Where When How — N/D 2017 - J/F 2018
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Pelican Bay
Mandy Rostance-Wolf

Wednesday Lobster Extravaganza at Pelican Bay Restaurant & Bar

Pssst … want to experience fresh, Caicos lobster? How about fresh, all-you-can-eat Caicos lobster? What if I told you that you can choose your very own Caicos lobster(s) and also indulge in all-you-can-eat Jerk Chicken and Grilled Angus Flank Steak? But wait … there’s more to pile on this plate! The ‘fryer’ offers up Cracked Lobster, Lobster Fritters, Conch Fritters and Fried Local Snapper plus there’s a pasta station featuring more lobster, grilled chicken and four homemade sauces and a selection of side dishes … all-you-caneat! Did I mention the Lobster Extravaganza starts with a choice of two salads and ends with dessert?

There’s only one catch, pardon the pun! It’s only on Wednesdays and it’s only at Pelican Bay at the Royal West Indies Resort.

Here, dining has a casual, bistroflair and features an extensive menu with global influences for breakfast lunch and dinner, and what they boast to be, ‘The best local food on Grace Bay’ prepared by executive chef Peter Redstone and his talented team. But that’s not all. When it comes to creating extraordinary and memorable dining experiences featuring indigenous flavours, Pelican Bay delivers an out-and-out celebration of our local foods in more ways than one. In addition to Lobster Extravaganza, Pelican Bay invites you to experience Surf & Turks Carnival on Fridays and Family Sunday Jerk Fiesta on Sundays … more on those later.

Our Lobster Extravaganza began in the parking lot where we were hit by an avalanche of amazing aromas; the air thick with the inimitable and heady fragrances only grilling creates. I couldn’t resist the urge to pause momentarily to inhale a deep gulp of the mouthwatering smoky ‘bouquet,’ only to be overcome by an irresistible and unstoppable urge to quicken my pace to get to the source of those sizzling, succulent scents.

Pelican Bay makes Lobster Extravaganza a show-stopping event with an exciting display of entertaining chefs, smokin’ hot drum grills, lots and lots of food and local entertainment.

Relax and enjoy your choice of Caesar or Caprese salad while you plot and strategise your journey through this food lover’s feast. This ‘live buffet’ respects your dining experience with a focus on preparing everything fresh. Lured from every angle you almost don’t know where to begin, but most head straight for the headliner – or more accurately the ‘tail-liner’, lobster tails. First choose your tail and then choose your seasoning – Cuban Mojo, Jerk or Cilantro Chimichurri and while your lobster is being fired up on the grill, continue on your culinary quest on what truly is a veritable food extravaganza. If you still have room on your plate, help yourself to peas and rice, sautéed vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes and grilled corn on the cob.

Chef Redstone admited the Lobster Extravaganza has been a huge hit with locals and tourists. “Got my fish through the back door last night – can’t get any fresher,” he teased.

It was a challenge to keep track with so many dishes and so many remarks flying around the table. Remarks like “I really like the chimichurri.” “Hands down – the mojo, for its balance – not too spicy”, “Jerk Lobster, why not?”

When chef Peter returned to the table my husband excitedly blurted out, “I devoured your pot snapper!” He raved of the fish, “Very flavourful, so effortless to pull out the bone – all intact.” The whole fish was absolutely crispy on the outside with a savoury seasoning of fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil. A squeeze of lime was the ideal finish. “That’s all you really need” the chef agreed.

While preoccupied with an original chef Jackson pasta creation of my own, my fellow diner offered me a taste of his Jerk pasta dish preceded by a firm warning, “Be prepared!” It was utterly delicious. “That sneaks up on you,” I prompted. “Sneaks up? That grabs you right away!” he chuckled.

Hearing our accolades for the Jerk sauce, Peter said, “Jacko makes my jerk sauce. I like it with lots of different things … so many flavours in there, that little spice that comes in after.” The Jerk Spice includes cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, our own famous ‘hottie’ the scotch bonnet pepper and salt. The Jerk Sauce is finished with Guinness … yes, Guinness – “a few drops go in to give it a little kick,” chef Peter grinned. Considering sous chef Jacko hails from Haiti and the Guinness influence is courtesy of chef Peter and his English roots, it’s probably the most unique and the most unusual Jerk recipe collaboration I have come across yet.

The Chimichurri was a herbaceous and flavourful combination of peppery cilantro, parsley, lime juice and garlic, and the Cuban Mojo blend of orange and lime juices,cilantro and green onion was zesty and refreshing. Also hot off the grill, the marinated Angus Flank Steak was tender and juicy.

It was clear the chefs were enjoying the extravaganza as much as the guests! They seemed to enjoy being in the limelight -- out of the kitchen and centre stage, interacting with the audience and performing their culinary talents for their enthusiastic and voracious fans.

Chef Peter is dipping and flipping tails at lightning speed while chef Jacko mans the Pasta station. Chef Daryl Baxter has earned, and rightly so, the prestigious alias of “The Grill Master.” His fryer was working overtime for serious all-you-can-eaters making succulent and crispy cracked lobster, lobster fritters, conch fritters and Fried Snapper.

We paired our first ‘round’ with a light, crisp and well-balanced Placido Pinot Grigio. Spicy indulgences had our palates thirsting for a rosé … always an ideal companion to piquant dishes. Elegant and fruity, Chateau D’Esclan Whispering Angel tamed and flattered the pleasurable heat of the Jerk perfectly.

It’s all about keeping it fresh and exciting, general manager Murad Mohamad explained. They are creating new dining experiences every day for their guests. Case in point, he regaled us with recent guests who couldn’t resist the menu, dining at Pelican Bay eight out of 10 nights of their vacation. “There’s a little bit there for everybody. We use half jerk drum grills to give it a rustic feel. It’s not just a buffet of chafing dishes – it’s personalised; food is cooked fresh; cooked to order with chefs there that you can talk to,” Murad acknowledged.

We relaxed and enjoyed the rest of our evening as desserts were plated and brought to our table. The Banana Bread with ice cream was pure comfort food and the Cheesecake was light and refreshing with a hint of mint.

Family Sunday Jerk Fiesta serves up some Jerk specialties like Jerk Chicken, BBQ Ribs, and a Mix Grill Platter for the indecisive. There’s Local Delights including Steamed Oxtail and Island Style Curry Fish. Chef specialties include Blackened Lobster, a Surf & Turf and Fleur De Mer … not to mention two ‘Family Style’ platters served for teo or three people plus a selection of Appetisers.

Surf & Turks Carnival is Pelican Bay’s newest dining celebration. Browse through the Seafood Market where your choice of seafood is sauced, seasoned or encrusted at the En Papillote Station or Fry Station. Experience a taste of island history with a weekly Stew Pot – a savoury bastion of our local cuisine; plus a Stir Fry Station with rice noodles featuring Beef Ala Pad Thai, Seafood Green Curry, Chicken Consommé and Shrimp Stir Fry, and a selection of Appetisers and Accompaniments.

Why just go to dinner when you can go to an Extravaganza … or a Fiesta … or a Carnival!