Archive for August, 2015

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

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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