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The Ackee Tree Restaurant, Barbados

by on July 10, 2010
 
We journey to a place
Bringing pieces of our heart with us
And as we make our way through
We discover yet another new place
We wish to journey to.
When we leave
We take a piece of the land
And plan our next journeys
To a distant land
So it was that I discovered Trinidad in Barbados
And now long to travel there
—–♥♥♥—–

Welcome to the Ackee Tree, the home of the 1 pound roti. Finally, after months of promising this review, here it is! Vex not dearies, I say better late than never. Actually, looking at the photos, I can’t believe it was so long ago we went! I want to go back now!

IMG_0560I’ll be honest, food wasn’t on my mind when we decided to travel across 5 time zones to Barbados but I did expect to eat decently and that we did. Secretly though, I wished and longed for something outstanding, something memorable, a meal, a dish worth tagging as ‘Bajan’ to me.

You know I didn’t find it, enjoyable as it was but I found something else….and fell in love – Trinidadian food. A friend said to me ‘You had to go to Barbados to discover Trini cuisine’!

And discover and do did we at the Ackee Tree, a fantastic restaurant located on Hastings High Street in Christ Church. It is owned by a Bajan husband and his Trini wife to whom I doff my heart, big time. As does Zagat, the US counterpart to Mr Michelin star describes them as ‘the best value on the island’ or something similar. The dishes they serve up bear no resemblance to anything else we ate on the island. Instead, it was very reminiscent of Indian Kitchens as a lot of Trinidadian cuisine is.

IMG_1163Now, I know I’m lauding them big time and don’t get me wrong, like all human establishments they must have their flaws but…..I draw my conclusions, hasty or not on what we ate, the fact that my kids ate there without complaint and that we got good service   – perhaps due to the fact that everyone took a liking to my cute son (like his Momma!).

The entrance is has viewing spots, overlooking the main road so you can sit down with your lunch and watch Bajans walk on by.

IMG_1166The interior of furnished with the basics = tables, chairs, light brown walls and bright green doors.

IMG_1168Each table is adorned with a little ethnic doll – quite pretty and a tribute to local craftsmanship.

IMG_0443I spent a while taking photos of the dolls from all angles possible.

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To the amusement of the staff. By now I’m used to being laughed at so I explain/ignore and carry on.

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IMG_0478 The first meal I sampled was San Juan chicken – creamy chicken chunks in a very light sauce, fragrant with curry and other Indian spices, served with a tomato choka and mint topped basmati. Fantastic.

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The husband opted for curried goat which he gave the 5 stars. We both had clean plates.

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I also tried their Rotis – soft wraps, filled with meats and/or vegetables, chili sauce and whatever else.

IMG_1060They were delicious. The bread was pillow soft – full of chicken and chili sauce, I enjoyed bite after bite of spiced meat. And to wash it down? Fruit Punch.

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We sampled various other curries with tasty sides of potatoes, pumpkin and aubergines.

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And even though the food was spiced, it wasn’t accompanied by the heat of peppers. Not at all.

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The pot of hot sauce was served on the side…….

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Thankfully the chokas provided something to cool the tempo if it got too ‘hot’! I loved the fresh liquidness of ‘West-Indian salsa’.

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We considered the prices reasonable for the quality and quantity – it tasted of ‘home-cooked’, the staff were friendly, the weather was hot, you got ice in your drinks (like everywhere else on the island….). If you ever make it to Barbados, give the Ackee Tree a go. Enjoy their lunchtime rotis or their meal platters. I’m sure you’ll find something you like. In the meantime, I continue on my journey….to discover new places, where I’ve been and where I’m headed to.

Up Trinidad, up.

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Do you have any Trini recipes to share? Enjoy the weekend.