Eat Like The Locals in Anguilla

Eat Like The Locals in Anguilla

We want you to not just see Anguilla, we want to truly savour it. We compiled a list of the top four restaurants that will have you eating like the locals in Anguilla.

 

Like Anthony Bourdain, I dream of eating my way around the world. Travelling is about experiencing and embracing new cultures, and there is no better way to fully immerse yourself while on vacation than through local food. Gastronomic tourism has become immensely popular in recent years and has become the main motivation for travellers when choosing a destination. It is key when visiting a new country to be privy to the “must try” and “can’t miss” restaurants. Lucky for you, we have the insider scoop on Anguilla and we are delighted to share it with you.   

Commonly regarded by savvy travellers and top travel magazines to be the Caribbean’s “hidden gem”, Anguilla is known for its 33 pristine beaches, unique accommodations, warm, translucent water and 5-star dining. Tucked away in the northern Caribbean, Anguilla is a shy beauty with a warm smile. The island has earned the distinction of being named the #1Island in the Caribbean by the readers of Travel + Leisure – four years in a row! Even if gastronomy isn’t the main reason for your trip to paradise, we promise Anguilla’s dining will leave your taste buds wanting more. We want you to not just see Anguilla, we want to truly savour it We compiled a list of the top four restaurants that will have you eating like the locals in Anguilla. 

Sunshine Shack

Welcome to Sunshine Shack where their motto is Live up! Love Up! Live On! Eats, drinks, private events and live music are all a part of this local favourite beach restaurant. This popular bar is located on beautiful Rendezvous Bay. Garvey Lake is the chef, bartender and owner of the Sunshine Shack and he is known to brighten everyone’s day with his smile and singing while he works. The locals refer to the popular establishment as “Garvey’s.” There are beach chairs and umbrellas available if you wanted to spend the afternoon and lounge with drinks. Garvey has two cocktails he calls his specialty, The Banana Bailey’s Colada and the Island’s Cream Dream. 

Sunshine Shack is small, wooden, painted white with signs and license plates hammered to the walls. Take a close look and you might just see a license plate from your province. This humble restaurant is adored and frequented by locals and visitors alike. Garvey promises you will not forget the delicious freshly grilled BBQ & seafood served up fresh at the Sunshine Shack. Where else in the world are you served up perfect BBQ and seafood while your toes dug into the white-sand beaches? Menu items include BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs and chicken combo, lobster and broiled snapper. The meat is filled with a charcoal flavour and the coolest part is you get to stand there and watch Garvey as he prepares it. Are you packing your bags yet? All sides are local options like rice and peas, fries, salad with avocado and plantains. Our knowledgeable inside scoop swears by the snapper meal with rice and peas and the coleslaw made with lettuce and tomato 

Garvey’s is known as a lunch spot but dinner is available. If you are interested in a more romantic setting, reserve a private dinner on the beach by candlelight. This would be great for anniversaries, birthdays or special events. Sunshine Shack is not to be missed and we know this tropical atmosphere` will sure be one of your Anguilla highlights. 


E's Oven Restaurant

Walk into E’s Oven Restaurant off one of Anguilla’s main roads in the West end and taste fine Caribbean Cuisine at a very fair price. Enter through the red and yellow arches – no not those arches - into a warm ambiance of dark wooden chairs and tables with an assortment of Caribbean artifacts covering the walls.  

Executive Chef Vernon Hughes prepares all dishes and the restaurant and oven are a tribute to his late mother. If you want to taste E’s roast half chicken you better get there early! The famous dish sells out fast and it’s one you don’t want to miss. There are both vegetarian and gluten-free options available ensuring every tourist can taste authentic Caribbean food while in Anguilla. Multiple visitors have touted eating at E’s four or more times while staying on the island for only one week. We know you won’t be disappointed here!  

We asked our insider to tell us her favourite dish and she was definitive she couldn’t pick just one! So she settled to tell us her top three meals; seafood pasta, pumpkin soup and stew with goat meat and baked chicken. If your mouth wasn’t watering before we bet it is now. 

Ocean Echo Restaurant

Ocean Echo, one of the best and newest 5-star restaurants on the island is located on the shores of Meads Bay. Previous to 2010 this parcel of property sat vacant until landowner Mr. Hughes vowed he would build a retreat both tourists and locals could not resist. The rest as they say is history. Ocean Echo opened its doors for the first time in 2013 to rave reviews. With the most extraordinary panoramic views of the ocean, live music on one of the greatest beaches in the world, it’s no wonder it is considered the ultimate local escape,    

If you are in Anguilla with a large group or family and want delicious food at a reasonable price then Ocean Echo is your destination. The restaurant is known to cater to large groups, private parties, weddings and receptions or any other function you request.  

Ocean Echo is known as the best in both International and Caribbean cuisine and renowned on the island for its signature cocktails. Chef Dillion’s version of Anguilla’s rum punch is called the Rumzie and is equal parts rum and…well, it’s a secret! It’s something delectably sweet and we promise it is the best you will have on the island. In the mood for something to drink with your food, but can’t decide what? Just ask Chef Dillion to mix you a personalized drink to satisfy your personal taste buds.  

The menu is comprised of only fresh local ingredients with the ‘Catch of the Day’ topping the Entrée menu. Indulge in Caribbean rice, pan-seared yellow-fin tuna, grilled lobster and crayfish accompanied with local spinach and vegetables. Some of the dishes are prepared with your choice of olive oil or cream and each bite will be fresher than the last.  

Our local expert told us the calamari and oven-rock pizza are divine! 

Pimms, Belmond Cap Juluca

Pimms, located inside Belmond Cap Juluca on Maunday’s Bay is one of the most romantic restaurants on the island. The restaurant is situated beside a stretch of glorious white-sand beach. The atmosphere is described as “fine tropical dining under the stars.” Moorish white arches provide architectural detail and all tables overlook the Caribbean Sea, making this fine-dining experience a special place for lovers. Pimms’ chefs who have repeatedly won gold at the prestigious culinary competition in Miami, Taste of the Caribbean. Pimms uses only the very best local ingredients including herbs and spices from their own plentiful garden. 

Dinner at Pimms begins with the ‘Pimms Ritual,’ when your hostess leads you to a limestone sink where you begin your cleansing ritual. Coconut milk is placed in one hand, and sea salt in the other and you scrub, lather and rinse. Your silky smooth hands are now ready to dig into your meal. If you are looking for a great wine pairing Pimms has a cellar with over 3,000 bottles. We are sure you will have no problem finding something to suit your palate.   

Our local insider raves about the lobster bisque and Conch Carpaccio calling the food at Pimms absolutely exquisite. We reached out to Chef Clero at Pimms who was only too happy to provide us with both recipes!

LOBSTER BISQUE  
Courtesy of Chef Johnny Clero of Pimms at Belmond Cap Juluca
Anguilla is famous for its abundant and fresh lobster. The lobster bisque at Pimms is one of the restaurant’s most iconic dishes, marrying traditional French technique with the vibrant local ingredients of the island. 
 
Ingredients: 
Lobster Stock: Whole lobster, onion, carrot, leeks, celery, fennel, fresh thyme, bay leaves, fresh garlic, parsley stalk, whole black peppercorn, sea salt 
 
Lobster Bisque: Lobster heads, onion, carrot, leeks, fennel, celery, olive oil, pastis, white wine, tomato paste, fresh tomato, lemongrass, ginger root, fresh thyme, bay leaves, star anise, whole black peppercorn and coriander seed, fresh orange (quartered), heavy cream, fresh garlic, sea salt, parsley stalk 
 
Preparation:  
Lobster Stock: In a large stock pot, bring some water to a boil with some sea salt and a mirepoix of carrot, onion, celery, fennel. Cook the whole lobster for about 15 minutes then place the lobster in icy water to stop the cooking process. Crack the lobsters, reserve the meat and the lobster stock for later.  
 
Lobster bisque: Heat a large soup pot on medium heat, add olive oil and roast the lobster carcasses for about 10 minutes. Use a mortar to break up the heads. Add some butter, the vegetable mirepoix and all the spices, cook for about 10 minutes on low heat until the vegetables are lightly caramelized. Deglaze the pan with pastis liqueur and burn off the alcohol. Add the tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Top off with the lobster stock, just enough to cover the shells, and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream, lemongrass, oranges and parsley stock and bring to a boil. Cook on low heat for about 2 hours. Strain through a fine sieve. adjust seasoning and reserve.  
 
To serve: Cut the lobster meat into small chunks, and warm it up in some of the lobster bisque. At the same time bring to a boil the rest of the lobster bisque. When ready to serve, place the warm lobster meat in a soup bowl. With a hand blender emulsify the lobster bisque then gently pour over the lobster meat. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, chervil or chives. 
CONCH CARPACCIO  
Courtesy of Chef Johnny Clero of Pimms at Belmond Cap Juluca
The Anguillian Queen Conch Carpaccio at Pimms is served with passion fruit, coriander and avocado, bright notes to accentuate the Caribbean sea's fresh, unique bounty. 
 
Ingredients: 
Conch Carpaccio: Conch, lime juice & zest, salt & pepper 
 
Passion Fruit Dressing: fresh passion fruit and passion fruit purée, lime juice, fresh hot pepper, freshly grated ginger, salt & pepper 
 
Garnishes: Fresh cilantro and mint, finely sliced avocado and jalapeño, orange and grapefruit segments, red pickled onion 
 
Preparation:  
Passion Fruit Marinade 
Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop the pulp into a sieve set over a bowl. Rub the passion fruit pulp through the sieve to extract the juice, keep half of the seeds for later. Add the passion fruit puree with lime juice, fresh goat pepper, ginger and salt in a blender with the passion fruit juice. Add the seeds of the passion fruit that you reserved, check seasoning then set aside. 
 
Conch Carpaccio 
Clean and pound the conch until soft, add salt, pepper, lime zest and lime juice. Let marinade overnight then roll the conch with plastic wrap, make sure you are getting a tied cylinder as much as you can then place in the freezer for at least 1 day. Slice the conch cylinder with the ham slicer and place the finely sliced conch onto a greaseproof pastry paper. Keep the conch carpaccio in the freezer. Make sure to take it out of the freezer approximately 10 min before garnishing and serve.  
                                                                      
                                                                                                                                             
Orange & Grapefruit Tartar 
Peel the orange and grapefruit; to easily peel the fruit, cut a slice off of each end and stand the fruit on one of the cut ends. Use a paring knife to carve along the shape of the fruit, cutting away the white pith with the peels. To realize the segments, hold the orange in your hand, with a sharp knife, carefully cut between a segment and the membrane. Do not cut all the way through, just to the center of the citrus. Give it a little twist and peel the segment away from the other connective membrane. Be gentle and watch your fingers! Repeat, working your way around the citrus. Reserve in the citrus juice.    
                                                                                                                                                Plating 
Place the conch carpaccio on the serving plate, it's easier to do this step when the carpaccio is still half frozen. Let the conch completely defrost then pour approximately 2 Tbsp of the passion fruit marinade over. Garnish with small dices of grapefruit and oranges, 3 fine slices of avocado, 3 fine slices of fresh jalapeno and 3 pieces of pickled red onions. Finish the plating with a few leaves of cilantro and fresh mint leaves.