the Curaçao diaries
So I don’t even know where to start as Curaçao is like my second home. Why? Because my mom was born and raised there, so a lot of family still resides there. We almost go there every year as my grandmother lives there and we want her to see the mini as much as possible. So this year we decided to go for my grandmothers 95th bday party and it was a blast. I decided I’d try and talk about the hidden gems of the island. Some of them will come back in separate posts but all of them will be mentioned here.
The moment we land and go and say hello to the family, my aunt makes sure there are Pastechis and Empanadas waiting for all of us. Pastechi’s are little fried pies filled with either cheese, meat or fish. Empanadas are similar, but made from corn flower. We always buy them across the street from Texas alaparia from Mrs Hueck, the house in the front.
I want to tell you guys about Arepas or Arepitas from Cositas Ricas located on the Caracasbaiweg. I am uber fan of the Chicken, avocado, lettuce, cheese and pica one. YUM. Another thing, you must try is “batidos”. Very popular on the island and similar to a smoothie, but then not so healthy due to the amount of sweet condensed milk. Their batidos are to die for. I found that they have the best on the island. Why? The concentration of fruit is very high, so you get a nice thick creamy fruity mixture. I tried the Mispel one and the Soursop multiple times.
After clubbing comes Truckipan, this is the go to place of everybody who wants to snack in the night time. Yes and they all have their specialities. My absolute fave is BBQ Express also located on the Caracasbaiweg. I am fan of almost everything on the menu, the sandwich with grilled shrimps, their smokey bbq chicken, but also the grilled steak is amazing! The best part is to top your meat with some chimichurri and then drizzle the fries with “salsa rosada” (a cocktail like sauce), peanut sauce and some “pica” which is pickled and spiced onions.
When visiting the city centre, be sure to drop by and experience having lunch on the market. The old market that is, which is nowadays called Marshe Bieu. You can read my blogpost here. If you want a more romantic setting to have Krioyo food and your planning driving up to Bandabou for a swim, be sure to stop by the Dokterstuin. Here you can have lunch/dinner in a Colonial House. Find out what I had the last time I visited here.
Another hidden gem is one located at the Zuikertuintje mall and its called TERAZZA NICOLE. The moment you enter this little terrace and read the chalk boards with the menu, you know you’ve come to the right place. Nicole is notorious for her Pumpkin soup, Keshi Yena and Quiches. We had some wraps and a sandwich this time. Dushi yiu.
This is a gem I’d rather keep to myself, but because they are so special, I will talk about them in more detail in another post. To me the absolute best to have fried fish Curacao style. Period! Fresh, local and made with love. Purunchi is your go to place! Located behind the Water factory.
If you want to have a nice dinner in a more luxury setting, KOME is your thing! Nice and airconditioned and they serve a very good steak called the PEPPERED HANGER STEAK on their menu. The dish consists of a grilled steak with mashed potato, banda abou arugula, stilton-garlic butter and port syrup. We also had a nice bottle of wine and a cheese platter as dessert. Happy tummy, happy me.
When your done eating at KOME, be sure to cross over the street and have drinks at St Tropez. This is also a nice spot to hang and chill by the pool in a relaxed environment.
One of the streets I really enjoy is the one located near the Pietermaai appartments. Lovely colours, different concepts all perfect depending on your mood. This time, we had drinks and a little something to eat at Ginger. Freshly baked naan bread, succulent moist tandoori chicken and a kick ass cocktail made my evening. Also have a sneak peak at the other places like Mundo Bizarro and Miles Jazz Cafe.
My favorite go to beach place is Jan Thiel. I always swim there and we enjoy a perfect cocktail and pizza from Zanzibar. YUM..try it..the atmosphere is so relaxed and the beach just wonderful. Perfect to go there with little kiddies too.
Another fave on Jan Thiel is called ZEST: very modern chill beach place where they have a big green egg..yes you heard me that very special Big Green Egg. I love their Sandwich made with roast beef, red onions, pickled veggies, rucola and a mustard dressing. Their omelettes are too die for! Oh and they serve oh yess Luigi Chavarria’s (he went to the Patisserie school Cordon Bleu) small assortment of La Vie en Rose pastries. You can read my interview with him very soon. He’s the only one on the island who knows how to make maccarrons La Duree style.
Chef Tony Soliana from Tastisfaction caters the best food and is also available to cook in more intimate settings. I had the chance to join him during one of his Private dinners and you can read all about him here. If you get a chance to eat some of his food, think of me, because your about to get lucky!
A classic Curacao refreshing drink is AWA Lamunchi. In this post I share with you how you can make it, but if your visiting, bar tender Mike from ALOHA beach bar makes the absolute best awe lamunchi on the island. Yes, there I said it!
If you need to shop for groceries, let me recommend the Pan Portugues from Goisco and the supermarket Centrum. For the Dutchies missing home, there is also an Albert Heijn.
And if your back home and you are missing some of that creole food, order a cook book from Desiree da Costa Gomez. She is Curacao cooking cook book queen. I also shared a recipe or two on my blog: Awa di Lamunchi, Fried Funchi and Tamarind Syrup.