A fishy feast fit for a king

Seafood lovers prepare for a feast. The Cracked Conch restaurant in West Bay has created a new menu bound to satisfy the most intense seafood cravings.

Aptly named the Seafood Feast, the set-menu consists of well………fish, and plenty of it.

My guest and I kicked of the meal with the restaurant’s signature conch chowder two ways. It’s a clever idea – two different soups – one spicy, one creamy – served together in the same bowl. It was the perfect starter, whetting our appetite and getting our taste buds going.

Next up was the appetizer – almost a main dish in itself. The appetizer offers diners an opportunity to try conch prepared three different, creative ways. There’s conch fritters, a well-known Cayman staple, a conch ceviche-style salad – a mix of fresh conch marinated in lemon and lime juices – and the restaurant’s cracked conch, which is conch, breaded and fried. If that seems like conch overload to you, the dish includes a serving of tuna tartar to balance the palate.

This reviewer must admit my guest and I were particularly partial to the conch salad. The tuna tartar hit the spot too.

The dish is served with sauces for dipping; a flavoursome tropical fruit salsa, garlic butter and a citrus hollandaise. I have to admit, I didn’t try any – the food was delicious enough without adding any additional flavours.

After a much needed 15-minute break – be warned there’s more than ample food, so avoid filling up between courses on the warm, freshly baked breads – my guest and I were ready to tuck into the main course.

What to try first caused something of a dilemma. There’s a whole steamed lobster tail brushed with a citrus hollandaise sauce, succulent blackened scallops, broiled Alaskan crab legs and a seared salmon fillet. If that’s not enough, accompanying the dish is a serving of basmati rice, fresh vegetables and melted butter for dipping. Truly a feast fit for a king.

We both opted to try the Alaskan crab legs first. They are somewhat of a rarity on Cayman’s menus and offered a welcome change to the usual fare. Delicious. We tucked into the rest of the dish with gusto. The lobster, scallops and salmon were all equally satisfying.

The evening was made more enjoyable by the restaurant’s enviable location nestled on the water’s edge. Cooled by a gentle balmy breeze and the sea air, my guest and eye dined on our seafood feast in the restaurant’s elegant, open-air dining area.

Dessert isn’t included on the set-menu, but that didn’t bother either of us. We had already had our fill and we opted for an espresso to round off the meal instead.

With bellies now full, and relaxed by the sounds of the sea, we were ready to stagger home to digest our fishy feast.

The Seafood Feast costs $39.95 per person and is served every Thursday. For reservations, contact the restaurant on 945-5217, or email www.crackedconch.com.ky.