Adventures in Dining

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Cactus Blue, September 5 & September 7, 2011 September 17, 2011

Filed under: Bonaire — hpandaw @ 7:38 pm

This is a very cute little restaurant with a lot of personality.  The decor is fun, and the atmosphere was relaxed.  On our second night there, Moogie was singing, which added to the nice island atmosphere.  It’s a little difficult to find this restaurant, since it’s down a one-way street.  We were staying on the north side of Kralendjik, so for us, we had to go south of the restaurant and then head back up the one-way street on which the restaurant is located.  Cactus Blue is right behind the Casablanca restaurant.

On our first night, we started with the tuna sashimi with pickled ginger wasabi and chili soy for $12.50.  This was SO GOOD!  The tuna was fresh and very delicious.  Neither of us was a big fan of the wasabi dip, but the chili soy was great for adding just the right amount of salty goodness to the tender and lovely tuna.

(Sorry, the pictures of our first visit are quite dark, since we only had our cell phones with us that night, not the camera).

On the first night there, I had the day’s fresh catch, lionfish filets ($24).  I’d been wanting to try lionfish for a while, and though Chef Hagen had lionfish fritters on the menu, I didn’t think I would be able to taste the actual fish as well as if I went for the filets.  These were interesting.  The flavor was very good, and he’d cooked them so well, but the texture of the fish was a bit mealy, which I didn’t really care for.

The coconut rice was light and refreshing, and I enjoyed this dish very much, with the exception of the fish’s texture.

My husband ordered the local barracuda lightly jerked with a mango, lime and ginger sauce, and instead of coconut rice, he asked for fries on the side ($23).

  Again, the sauce on the fish was very flavorful, and the fish itself was cooked so well: moist and delicious.  Chef Hagen came out both nights that we were there, to speak with all of the guests in the restaurant, which was a very nice personal touch.  He told us that barracuda from their waters is free from parasites, unlike the Florida barracuda, which is why they could offer local barracuda on the menu. He also said that my lionfish filets were actually from 2 1/2 large-sized lionfish.  I have to add that he did an EXCELLENT job fileting these tiny fish; not one single bone was left in the filets.  Kudos!

For dessert, we had double melted chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream for $11.

The chocolate cake was very good, as was the ice cream, but the chocolate syrup tasted like Hershey’s syrup, so this dish wasn’t our favorite.

For Dinner #2, we began with the Crab Balls served on a sweet chili dipping sauce for $10.80.

We found this to be the case all over Bonaire: When they say “crab,” what they mean is “krab,” unless the type of crab is specified i.e. “Blue crab.”  These balls were actually Krab Balls, but were pretty good still, and we’re always fans of the sweet chili dipping sauce.

My entree that night was the Ocean Burger for $15.90.

  This was very good; the fries were flavorful, as was the fish, which, as always here, was very moist.

My husband tried the Oven Baked Mahi Mahi with an Island Creole Sauce for $23.

The creole sauce had a really interesting flavor, rather like cinnamon, and the mahi mahi was cooked beautifully yet again.

Our dessert here was probably my favorite dessert of the trip: Cinnamon Fritters with Real Coconut Ice Cream for $11.

The ice cream was actually vanilla, not coconut, since the island had apparently had a lengthy power outage earlier, and the shop that makes their ice cream hadn’t been able to replace the coconut ice cream yet.  But it was still so delicious!  The cinnamon fritters were crispy and sweet and warm, to melt the ice cream, and it was all drizzled with a fruit coulis and dusted with sugar.  So yummy!  It was a great way to finish off our two dinners at Cactus Blue.  We would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for fresh, local-caught seafood and very personable service.  Our servers here both nights were very on-the-ball, something we found to be rare in Bonaire.

 

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