Surinamese Take Out Bliss – Mati’s in Bonaire

August 19, 2015

I am a self – professed foodie, always in search of the ultimate in food. My favorite dining is discovering a mom and pop style hole-in-the-wall. Today, whilst getting my manicure at the best place in Bonaire, Vanidades, Dee from Woodwind dropped in. After catching up on family and travel news, our conversation turned to food.  Dee, being from Trinidad and Tobago (AKA T&T) knows Roti. If you have sampled Roti around the Caribbean you know, Trini’s serve it up Burrito style while in Bonaire, Surinamese Roti is served with the curry and veggies on the side and the Roti separate. Me, I am prefer my Roti Trini style but hey, I will take what I can get here. I do miss Roti King from my life living in Antigua. My daughter and I would run, not walk there soon after arriving on island. Their Roti is delicious and big enough to feed two. Back to Bonaire Roti. You can get it many places now but it’s not always the best Roti. What makes a good Roti? It should be made with ghee and a Tawa (pan). It should be light and chewy but not stiff and thick.

So far, my favorite Roti is the one served by Jana at Dive Huts on Tue. night. Jana does not make the Roti herself but it’s very thin, buttery with Ghee and slightly flakey. The consistency is perfect. Someone labours with love making this Roti. Back to Dee! Dee, a Roti lover herself swears by Mati’s Restaurant on Kaya Korona. I thought I knew about all the local food hot spots but Mati’s was unknown to me.  Dee procured the number and suggested I go sooner than later.

I must digress; my foodie boyfriend, who happens to be 6’3″ 180 can eat anything. He just left Bonaire, rested and tanned. I remained behind having gained a few from a few too many cocktails and dinners out. I have a 5 K road race the 29th and am back to training, attending spinning and yoga classes and hikes up Sera Largu. Clean eating is the order of the day, food wise. Roti is definitely not on my eating plan anytime soon. Still, I wanted some protein and vegetables and soon would learn, Mati’s could deliver.

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I called ahead and spoke to a friendly English speaking woman. I explained I was eating clean and wanted fish or chicken and vegetables. She told me she would prepare something nice for my “diet” and to come on in.  Mati’s is located smack dab next to Flamingo TV and Alpha Omega Laundry. The side street is now paved, thank goodness for my ole Corolla. There is ample parking on the side and in front.

Inside, it’s sparkling clean and oh so friendly. The lady answering the phone is the co-owner, Marijke. Her husband, the chef is Rudolph Lamidi. Rudolph once ran a food truck near Cultimara (Top Grocery) and later moved back to Holland. Thankfully, he is back, spinning out some delicious Surinamese Cuisine. I had a lesson in Surinamese Food 101 as I navigated the incredible menu. The food is heavy on rice, noodles, egg and flavor. Fresh spices and herbs come in from Suriname to enhance the dishes. As I was speaking to Rudolph, a steady flow of locals came in for take out orders. I was able to sample a lovely Saoto Soep, fresh homemade chicken soup. It was the best soup of my life! My meal consisted of fresh chicken cooked in lovely spices with delicious veggies including green beans, bean sprouts and tomatoes. The price for a large portion was 7.50!

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If you are craving fresh and delicious Surinamese food, give Mati’s a try. It’s the real deal.  Try the Moksi Metie, sausage and meat or the Pom, healthy meat and vegetables. A customer who was waiting for her food suggested a few other Surinamese dishes on the menu. The steady stream of take out orders was a good sign of things to come. My food was satisfying and delicious. Bring your reusable container and say no to styrofoam!

Mati’s

Kaya Nikita 5

Telephone: 780 7911

Big Game Fishing – Fish Tales

August 17, 2015

Fabien

Photo Courtesy of Caribbean Wind & Sun – Fabien, first mate!

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Yuri van Kempen, owner of Fishtails,  a Pursuit 3000 offshore.  Yuri takes clients out for specialty fishing charters in pursuit of  Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna and Mahi Mahi.  The boat, is equipped with all the technology to find and catch fish safely; radar, GPS, chart plotter, fish finder, VHF radio and all required safety gear. There is also a bathroom, fresh water wash down and deck shower with hot water.

Photo Courtesy fo Fishtales Website

Photo Courtesy fo Fishtales Website

Yuri and his crew are mindful of the reefs and marine life and therefore practice a strict catch and release policy for all billfish. They are a member of the billfish Foundation.

To book your charter, use your Concierge Service with Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations by emailing ann@bonairecaribbean.com today.

Photo Courtesy fo Fishtales Website

Photo Courtesy fo Fishtales Website

Take Away Part 3 – Kirty’s Surinamese Cuisine

August 12, 2015

Bonaire is blessed with a plethora of dining options. Being a foodie, maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge with so many delicious menus to choose from. I am fascinated with the growth of take out options on island. A group of women have created an industry of take out cuisines that are remarkably delicious. Kirty adds to the mix with her Surinamese blend of dishes. Offering a Tue. and Thur. lunch menu, she always has something savory with a little sweet.  Her specialty is Roti with curry and vegetables. Her roti is flakey and light. Her curry is pungent and flavorful.  My favorite is her pickled cukes.

Photo Courtesy of Kirty

Photo Courtesy of Kirty

To order, when on island call 795 3729.  She is located near More For Less in Nikiboko and has pick up, 12-1 PM.

Take Away on Bonaire Part 2

August 6, 2015

My newest find is Jana’s Take Away, Tuesday nights at Dive Hut on Kaya Dialma. Jana’s creates the most delicious Thai/Indian influenced cuisine. Her flavors are amazing and the plating, creating and colorful. Jana also has a food booth at the Taste of Bonaire. I have sampled two of Jana’ s lovely menus and can attest to her culinary skills. Jana uses fresh ingredients and blends spices to create tantalizing flavors.

Bring your own container to contribute to a styrofoam free Bonaire.

Photo Courtesy of Jana

Photo Courtesy of Jana

Sample Menu:

Appetizer: vegetarian samosa

Main course:
Indian yellow rice with Nuts, Beef kebab with cilantro sauce and cucumber salad ( Tofu sate for vegetarian)

for $17

Photo Courtesy of Jana

Photo Courtesy of Jana

For a reservations call  780 2123 or use your free Concierge Services when booking your trip at Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations.

Bellafonte Luxury Oceanfront Hotel- Pure Heaven

August 5, 2015
Oceanfront Bliss

Oceanfront Bliss

My boyfriend and I had the privilege of being guests of Sara Matera and staff at Bellafonte Luxury Oceanfront Hotel recently. As a travel professional, it’s imperative I inspect properties each year so I can be sure to deliver the very best product to my clients. With the advent of online booking, it’s important I stand out so that my clients return year after year. To insure I offer the best product possible, personalized service includes quality review of each property.

Over the years, I have booked many discerning guests at Bellafonte. it is one of Bonaire’s few high end properties on the sea. I had the wonderful opportunity to have a “stay-cation” at Bellafonte. I live across the street, so packing and moving over for our two night respite was relatively easy.  Sheila Marie, one of Bellafonte’s amazing front end staff, welcomed us warmly. We were treated to oceanfront splendour in one of the amazing senior suites. From our welcome, to the end of our stay, we were made to feel,  oh so special.

We checked in mid week this summer for a two night stay. Upon arrival, the General Manager, Sara had a bottle of wine and a warm welcome note for our arrival. The fridge was stocked with cold water as well. Our patio opened up to sea views and gentle trade winds. Inside, the amenities were top notch. My boyfriend loved the Expresso machine. The full kitchen was perfect for meal preparation as well.   Some properties are not well stocked with glassware and dishes but our unit was well appointed. Our special place was the massive patio that had a table for dining and two comfy chairs for reading and relaxing. The sweeping views of the Caribbean blue were amazing.

Views from our patio!

Views from our patio!

Of course everyone comes to Bonaire for the sea. Over the years, I have enjoyed visiting  the property when guests arrived. Last Christmas, I booked a Junior Suite for my daughter and her boyfriend so we enjoyed three days of sunning and snorkeling on the massive seaside deck.  This spot is nothing short of magical. The comfy turquoise cushions on large sun beds were perfect for sunning and napping. Snorkeling off the deck was amazing. Drifting south, we saw a plethora of sea life including coral heads and colorful fish. The best time is at night, sipping wine on the deck, under the stars. Pure heaven.

This intimate property features 22 luxury privately owned apartments.  The furnishings are high end. The bedding and towels are cotton comfortable. There is AC throughout each unit. The property features free high speed internet, private terraces or balconies, dive gear storage and rinse tanks, outdoor showers and 24/7 reception and night concierge.  The close proximity to south shore dive sites, windsurfing, kite surfing, the airport and town, make Bellafonte one of my client’s favorite properties. The King of Holland and his family recently enjoyed a stay at Bellafonte.

expansive views for miles and miles

expansive views for miles and miles

To book your stay, contact Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations.  I will hand pick a unit for your stay. Email ann@bonairecaribbean.com.  They offer free Concierge, vehicle rental, windsurf or dive gear rentals and tour planning. When booking Bellafonte, ask for the Bonaire Bliss Discount when mentioning this blog post. New bookings for 2015 will earn 5% discounts off room stays.

When considering your vacation, if you seek a comfortable high end property, look no more.  The sunsets alone are worth a stay at Bellafonte.

Bon bini

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Take Away Bonaire Part 1 – Lek Lek Take Out Thai Food

August 4, 2015
Bonaire has Thai Take Out!

Bonaire has Thai Take Out!

The culinary options in Bonaire are quite impressive. The island is a melting pot of cultures represented in our cuisines. One can enjoy Surinamese food, Colombian fare and other South American delights. New to the scene is Lek Lek Thai Take Out. Based out of the lovely Roomer Boutique Hotel, Lek Lek turns out amazing Thai food every Monday evening. Ruby, the brainchild behind this culinary delight takes orders up to a week ahead and often sells out before Monday. It’s that good! She has a loyal following and there’s good reason; the food is amazing. When can you recall the last time you didn’t want your meal to end? Last night was such an occasion. I arrived at 6:15 after a hike in the kunuku. Ruby, her husband and colleague were fast and furious behind the counter creating culinary bliss. Ruby welcomed me and advised me my 7 PM order would be ready in 30 minutes. Normally, I’d wait at the Roomer bar but my dog was waiting for her dinner so I drove two miles home, fed my girl, showered and returned. The aromatic fragrance wafting through the breezeway of the hotel was intoxicating. I picked up my order (17.50 or 20.00 with a well deserved gratuity) and headed home. I gleefully tore into my dinner, a lovely tofu dish so spicy and delicious. Pure ambrosia. There was also a salad with Thai seasoning and greens and a perfectly cooked fried egg. Ruby also offers a little dessert tasting. Last night she prepared a layered coconut milk Pandan steamed traditional Thai dessert called Khanom Chan. I devoured this simple yet flavourful sweet treat. As my dining experience came to an end, I was sad. I wanted more. Thankfully, Ruby’s here to stay on Bonaire, for now anyway, serving Thai street food cuisine.

To order, contact Ruby

Authentic Thai street food @ Bonaire
Roomer, Belnem
Tel: +599-7870370
leklekthaifood@gmail.com

Description
เล็ก lek meaning small in Thai. Thai street food without being pretentious. We keep it small and reaL

Air News from Adams PR and TCB Inc.

July 21, 2015

Press Release

Bonaire

**Non-Stop Delta Flights from Atlanta Expand from 1 to 3 Weekly**

 

**United Adds Additional Flights from Newark & Houston for Holiday Travel**

Kralendijk, Bonaire – (July 21, 2015) – Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) is pleased to announce Delta Air Lines and United Airlines will be adding additional non-stop flights to Bonaire, ideally timed for the peak 2015/2016 winter travel season.

Delta will add two more non-stop flights to Bonaire from Atlanta beginning December 19, 2015. The southbound Delta flight DL665 will depart Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) at 9:45am and arrive at Bonaire International Airport (BON) at 2:45pm every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. The northbound return flight DL482 will depart Bonaire at 3:42pm and arrive at Atlanta at 7:05pm everything Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. The Tuesday flight will be removed for the winter lull (January 5 – February 9, 2016); then back to 3 times a week on February 13, 2016. The three weekly non-stop flights are slated to run through March 2016.  

 

For United, their Newark non-stop flight to Bonaire will return early from hiatus on Saturday, September 26, 2015. During the holiday season, United will be adding extra flights to their Houston and Newark schedules. From November 20 – December 1, 2015, the southbound United flight UA1402 will depart George Bush International Airport (IAH) every Friday and Saturday at 1:00pm and arrive at Bonaire at 7:45pm. The northbound return flight UA1401 will depart Bonaire every Saturday and Sunday at 7:30am and arrive at Houston at 10:25am. From December 11, 2015 – January 4, 2016, the southbound United flight UA 1422 will depart EWR every Saturday and Sunday at 9:00am and arrive at Bonaire at 2:37pm. The northbound United flight UA 1420 will depart Bonaire every Saturday and Sunday at 3:32pm and arrive at Newark at 7:27pm.  

 

“The addition of these Delta and United non-stop flights to Bonaire during the peak season demonstrates the airlines’ confidence in Bonaire’s tourism product,” commented Malinda Hassell, Marketing Manager of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “With these new additional flights added to our U.S. airline schedule, it will also provide our visitors with more convenient connections to Bonaire.”

 To celebrate the new airlift, Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations will be offering 10% off for select new bookings for 2015 and 5% off select new booking for 2016. Email for details.

Mindfulness Book Club – July 2015

July 13, 2015

Join me for a Mindfulness Book Club July 2015. We will be reading Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.   We are so tuned into our daily lives and the clatter and noise that is joyful or not. We are deeply immersed in our routine  and schedules but what about the silence? What about being present? Come read the words of the great Thich Nhat Hanh and share your ideas and thoughts on how to be present.  Share strategies and processes that work. Come meditate with like minded individuals. The club will be an informal gathering at a lovely holistic center in Republiek, Namaste Relaxation Studio and my home in Belnem.  We will read, discuss and meditate and then have tea.

First Club: July 26 at Kaya Solo 3 in Belnem- 7 PM

To pre order your book email ann@bonairecaribbean.com. The club is free so bring a friend and join others as we celebrate living the mindful way.

Namaste

Ann Phelan teaches Mindfulness and is devoted to bringing her practice to students on Bonaire. shopping

Full Moon Yoga and Meditation Aug. 1- Blue Moon

July 11, 2015

Come celebrate the  second full moon of July 2015.  Led by esteemed yoga instructor, Lolymar Sanchez and Mindfulness Instructor, Ann Phelan,  this special event will include a special mindful meditation, chanting and yoga. After, enjoy tea and snacks. This will be a special evening to celebrate our connectedness to the moon, planet and island community.

Our date has changed to Aug. 1.

Please meet at the Coromoto Church in Antriol at 6:00. The event commences 6:30PM.

The price is 17.00 pp which includes yoga, meditation, snacks and tea.

Contact information: Facebook page Yogarriba

Loly’s Phone Number -701 2302

Ann’s Phone Number -786 3134. Or, email ann@bonairecaribbean.com for details

Namaste

Styrofoam Free Bonaire – A Cleaner Future

July 3, 2015

Bonaire is one of the most eco minded islands in the Caribbean. Our marine park is protected thanks to the efforts of STINAPA.  The pristine coastal waterways attract tourists who revel in the world class diving and spectacular snorkeling.  Whilst our island is every eco minded and in the forefront of eco tourism, there is room for improvements. Bonaire has a plethora of take out dining options. There are ethnic and fast food eateries strewn across the island. Most patrons cart home styrofoam containers of their food treats. The remaining containers end of in Bonaire’s overly stressed landfill.

Photo Courtesy of Bonaire Images

Photo Courtesy of Bonaire Images

Let’s move towards reducing the use of styrofoam. Whilst eradicating it fully will be a challenge, it is possible we all reduce the use by bringing our own reusable containers to take outs. Also, encourage your favorite eateries to consider using more eco minded products instead of styrofoam. One step at a time, one person at a time, all moving towards the same goal; a cleaner healthier island.

What do you think of this initiative?

Email ann@bonairecaribbean.com for private commentary and opinion.


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