An El­e­gantly Ex­otic Sur­prise in Gros Islet!

Tropical Traveller Magazine - - RESTAURANTREVIEWS -

Just a year ago, El­e­gance Cafe qui­etly opened its doors on a street cor­ner on the road to Cap Es­tate, and an in­stant fol­low­ing sprung up in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, which quickly spread to vis­i­tors in as far­away lo­ca­tions as Soufriere.

With only nine ta­bles on the breezy ve­ran­dah, Elena and Car­los Phillip were in­dulging a pro­fes­sional pas­sion —their company In­no­va­tions had sup­plied the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try in St Lu­cia for thir­teen years, and Car­los has been an Ex­ec­u­tive Chef at some of the top re­sorts on the is­land. In fact, the cafe was a great mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­nity,

equipped from top to bot­tom with In­no­va­tions fix­tures and equip­ment.

But as is some­times the case, a sim­ple plan be­came an overnight suc­cess, and the talk on the street was of El­e­gance Cafe's au­then­tic, home­style In­dian food, cooked right on the premises by the owner him­self. Throw in a healthy in­ter­na­tional menu with fo­cus on fresh in­gre­di­ents and home-made flair, and it's no won­der that as the end of their first year ap­proaches, Elena and Car­los are ex­tend­ing the cafe and have re­cruited a tal­ented chef from In­dia to take over the kitchen.

In another wel­come "in­no­va­tion," El­e­gance Cafe has in­tro­duced a new tan­door oven to the kitchen, and the evening tan­doori menu of­fers a won­der­ful ar­ray of re­gional favourites. Chicken, lamb, fish, kofte, pa­neer and veg­gies are spiced and mar­i­nated, then cooked to juicy per­fec­tion in the clay oven. Teamed with minty yo­ghurt and tart tamarind dip­ping sauces, a hot stuffed keema naan and fluffy rice pan­cakes for the gluten-in­tol­er­ant, the tan­doori menu is like a grand In­dian street-food tour, and ev­ery smokey flavour is com­plex and bal­anced—no face-melt­ing heat here, un­less you want it and then chef will hap­pily oblige.

Tan­doori aside, the In­dian menu at El­e­gance is a joy for curry lovers, with well-loved favourites like korma and biryani listed along­side re­gional spe­cial­ties like Goan Fish, cooked in ba­nana leaves and served with a pi­quant sauce. The team is keen to pro­mote the healthy as­pects of their food, and re­place the tra­di­tional rich and calo­rie-laden in­gre­di­ents with lighter al­ter­na­tives, tak­ing food al­ler­gies and pref­er­ences into ac­count all the way.

If the ex­otic is not your thing, fear not, as El­e­gance Café re­ally does cater for ev­ery taste, with healthy steam bas­kets, or­ganic sal­ads and freshly baked breads. Home­style desserts and Jamaican Blue Moun­tain cof­fee round off lunch or din­ner, and the breezy, serene ve­ran­dah is a re­lax­ing place to linger over both.

De­li­cious, whole­some, af­ford­able and a lit­tle off the beaten track, El­e­gance Café is a real find, and once you’ve dis­cov­ered the de­lights of Car­los and Elena’s lit­tle culi­nary haven, you’ll want to spread the word far and wide!

El­e­gance Café is lo­cated at Mas­sade, Gros Islet and is open Mon­day – Satur­day from 11am un­til 9pm. Call 450 9460 for reser­va­tions or to or­der take­out.

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