An Elegantly Exotic Surprise in Gros Islet!
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.