If ever hear someone from the Caribbean saying “I am liming with my friends…” don’t be surprised… they do that quite often… just as we do! For liming in Caribbean simply means… “Hanging out!” That’s exactly where the latest Caribbean / Jamaican restaurant got its name… Lime House… Meaning Hangout House!
And true to its name, it is fast turning out to be chilled-out, relaxed place to hang out with friends and family, share a drink and some delicious Jamaican food! Situated in a pretty shop house on Jiak Chuan Road, it’s a place I am sure I will visit often.
Last weekend, me and my girlfriends decided to try out this new place and hopefully get the taste of some authentic Trinidadian food. The smiling maître de and the welcoming servers immediately ensured that you felt at home in this friendly restaurant. No sooner than we had ordered our drinks, a six foot plus, native from the Caribbean stopped by the table to welcome us and he introduced himself as Chris Morris, the owner of “your friendly neighbourhood restaurant.”
He personally introduced us to the various dishes in the menu, explaining that each dish was hand-picked and authentic Caribbean food. Intrigued at the choice of dishes in the menu (most of which sounded quite exotic), I questioned him further about the choice of his menu and how did he manage to get a team of chefs who could actually cook such authentic Trinidadian food. To my delight and surprise, he revealed that he has teamed up with the London-based celebrity chef, Hasan Defour, to act as a consultant chef. In fact, Defour had personally trained the head chef of the restaurant, Tony Seah, about the local cuisine. For those unaware of Defour, he accompanied Michlin Star Celebrity Chef, Gary Rhodes as a sous chef for the television series “Rhodes Across the Caribbean.”
It was very clear from the ambience, the way the servers were and how each guest got a personalized attention, that this wasn’t just a new eatery in town. It was Chris’s personal dream seeing the light of the day. Now, excited not just about the menu, but also its creator, this is what we picked and by the end of it, we were in Caribbean-food heaven.
The menu carries some interesting rum cocktails… and if you have a sweet tooth, then you should definitely try some of these! We ended up trying the Lime House Classic Punch, Caribbean Life and Lychee Ooh Lala (S$ 16 each). Of course they have a well-stocked bar and serve pretty much any drink, these specialties were quite zingy!
Lime House has some delectable appetizer options. Our picks:
Lime House “Wings n’ Tings”: A marinated chicken fillet and wings with Jerk Sauce. While the recipe does say Jerk sauce, the taste was anything but! Spicy, yet not very hot, the appetizer teases your taste buds and leaving you wanting for more.
Coconut breaded prawns: The reason I liked this dish was that it combines the delicate flavours of prawns, with the sweetness of coconut and tanginess of pineapple, and yet the strong flavours do not gulp the prawns. It is a different combination of flavours that works!
Jerk Chicken: We were so taken in by the Jerk sauce, that we opted for the Jerk Chicken. The chicken is served with textures of sweet potato (it actually tastes much better than mashed potato) and Jerk barbeque sauce, which is slightly more spicier than the usual BBQ sauce.
Curry Goat: What attracted me to this dish was that the curry goat was served with coconut rice and plaintain batons or Kerala banana, as we better know it. The goat was tender and well cooked and the coconut rice with just the right amount of coconut flavour. I would have preferred the rice slightly less dry, but it worked with the curry. The recipe reminded me a lot of the way mutton curry is made in India, especially the west-coast. All in all a complete dish.
For the sweet tooth, you might be tad-bit disappointed with the dessert spread for they have just 3 dessert dishes.
Deconstructed Pina Colada: Continuing with our experience, we opted for the Pina Colada dessert, more so because I love coconut based desserts! While, it wasn’t as exceptional as the appetizers and the mains, I do not have anything to complain.
How much will it cost me: A dinner for two, with one drink each will cost you anything between S$ 80 to S$ 120.
Verdict: I loved the place, the food was different, very well done, and in short delectable. Having said that, I could have done with slightly larger portions of food. Some of the portions seemed small for the price they charge, and left you wanting for more. Further, this is no place for a vegetarian. I sincerely hope, considering the fact that it’s still new, that they add a few all veggie dishes. I know, veggie and Caribbean may not be a good fit, but hey, jerk sauce can be served with broccoli right? The appetizers have a couple all veggie dishes, and they do have a veggie salad, but absolutely no veggie mains. That essentially means, that I cannot take my husband there for dinner at least!
But, they have a post-dinner bar and lounge on the second floor of the two-storey building, which is quite a cool hangout. Keeping up with the overall Caribbean theme, it has some lively, at times over the top, but snappy music, which one can enjoy on a relaxed evening. When we left the restaurant that evening, satisfied and happy, I realized that the reason I was feeling elated was because this isn’t just another restaurant, this is a place started by a native Trinidadian, who wants to bring his roots, his culture and his cuisine all the way across seven seas and share it with Singapore, a cultural potluck, hoping that he can get a lot many to share his passion and his love for his roots!
Overall, a definite thumbs up!
Tagged: Asia, Asian, Barbecue sauce, Caribbean, Caribbean cuisine, Chicken, Cook, Gary Rhodes, Hasan Defour, Jamaican, Jamaican jerk spice, Jerk, Jiak Chuan Road, Lime House, New restaurant, Shophouse, Trinadad, Trinadadian