Thursday, September 27, 2012

Breakfast lunch and dinner in Tobago


Tiny diner at the breakfast table
For 30 years, people have been coming to the Kariwak Village to enjoy the charms of Tobago. Many return for the loving hospitality and a larger number which includes the Tobago population, the tasty food. Soon, all of us who have been eating well at Kariwak will have our own mementos of the finest meals in Tobago. Kariwak Style Cooking, Tastes of Tobago is to be published by the end of 2012, with Cynthia Hurd Clovis's recipes complemented by Jackie Hinkson's watercolours and photos of people and Kariwak places and events that will make you ache to be there again, just waiting for the next meal.

To say that you wake up for breakfast, and look forward to lunch, and can't wait for dinner at Kariwak is almost an understatement.
Smoked herring

Flying fish fried

Breakfast bake

The Kariwak breakfast is the perfect start to the day. My favourites are the Spice Tea or Creole Cocoa; and hearty Smoked Herring or Buljol made with fresh fish, and generous wedges of hot bake. My mate will have the flying fish every day! And there's always fresh fruit, yogurt and regular breakfast beverages.

Lunch choices are simpler: a hot creole style meal with a variety of vegetables, salads or sandwiches.

Curried beef with rice and dhal, seared ochro and pumpkin
Kariwak pepper sauce on the side

The highpoint of the Kariwak meal day is dinner. On Friday and Saturday, dinner is buffet style. And I encourage you to go for the taste, not quantity. Start with hot-from-the-oven slices of bread baked with olive oil and rosemary fresh from the garden. Crisp salads of pickled carrots or green fig tickle the taste buds, tangy and cool; or minced lettuce and shredded beet drenched with a balsamic dressing. Hmm, I always think I will focus on the vegetables on buffet night: baked melongene (eggplant) casserole melting in a cheesy crust; seasoned garlicky baked potato wedges; roasted sweet pepper; pumpkin and seared ochro. Whatever is in season makes its way to the buffet. Meats are simple but tasty: grilled fish in a coconut sauce laid on edible poi (salad) leaves, a spicy beef stew or chicken fricassee. Sunday to Thursday, there's a set menu with choice of entree; roast beef or pan-fried fish, chicken or shrimp, for instance. Don't stuff yourself because there's still the dessert menu to contemplate.

The Kariwak dining room on buffet night
The bar - look for the "backwards" clock!

For a long time, my favourite after dinner treat is the Kariwak coffee ice cream. But I encourage you to try the spice cake, pineapple tart, coconut cake or lime pie. Other ice creams made in the mechanised old-fashioned churn include rum and raisin, coconut or pineapple sorbet.

Kariwak coffee ice cream - so good!

Come to Tobago, eat well at Kariwak. And if you're there this Christmas, remember to pick up a cookbook!

Your table awaits under the ajoupa!



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