upside-down pineapple cake, that was served with a smooth ice cream on a carved half-apple used as a cup. We ended then with a creme brulee, interestingly served in a long pot with grounded pistachios. Two american couples sitting next to us ordered the same, and with a cheeky face kindly asked if it was rude to lick the plate. We replied it was fine, only if they would not mind us doing the same!
During our week in Curaçao we really tried all sort of dining places and tasted all sort of food (including iguana!), and Sjalotte Restaurant represents a delightful dining experience that we warmly recommend if you are on the island. It was a truly unexpected and enjoyable surprise, just few steps from our suite. A beautiful combination of Caribbean flavours that perfection well-known European dishes. So nice, that we decided to go back two days after, just after some delicious drinks at the nearby cocktail bar.
Sometimes you travel miles to look for a nice place where to eat, while a special one may just be there where you are, in your same Hotel. So, when you are on holiday, you’d better check first what’s available near you! The grass of the neighbor is NOT always greener… Lesson learned!