(CNS Foodie): Just behind Eduardo’s on West Bay Road, you will find vegetarian café, Island Naturals. The selection on the menu is incredibly diverse, with many vegan and gluten-free options. Instead of a waiter coming to you and taking your order, you go to order your food at the front and get your own drinks and dessert from the fridge, which can take away from the whole dining-in experience at the café.
The low ratings for service is because the service is minimal by design and not a reflection of the attitude of the staff, who were absolutely lovely, and they do bring the food to your table.
For a week-day lunch, my friend and I both chose the wraps, which come with the option of making it a combo by adding a side: soup of day, caesar salad or mixed greens. My friend ordered the black bean and avocado wrap with side of soup and I ordered the falafel burger wrap with side of caesar salad, which arrived fairly quickly after we placed our orders.
I was especially curious about the café’s falafel. Having tried various falafel balls and wraps from numerous markets in London, I acquired a taste for pretty good falafel. I must say, however, that I was thoroughly impressed with my wrap. The falafel had the right amount of crispiness on the outside, fantastic seasoning and wasn’t dry at all. The vegetables inside were fresh and crisp, and the tahini sauce was a great addition to this flavour-packed wrap. It also came with a side of tzatziki sauce, which I forgot to use with my wrap as it was simply so good on its own.
The caesar salad side was delicious and consisted of a bed of fresh kale tossed in a slightly sweet, slightly tangy vegan caesar dressing, and topped with tandoori chickpeas. The tandoori chickpeas were a great replacement for your typical croutons.
My friend also enjoyed her black bean and avocado wrap, which was a delightfully colourful combination of flavours, as well as the creamy pumpkin soup,to which she added a dash of grounded black pepper.
After our meal we were feeling quite full, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to try one of the café’s vegan and gluten-free cheesecake, which was the winner of best dessert at Taste of Cayman 2015. We chose a slice of the chocolate and caramel cheesecakes to share.
My friend was a vegan cheesecake newbie and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. It was one of the better vegan cheesecakes I’ve had, if not the best. It was smooth, creamy and not overbearingly sweet, even with the caramel and dark chocolate drizzle.
The size of portions for the price is my only criticism, although the prices aren’t terribly high, bearing in mind that this is a specialty café. For two people, everything excluding gratuity was $40.25, which included two bottles of sparkling water.
The café has a relaxed atmosphere, and the verdant art on the walls and neutral zen colours in the café all hinted at the ‘natural’ theme they have, although the smooth spa-type music was a bit irritating.
A great plus about this café is that they’re also open for dinner. They are open at 7am – 8pm from Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm on Saturday and 8am – 4pm on Sunday.
Readers review of Island Naturals Café
Category: Golden Spoons Review