Golden Spoons Review: Blue Cilantro

| 08/08/2016 | 14 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Foodie): This was my first time visiting Blue Cilantro; to be honest, the off-putting LED lighting throughout the dining room always kept me away. Thankfully, we were seated on the patio, which overlooks West Bay Road and has soft lighting and air conditioning. The only thing I would imagine to be a distraction would be if you were seated at the first table, because they have an automatic sliding door that, when busy, keeps opening and closing constantly.  

The table was set beautifully, with charger plates that resembled sea glass and place settings and glassware elegant and refined. We did not feel like we were in Cayman; it was a great escape from reality and we were ready to dive into this East-meets-West inspired menu.

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Foie gras and diver sea scallop

I’ll start off by saying every course was impeccable; there was nothing that we didn’t enjoy. The portions are reasonable for a fine dining restaurant and our server was extremely knowledgeable, attentive and asked the right questions before answering ours. She was honest about portions, and when asked about a choice between two wines, she didn’t just choose the more expensive one to give her a bigger gratuity.

According to an expert sommelier in our party, Blue Cilantro’s wine list is well priced with a variety to suit those looking for affordability as well as some nice selections of premium labels. Our first bottle of white ($55) was magnificent with our shichimi spiced yellowfin tuna ($14), seared foie gras with duck confit spring roll ($18) and clay oven roasted diver sea scallops ($18) appetizers.

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Asian aromatic sea food

A small jar of kimchi (pickled cabbage) was a tart, crunchy compliment to the Japanese spiced tuna; the mini duck confit spring roll and kumquat chutney were a fabulous pairing with the foie gras and the grilled mango slaw underneath two perfectly seared, gigantic scallops, gave a sweet touch of Cayman to the dish with just a little heat from the chili mandarin drizzle on the plate.

They offer homemade clay oven breads as well, $4 for two kinds or $8 for four kinds. You choose between stuffed breads such as pepper jack cheese or black forest ham or flat breads like mint & cilantro or black onion seed. If you’re really hungry, try the breads, but only order two because you will not want to fill up before your entrées show up. The appetizers we chose were fantastic, setting the bar quite high for our main courses.

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Mahi mahi (market catch)

We had the Rice Flaked Market Fish Mahi ($32), Mediterranean Paella ($39) and the Asian Aromatic Seafood ($39) for mains, all delicious. The market fish can be prepared four different ways and it’s served on top of a creamy, delectable mushroom risotto, steamed veg and truffle corn sauce, perfectly proportioned and the truffle corn sauce complimented the rice flaked mahi nicely.

My friends told the waitress they were starving, so she told them to stay away from duck because although it’s great, it’s only the breast so it’s not a huge portion. They ended up choosing different versions of a similar dish, both served with Caribbean lobster, scallops, shrimp, clams and mussels. The difference was in the sauces and the rice.

When the entrées were delivered, you could smell the smokiness of the chorizo inside the Mediterranean Paella, which came with Saffron Valencia Rice (a Spanish short grain rice typically used in paella). The Asian Aromatic Seafood had tender coconut broth and sushi rice, all in all exemplary. All of the seafood was well represented and by the end of mains, we were at full capacity.

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Mediterranean paella

I know many will think this is an advertisement for Blue Cilantro because of the simple fact that everything was spectacular, but it’s not. That being said, I will say that although the food items were fabulous, they need major help with their cocktail list. A beautiful bar was pretty much empty on a weekend night. Why? Maybe the bright neon blue underlay of the bar, perhaps, but I’d venture a guess that it’s due to the cocktails being boring, repetitive and overly sweet. Cayman Cocktail Week is approaching in October. I suggest contacting those in charge and renovating the list, and I bet the bar will be just as popular as the dining room.

15% gratuity added. They do have a split charge for appetizers of $3 and $6 for mains.

Blue Cilantro website

Readers’ ratings for Blue Cilantro

Category: Golden Spoons Review

Comments (14)

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  1. JTB says:

    Personally I think they do fantastic cocktails, the bar is a good place to sit, and the barman (don’t know his name but he’s from Chile) is both very skilled and also very entertaining and good company.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If lamb are those cute little fuzz animals you kill and cut those little meat lollipops out of and grill. This is the place that has the best!

  3. Anonymous says:

    great food, great service and great ambience.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interesting review much of which I agree with. I’m not sure what happened with your cocktails as this is actually one of my favorite places to enjoy great gin cocktails, and a white sangria to die for.

    The lighting at the bar sets the place aside from many of the fake Caribbean or European mistakes at other local eateries.

    Good review but maybe you need to broaden your horizons a bit and be more open minded.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excuse me, broaden their horizons?? Look at these drinks on the menu– almost all of them have the same ingredients!! Try going to a REAL BAR for some genuine, unique cocktails! I would suggest Agua, Brasserie, Catch to name a few. What gin drink did you have… a Gimlet? That’s amazing!

      Cayman Swizzle Dark Rum | Light Rum | Grand Marnier | Grenadine
      | Pineapple juice | Orange juice | Fresh lime juice 14
      7 Mile Tai Dark Rum | Light Rum | Grand Marnier | Fresh lime juice | Sugar syrup | Pineapple juice | Angostura bitter 14
      Whoopy Light Rum | Baileys | Mango juice | Coconut syrup 14
      Miami Bay Absolut Mandarin | Malibu | Lime juice | 28 Black 11
      Long Beach Light Rum | Gin | Vodka | Tequila | Triple sec| Fresh lime juice | Cranberry juice | Sugar syrup 15
      Torche’s Painkiller Dark Rum | Pineapple juice |Lychee puree | Coconut cream 15
      Stingray Kiss Gin | Vodka | Light Rum | Tequila | Fresh lime juice |
      Triple sec | Blue Curacao | Sugar syrup | Ginger ale 15
      Zombie Dark Rum | Light Rum | Golden Rum | Apricot Brandy |
      Grand Marnier | Orange juice | Pineapple juiceFresh lime juice | Grenadine

  5. Grant says:

    It is the best restaurant on the island. Enough Said

  6. Caymanian idiot says:

    Wow, another good honest review. We enjoy this restaurant and haven’t had a bad meal or service yet, I personally love the lamb, very good portion size.
    Now this place is not the cheapest on the island, in fact it’s one of the most expensive, however they do a really good job.
    CNS, we are still wating for reviews on more local places as most of your readers can’t afford all these high end places!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Visit curry Wednesday lunch time. To die for

  8. Anonymous says:

    Another strong review that accurately describes the restaurant. The clay oven breads are a must. The food is sophisticated, execution is consistent, cooking is correct and flavours are balanced. To the reviewer’s negative points, I would add that the formality of the service/atmosphere is what makes the bright blue bar especially jarring. A rethink of the feel of the place would help business, and more business would improve the atmosphere which would, in turn, bring more business. Chef Shetty has very high standards and his personality is felt throughout the establishment. This is as it should be in a fine dining restaurant, but I wonder if he might hit closer to the mark by relaxing the place a little. The staff always seem nervous and this comes through in the service, too. I would go more often if I did not feel like I had to be on my best behaviour to eat those tasty breads. Value for money is also a question mark; I imagine this bill was rather high. Go for lunch.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have been twice and both times the service was lackluster the food slow and not worth the price.

  10. Anonymous says:

    brunch is very good and provides a nice alternative.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I just find it too poncey and enjoy my fine dining at Lone Star around the corner!

  12. Anonymous says:

    The food and service at Blue Cilantro are perfect. The downside is the view of west bay road and the boy racers screaming past blasting their stereos if you go on a Friday or Saturday. It’s also mighty expensive and the ambience is affected by the fact it’s often three quarters empty.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have been there a couple of times recently and been pleasantly surprised by the food and service quality. I make no bones, I am a big Ragazzi fan precisely because of consistent quality and service and it could be that Blue Cilantro is going to become an equal, and a completely different menu…

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