CULI­NARY PAR­ADISE

The Caribbean has never been known for culi­nary great­ness. But Baha Mar is about to change that.

Robb Report (USA) - - CARIBBEAN: BACK IN BUSINESS - By Raphael Kadushin

Caribbean re­sorts used to get by with a few culi­nary ba­sics. As long as they bat­tered some conch, fried up a few plan­tains, and kept the corn­syrup-filled mo­ji­tos flow­ing, guests were happy—or at least pre­tended to be. Those din­ing dark ages, thank­fully, are over.

With meals a cen­ter­piece of the food-savvy trav­eler’s va­ca­tion, re­sorts have re­al­ized they need to set the hook with more than the generic beach-spa-pool combo. A se­ri­ous In­sta­grammable din­ing ad­ven­ture is a must. And no is­land re­treat un­der­stands that bet­ter than the Ba­hamas’ Par­adise Is­land.

At­lantis, the is­land’s orig­i­nal re­sort, helped launch the sun-and-sand din­ing rev­o­lu­tion with a few culi­nary celebri­ties, in­clud­ing a Nobu and a Fish by José An­drés. But it wasn’t un­til the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar be­he­moth Baha Mar de­vel­op­ment fi­nally started rolling out in 2017 that the Ba­hamian prop­erty emerged as the tem­plate for ev­ery fu­ture food-for­ward mega re­sort.

Every­thing, in­clud­ing the food of­fer­ings, is su­per­sized at Baha Mar. The prop­erty sits on 3,000 square feet of white-sand Ca­ble Beach. There are 10 pools, a sprawl­ing spa, and three dis­tinct ho­tels, all clus­tered to­gether on one prop­erty. Rose­wood is the posh one, Grand Hy­att is the fam­ily-friendly one, and SLS is the clubby one. But none of the ho­tels’ kitchens is ex­clu­sive, and to­gether they add up to a cu­rated col­lec­tion of 40 and counting unique restau­rants, lounges, and bars de­signed to turn the beach va­ca­tion into a global culi­nary show­case.

Try­ing to take a bite out of a buf­fet this epic is im­pos­si­ble, so it’s best to edit the list down as soon as you ar­rive. Start at

Shuang Ba, where the glam din­ing room is an­chored by a 30,000-pound dou­ble-dragon stone pil­lar and the kitchen is crowded with 15 chefs re­cruited from ev­ery cor­ner of China. That means they are plat­ing faith­ful ren­di­tions of re­gional spe­cial­ties, in­clud­ing a range of le­git­i­mately spicy Szech­wan chili-boiled dishes. An ex­ten­sive menu of dis­tilled Chi­nese spir­its only adds to the res­tau­rant’s zeal­ous au­then­tic­ity.

Stay in an Asian fugue state and open the menu at Kat­suya, which, like sev­eral of the Baha Mar restau­rants, is part of an up­scale global chain. The din­ing room— de­signed by Philippe Starck

EVERY­THING, IN­CLUD­ING THE FOOD OF­FER­INGS, IS SU­PER­SIZED AT BAHA MAR.

in his clas­sic min­i­mal-withan-edge style—sits just off the Grand Hy­att casino floor, so you can nearly throw the dice from your ta­ble. But the best fea­ture may be the cen­tral sushi counter where the chefs plate Kat­suya Uechi’s ren­di­tions of sashimi and maki.

Want more? The wood-burn­ing oven at chef Danny El­maleh’s Cleo turns out a crisp flat­bread stud­ded with plump ar­ti­chokes, and the 3 Tides Fish House, all aquatic blue and white, proves Baha Mar can han­dle down-home Ba­hamian cui­sine, too. Its sig­na­ture seafood tower, as­sem­bled at an open raw bar, is a moun­tain­ous stack of the lo­cally sourced daily catch. Stix Noo­dle Bar serves hand-pulled noo­dles, and the T2 cigar bar of­fers the is­land trin­ity: Caribbean rums, cigars, and Ba­hamian drum­mers. Fi­nally, for any­one nos­tal­gic for the old­school re­sort buf­fet, there is the Re­gatta food hall—but don’t ex­pect stan­dard-is­sue surf and turf. When even the re­sort smor­gas­bord fea­tures slow-roasted pork belly, you know you’ve come to the reimag­ined Caribbean, a place where the beach it­self may just look like a dis­trac­tion be­tween meals.

Kat­suya’s salmon lemon roll

Shuang Ba’s pork pyramid

The Palms

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