Those in the know recently got a taste of what promises to be a monthly highlight in Cayman’s culinary calendar.
A trial run of a new concept at Kaibo – promoted simply through a few flyers posted in the area and a group email – drew a sizeable crowd to the remote North Side restaurant last week for an evening of fine dining by the Caribbean Sea.
Upstairs at the Kaibo will open once a month for exclusive feature dinners by catering company Mise en Place. It’s the first time the second-level dining room, formerly known as Cecil’s, has opened since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and its return was obviously a welcome one.
The casual yet elegant ambiance, superb service and wonderful cuisine combined to make the evening memorable.
Sitting down to a simple but beautifully set candlelit table, my companion and I enjoyed the warm sea breeze and starry night while sipping a complimentary glass of champagne.
The five-course meal began with Tuna Tartar delightfully seasoned with a chilli sesame drizzle. The Wilted Spinach Salad was outstanding – baby spinach served with warm bacon vinaigrette, hardboiled eggs and caramelized red onions.
After cleansing the palate with a Mandarin Vodka Sorbet, the main course arrived – a melt-in-your-mouth pan-seared Chilean Sea Bass finished with a rich but delicate champagne buerre blanc. It was served over whipped potatoes infused with roasted garlic along with stir fried snap peas.
The dessert was simple but decadent – a rich, warm, chocolate soufflé reminiscent of fresh-baked, chocolate-chip cookies right out of the oven.
The presentation was excellent, and while the courses arrived quickly we never felt rushed.
The set menu offered two choices for the entrée – the other a herb-and-garlic marinated Grilled Rack of Lamb – as well as a choice of soup (French Onion) or salad and choice of dessert (Crème Brulèe).
The friendly, easy-going service added to the evening’s charm, with Kaibo’s amiable Daniel Petts mingling with guests and ensuring everyone was looked after.
Daniel and Sean Collins of Mise en Place have been talking about putting on a special culinary venture for several months, and decided to do a test-run to gauge the response.
Encouraged, they will be designing special theme dinners on the last Wednesday of each month.
The next feature dinner is Asian fusion.