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Golden Spoons Review: George Town Yacht Club

| 05/07/2016 | 11 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Foodie): Before we get on to the food, it’s worth mentioning the parking: there’s lots of it, which is not a minor consideration when choosing somewhere for lunch in or near to town. The George Town Yacht Club is just ten minutes from the town centre and two minutes from the airport, easy to get to and easy to park. It overlooks a canal, which cannot compete with a beach view but isn’t bad. And if you fancy dining al fresco, there are tables outside over a sand-covered patio (avoid high heels).

Inside, the atmosphere is smart casual, and it has a good selection of quick and easy dishes on the lunch menu.

We went for Saturday lunch without booking in advance, which in hindsight would have been a good idea as, with raindrops threatening, the place inside was packed. However, a recently vacated table for two was quickly cleared and prepared for us.

The service throughout was very good: briskly efficient and helpful without being intrusive, but friendly, in line with the fairly relaxed feel of the restaurant.

Instead of a bread basket, the server brings hot johnny cakes, which we munched on while sipping some of the house cocktails, the Crispy Cucumber (vodka, cucumber, cilantro, lemon and ginger beer) and the Cohito (described as white rum, coconut rum, mint, lime and coconut water – although, notably, it was actually coconut cream that was used). Both were nice and refreshing, as expected. ($9 each)

So, onto the food. For appetizers my companion and I ordered the standard conch fritters and one of the specialties of the day, locally caught lionfish ceviche, marinated with onions, orange juice, cilantro and ginger. Lionfish has little flavor by itself and is basically a blank canvass for chefs to work with. The combination here really worked and made for an outstanding start to lunch. I don’t know how often they serve it but if it’s on the menu, I thoroughly recommend it.

In addition to being a culinary treat, as an invasive species that is causing havoc to our reefs, this is a fish that really needs to be eaten and props to all the restaurants that serve it.

The conch fritters were also very good – light and smooth, with a definite conch flavor. No complaints there.

For the main course we chose the fresh ricotta spinach ravioli and the herb crusted mahi mahi, and both were a little disappointing. Unlike tilapia, mahi mahi is a flavourful fish and the trick is to get the seasoning right and not to dry out the fish, which this particular dish did not quite manage. It wasn’t terrible but I wouldn’t order it again.

On the other hand, the side dishes were perfect. Choosing two from a good selection, I had some very tasty fresh local kale lightly cooked with garlic and chili, and (a personal weakness) thick homemade fries with a dash of sea-salt. The sides were served in individual dishes, which makes for a nice presentation and avoids the various juices and sauces running into each other unless you want them to.

My companion’s ravioli was fine but the sauce was uninspired, which left the dish overall a little flat. However, it redeemed itself somewhat by the bed of vegetables under the pasta, including local green beans, as well as arugula and parmesan, nicely cooked and seasoned.

For dessert we shared a very generous portion of sticky toffee pudding, which was excellent. I recently tried the much-lauded sticky toffee pudding at the Ritz, but this was better. The cake incorporates cassava, which is a nice touch and gives it another layer of flavour. I’m not fond of the local heavy cake because of the texture but I like the taste of cassava cake.

This melded a desert favourite with an undercurrent flavour of cassava cake, still very moist and pudding-like but without the gelatinous feel of heavy cake. It comes served with caramel sauce and ice cream, both served in a separate dishes.

All in all, the Yacht Club is a good solid choice for lunch.

The total, which included two appetizers, two cocktails, one dessert and 15% gratuity, was CI$88.55.

George Town Yacht Club website

Readers’ rating for the George Town Yacht Club:

Category: Golden Spoons Review, Good Food. Bad Food.

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I enjoy the curry night but have one quibble…the many tattooed and pierced waitress that just puts me off my food! Those cheek piercings…..OMG!

  2. Annie says:

    I am not sure where you ate, but the GT Yacht Club I went to was over priced, uninspired, small portioned bland fare. Would not go back, and will never recommend.

  3. Gordon Ramsay says:

    At vast expense. $9 for a ‘cocktail’!?!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Given that it is two minutes from the airport, it is also an excellent choice for travelers. The food here is on a different planet compared to The Hungry Horse – and is far nicer than most ‘food’ places you get in a large airport itself.

    Their Indian buffet nights are awesome!

  5. Beaumont says:

    Sunday Brunch is wonderful. Simple, flavorful, relaxed, good service, and perhaps a feral chicken or two for entertainment.

    Highly recommended. Become boneless and enjoy.

  6. Sausage Lover says:

    GTYC is a great hit with visitors, food is always good quality (ribs are awesome if a little small in portion size). Cocktails are great, service has always been excellent too.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This review fails to capture why GTYC had no tables available when the reviewer arrived. Many of the menu items are excellent with balanced flavours, correct seasoning and complementary (or contrasting) garnishes and sauces that are not afterthoughts. For example, the coconut shrimp are not overly sweet, nor is the sweet chili mayo that goes with it; together they are just right. This level of care with the food normally costs a lot more and is what makes GTYC such great value, not the number of items that can be had for a given amount of money. I agree about the service though, generally a server is there when you need one and not when you don’t (although you may have to flag them down and therefore depends on where your table is).

  8. Anonymous says:

    GTYC – Please bring back the conch ceviche!

  9. Heastender says:

    What I love about GT Yatch Club, is it’s great for families, your kids can play in the pool is and you can relax outside.
    the service can be a bit slow and the food above average for the price. Overall a nice place to stop in by boat and or car.

    Now the best thing about this restaurant is that they provide a free shuttle from the airport to the resturant and drop you back. I always now check in 3 hrs early, call them up, relax at the bar or tables, have a good meal and a few beverages, then head back to the airport about an hour before my flight. It’s a great way t9 start your vacation!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m having trouble reconciling the …..

    CNS: As made clear in the review, the reviewer and friend had one drink each. One. Each.

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