Blue Cilantro, a new restaurant along West Bay Road, officially opened last week with a ribbon-cutting celebration attended by invited guests.
Owned by well known chef Vidyadhara Shetty – known by most people simply as Chef Shetty – and long-time Cayman developer Benjamin Torchinsky, Blue Cilantro offers true fusion cuisine with a tropical flair.
“It’s an infusion of French, Mediterranean, with a little bit Indian and even some Caribbean,” said Chef Shetty.
All of the fusion flavours were evident in the grand opening celebration as various tastes off the menu were served to guests after a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included words of congratulations by Governor Duncan Taylor and Premier McKeeva Bush.
“It is encouraging to see a new business opening,” Mr. Bush said. “A restaurant such as Blue Cilantro not only creates opportunities for employment, it also enhances our tourism product.”
Mr. Bush said Blue Cilantro would add a new dimension to Cayman’s culinary offerings.
“It will offer our visitors and residents alike a wide choice of dishes,” he said. “They can savour the flavours of multiple cultures in an intimate and beautiful setting. This upscale dinning experience is what our target tourism market expects.”
Making reference to the investment of Chef Shetty and Mr. Torchinsky, who in the past involved in the development of the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Britannia condominiums, Mr. Bush said the opening of the restaurant gave Cayman another “shot in the arm”.
“It speaks of confidence,” he said. “This is not a small investment on the part of the owners.”
Blue Cilantro will open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and will offer both indoor and outdoor dining.
Chef Shetty said that some of the dinner menu highlights included the Mediterranean paella and the pomfret, a fish that comes from the Indian Ocean.
“It will be flown in fresh twice weekly,” he said.
The dinner menu also has a vegetarian option, a trio of eggplant, with one roasted in Blue Cilantro’s clay oven; eggplant Parmesan and eggplant Pakoras.
Also available for dinner is a six-course tasting menu for $87 without beverages or $150 including wine pairings.
The lunch menu includes soups – like forest mushroom – salads – including one with baby rocket and smoked duck – and sandwiches – like vegetable panini – as well as more hearty dishes.
In addition to separate lunch and dinner menus, there will also be a menu of small bites available from 4pm until 11pm for the lounge area. Two of the small bites – the chicken Tikka and the clay oven-roasted black pepper shrimp – were big favourites of the guests at the grand opening.
Blue Cilantro’s wine list is also impressive, offering a good selection of both Old World and New World wines at different price points, both by the bottle and by the glass.
Chef Shetty was born in Mumbai, India and came to Cayman in 1994 to work with the Hyatt Regency Hotel. In 1999, he earned the Chef of the Year award from Cayman Culinary Society, an organisation of which he is now president.
With a cooking style that relies on good ingredients including seasonal produce, Chef Shetty said Blue Cilantro’s menu will see changes every two or three months.