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Cuisine corner, Trinidad edition: our Trini food & dining guide for 2017

Breakfast wrap. Photo courtesy the G Spot food truck

Breakfast wrap. Photo courtesy the G Spot food truck

Food & dining, Trini style

Foodies may well be stumped for choice here. With African, Indian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Syrian-Lebanese, and other influences, the island’s culinary scene is distinct, dynamic — and delicious! This is just a beginner’s guide — for much more, dive in to the range of coverage, including recipes and local food features, in our Food & Entertainment section.

Courtesy Tiki Village Kapok Hotel

Courtesy Tiki Village Kapok Hotel

The restaurant scene

Top chefs serve up delectable dishes — sometimes traditional, sometimes daring fusions — in stylish settings, which range from sleek and modern new builds, to architectural gems steeped in history.

Some of the most popular and celebrated venues for sit-down meals and fine dining are: Angelo’s (Italian, Woodbrook); the Hyatt’s Waterfront Restaurant (Caribbean/international, Port of Spain); Kaizan Sushi (Asian, MovieTowne, Port of Spain); Smokey Joe’s (continental, Woodbrook); Tiki Village (Asian, St Clair); and Zanzibar (international, MovieTowne, Port of Spain); as well as Aioli (Mediterranean, Maraval); Apsara (Indian, Port of Spain); Bacco (Italian, San Fernando); Buzo (Italian, Woodbrook); Chaud (international fusion, St Ann’s); Jaffa at the Oval (international, Woodbrook); Joseph’s (Lebanese, Maraval); Krave (Mediterranean, Marabella); Prime (steakhouse, Port of Spain); Rizzoni’s (Italian, Port of Spain); Samurai (Japanese, Port of Spain); Texas de Brazil (steakhouse, Port of Spain); Town (international, Woodbrook); Veni Mangé (Caribbean creole, Woodbrook); and Zazou (French, Maraval).

For quick and healthy sandwiches and salads, there are Subway outlets nationwide. And for something a little different, try the G Spot Food Truck (Port of Spain).

Courtesy Zanzibar

Courtesy Zanzibar

When in Trini…

You’ll find creative iterations of some of these local favourites at fine dining restaurants, but they’re perhaps best served up at more low-key spots on the roadside, by the beach, and at creole eateries. Some hot-spots are St James, Woodbrook, Curepe, Long Circular Road, Maracas Bay, and Debe (especially for Indian food).

Here are some favourites you should try:

  • Buljol: shredded saltfish mixed with onions, tomatoes and olive oil, often served with coconut bake
  • Bake-and-fish: the tradition is shark but, for environmental sustainability, we strongly suggest substituting flying fish, mahi mahi, squid/calamari, carite, tilapia, wahoo, lionfish — or a vegetarian option — to go with the fried leavened bread (bake). We promise it will taste just as good, and be much better for our ecology!
  • Callaloo: soup made from dasheen leaves, coconut milk, ochroes, pumpkin, and sometimes salted meat or crab
  • Chow: fruit (like mango, pineapple or plums) pickled in vinegar, salt, and pepper
  • Corn soup: a split peas-based soup with corn and dumplings
  • Doubles: soft, fried, flour-and-split-pea shell (barra) filled with curried chick peas
  • Pastelle: seasoned meat, lentils or soya with olives, capers, and raisins in a cornmeal casing and steamed in banana leaves — a Christmas staple
  • Pelau: a one-pot dish of rice, pigeon peas, and meat, often cooked in coconut milk
  • Roti: a hefty flour wrap (often with ground split peas) filled with your choice of curried vegetables and/or meat.

For many more local food favourites, click here!

Tip: Authorised vendors display food badges that certify official health inspection and approval.

 

Advertorial: brand voices

THE KAIZAN EXPERIENCE

At Kaizan we invite you to partake in the finest Sushi and Asian Fusion cuisine in a most relaxed atmosphere. With comfortable seating, patrons can choose from a wide variety of Kaizan’s appetizers, signature rolls, hot classics and other Asian Dishes. Whether you are a Sushi connoisseur or an avid lover of authentic Japanese cuisine, this is the place for you. Be swept away by the traditional Asian style seating and the hint of Japanese writing on the walls, giving an overall oriental warmth to the ambience. So we invite you to dine with us and fill your senses with Asian delight. Yōkoso (welcome).

Kaizan Spicy Magure Special. Courtesy Kaizan Sushi

Kaizan Spicy Magure Special. Courtesy Kaizan Sushi

THE ZANZIBAR EXPERIENCE

At Zanzibar, we are honored to have you here as our guest and strive towards making your visit an enjoyable, memorable dining experience. This promise dwells at the heart of the Zanzibar concept and philosophy. We promise every day to offer you the finest food made from the highest quality ingredients by some of the best chefs in the country. We will complement this with the widest selection of premium drinks in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, and will do everything possible to provide you with an environment that ensures your comfort and security and enhances your experience with us in every way. We will attempt every day to offer you the best service possible in recognition of your status as our valued customer and guest. So welcome to Zanzibar, more than a destination… AN EXPERIENCE! We trust it will be everything for you that we wanted it to be!

Courtesy Zanzibar

Grilled seafood tower. Courtesy Zanzibar

SUBWAY

SUBWAY and “Eating Fresh” have been part of T&T for over 20 years. With 47 restaurants nationwide, Subway has continued to be the preferred brand for a healthy, delicious meal. Wherever you are in Trinidad & Tobago, there is a SUBWAY offering great tasting, healthy eating near you!

Subway Italian sub

By 

A team of of writers discovering Trinidad & Tobago for 25 years and counting!

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