Fashion
Sign-up for Bay Islands Voice Updates:
Roatan Restaurants
West End
Ooloonthoo Indian Restaurant

THE RUNDOWN:
quality
*****
value
*****
atmosphere
*****
price
$7-12/plate

But the most original and inventive of the appetizers was an Indian street side snack elevated to a culinary level: vegetable Samosas served mango chatney, raisins and onions. The reinvention of this dish made it our definite favorite. The ambiance of the restaurant in uncomplicated, simple but attentive to details that make a dining experience not just dining. Silk saris serve as décor for the ceilings as yellow, thick tablecloths are held by heavy silverware. Cut banana leaves and folded heavy napkins decorated the side dishes and Indian music sets the tone.
The restaurant building was originally designed as a home and Ooloonthoo has worked with the existing space to create a home like feel and offering a bit more privacy in the smaller rooms.
Paul and Soden James, Oolonthoo's owners are conscious of community sensibilities and decided to stay closed on Saturday, a church day observed by many people in their West End neighborhood.
Since opening their doors, over the last three months, the owners spent time fine tuning their menu and décor. Chef Paul James, a graduate of Canada's Stratford Chef School, changes the menu to match the local seasons of fruits and vegetables. The recipes are all original, compiled over time by Chef Paul during his three year sojourn in India.
Rogan Josh, the crown jewel of the restaurant's menu and the "hottest dish in India," is not for the faint hearted. The super spicy leg of lamb's taste just builds and builds till you sweat. Courtesy of made from scratch curries.
The rescue can come in the form of room temperature served; white rice or naan- home, daily baked Indian bread. For the Indian food novices, Soden is there to explain the intricacies of every dish and steer them clear from spice overload.
Pork Vindaloo, a dish with Portuguese roots had a more subtle, still lively sweet taste. Eggplant with tomato, onion and garlic accompanied the main courses.
Indian dessert is especially difficult to prepare and can be overwhelmingly sweet to most pallets. Kheer- rum pudding and ice cream were too much for our indulging. We settled for a la carte - chai masala.
The cost to product ratio is great. Including tax and service our feast cost a reasonable Lps. 1,351, or $72. It is an authentic Indian food. Ooloonthoo offers a real Indian cuisine experience elevated by imagination and attention to detail.

When Columbus discovered Guanaja in 1502 he already knew he didn't arrive at the shores of India. No chance of getting a samosa anywhere… at least for the next five centuries. Forward 503 years and a family run Ooloonthoo restaurant in West End makes the dream of an Indian meal on Bay Islands is reality.
The Ooloonthoo menu offers a bit of everything. Diverse meats, and vegetables from across Indian subcontinent. In an attempt at Indian food anti-traditionalism Shrimp and Calamari dishes cater to the Roatan public. Also the size of the portions matched more Roatan appetites, than Indian tradition.
One could make a meal just from the six appetizers alone. First on our table arrived- pappadums, crisp bread wafers, served with side of delicate mint and cilantro chutney.
Light, not greasy, in a light brown color, they were irresistible to put down. The other appetizer, the ginger pea soup with a swash of yogurt, had a wonderful consistency. It's coriander aftertaste build up, yet not overwhelmed in your mouth to create a staccato of bliss. A feat especially impressive considering the green peas are one of the only produce Ooloonthoo receives frozen, not fresh.
Spicy and confident Vietnamese cuisine fuses Caribbean and South East Asian tastes

THE RUNDOWN:
quality
*****
value
*****
atmosphere
****
price
$6-11/plate

To start things off, a bowl of complementary appetizers "with a punch" of fresh carrots, cauliflower and water chestnuts could be snacked on with a toothpick. A good tool to use, as the acidic spice can prove scorching hot.
Shrimp, grouper, pork, chicken or vegetarian can be the filling for acras, egg rolls, spring rolls and wantans that form the core of the menu. The result: transparent, super fresh spring rolls are crunchy; the shrimp acras were fried just right, retaining the elasticity of the meat. Three drops of the spicy sauce are lik
e the "blood from the Alien movie," burning through metal and flesh. Handle with caution. Sweet and sour sauce is a better answer for most mortals.
With all thedelights, one can have trouble committing to just one. The answer to the dilemma is to order a Combo Platter and with a bit of everything. (Lps. 200-245)
For the main courses, we decided to try Mixao- a sensory de
light (Lps. 190), and one of the menu's jewels. It's chicken and shrimp are served in a spicy ginger sauce, perched on top of a nest of deep fried noodles.
If you are into a more hands-on cooking experience, Blau Blau, or flaming hot pot of filet beef (Lps. 300 for two), should be your choice. The dish can be prepared for one person as well. The strips of beef, zucchini, shallots, orange pepper and Chinese mushrooms are presented and cooked to your satisfaction in a pot surrounded with flames of rubbing alcohol.
The presentation of the dishes was simple, but tasteful. Plates, silverware, even napkins are not exuberant, but certainly not skimpy. The setting isn't too fancy. The restaurant is nestled in between a dive shop and a souvenir store and the dining experience is reminiscent of an outdoor market: casual and funky. Batik tablecloths, space lit by candlelight and metal frame cloth clad lamps.
If we could add anything to the experience, it would be a bigger wine menu, or even a couple Vietnamese fruit shake drinks. We were told the espresso machine is on its way.
Desserts are not on the menu, but should not be missed. Flan, crème caramel and pineapple slice flambé were the evening's deserts. Even though we found the sliver of flan a bit bubbly, the pineapple stole the show: super sweet and rummy.
Most amazing of all… our bill was under 800 Lps., that's including two drinks and coffee. "Danh t? s? nhi?u, Mr. Richard." Or, should we just say "Merci?".

I always dread doing a review of restaurants that are not as quite good as they perceive themselves to be. It's a recipe for disappointment. This is not the case with "Le Bistro," a recently launched Vietnamese restaurant in West End.
Frank, the owner of the six table restaurant, is not hesitant to wait on tables and pick up empty dishes. After many years of managing Flying Fish, Frank is only fulfilling every Frenchman's duty: "have a son, plant a tree, start a restaurant." And Frank seems to have figured out the essence of why people do start restaurants, not only "how they do it." If you are going to do something, do something original, do it right and do it the way you want… with style.
Roatan is connected to some interesting places around the globe: Bali, Fiji and most recently Vietnam. "Le Bistro" of Vietnamese cuisine? If you are confused about the name… here is your answer. Frank invited a Vietnamese Frenchman from Marseille, Richard, to take charge of his kitchen and a few months later it is hard to get a table.The simple, not overbuilt menu with affordable prices attracts a "mixao" clientele of Roatan residents and tourists. Frankly, anyone with a taste for spice will feel right at home here.
Down and Out in West End Rotisserie Chicken Restaurant

THE RUNDOWN:
quality
*****
price
100 Lps/plate
value
*****
atmosphere
****
Service
****

The coleslaw alone could feed a small German family and was mouthwatering good. Potato salad… with the creamy sauce, well heavenly I can tell how I like a roasted chicken by how ready I am to eat the skin. And the rainbow of browns made for an appetizing site. The chicken had great flavor, with the skin effortlessly peeling off. If the sauce is not enough one can always add it from a generous Cajun Seasoning bottle sitting at every table.
The flimsy plastic knife and fork are no help and your fingers will probably end up doing the work. It is in places like this I realize that I am a real carnivore. Within minutes a casual dinner at Rotisserie Chicken become a scene from M*A*S*H operating room. There was only a single wish after the meal: more napkins please.
A glance into the kitchen would qualm any sanitary concerns: everything is spotless clean.
Another good thing, you can always get a late night meal here as the restaurant stays open till 3am on weekends.
The place is relaxed, casual. But not a restaurant where you want to go on a first date. Unless you are both broke. Eating at the restaurant you are surrounded by real West End mix: Hawaiian shirts, bare feet, dive watches and dreadlocks. Lively dive instructors talking about relationships. The music comes courtesy of the lively Sun 107.
50 meters further under another almond tree you can cap off yor evening with an iced coffee. "Frozen Iguana" (sign pending) looks like yet another wooden shack with four wooden benches. With 30 Lps. to spare this was a perfect way to cap off the evening of juicy Germanic roast with a delicious iced coffee.
Bay Islands VOICE magazine awaits your suggestions how to most creatively and wisely spend your last 100 lempiras on a great meal and desert. Send us your ideas.

How would you spend your last 100 lempiras? Let's say the banks are closed, your stash of reserve dollars is gone and you're hungry. Then, you find a wrinkled 100 lempira bill in the pants you wore to last week's beach party. You are saved… you think. Because you can get a great meal for a 100 Lps in West End.
My first stop was Rotisserie Chicken on the West End strip. The restaurant is located in a simple beachside building with a porch for a dining room. A lonely single parrot (recently widowed) with a trimmed tail greets you at the doorstep. A quarter chicken with potatoes salad and coleslaw will set you back 60 Lps.
The Chicken was roasted to perfection and since there is no price on perfection, 60 lempiras for a perfectly roasted chicken in a real bargain. A soft drink is only 10 Lps.
First Bight
A Meal With a View

THE RUNDOWN:
quality
*****
value
*****
atmosphere
*****
price
$6-15/plate

The made-from-scratch tempura batter was accompanied by honey to create a salty-sweet tasting combination. It was main course time and we saw duck. The last time we had seen this migratory bird on the Bay Islands was when it was flying over us, a very long time ago. The View could very well have the only duck featured on a restaurant menu in the Bay Islands. Chef Carl gets his duck meat from the US to create a selection of "flying" appetizers and entrées. Our Roasted ½ Duckling with Orange Tarragon Sauce (Lps. 270) came accompanied by piped mashed potatoes and a zesty salad.The smell of cinnamon surrounded the table as Cinnamon Beef Tacos (Lps. 110) arrived at the table. The tacos were a more affordable entrée choice offering just as much attention in presentation and taste. The white flower tortilla was fresh and fluffy and the cabbage topping gave the tacos a nice crunch.
Offering a nice touch of originality in tableware, a stone yaba-ding-ding served as the napkin weight on our table. Still, an upgrade in napkins would more accurately match the quality and originality of the food.
All deserts were affordably priced at Lps. 40. Our Banana Rum Cake with roasted peanuts was smooth and sweet. Two of them would make you fail the Roatan police breathalyzer test. The Island Lime Pie arrived decorated with honey and a slice of lime. It was sweet and almost a bit tart, but coffee mellowed the taste. The price for our feast for two came to a reasonable Lps. 750, not including service.
Chef Carl never quite got used to the wisecracks made by some cruise ship tourists about the restaurant's name. "The 'Even better View' restaurant could pop-out anytime," said Carl. Still, even the stunning view of Crawfish Rock and North Shore below can't distract the visitor from the originality and quality of the restaurant's cuisine.
A popular spot with a varied clientele, the restaurant can be packed on a weekday lunch and filled to the brim on a Friday night after-work. It is a varied, imaginative cuisine at an affordable price.

When "The View" opened in March, it was Carl Husband's third restaurant on Roatan. Since 1999, he managed the Reggae Bar in West End, created the more urban Back Room Restaurant in Coxen Hole and finally moved even further East to Six Huts.
The wood, thatched-roof building sits on the side of the main road next opposite to Parrot Tree road. The restaurant's large deck overlooks the North Shore of Roatan. Other then a beautiful vista, we came expecting Carl's consistency in culinary quality. We weren't disappointed.
A friend's Shrimp Piña Cocktail (Lps. 74) arrived with a selection of four jumbo shrimps. The crusty breaded fried shrimps were decorated with fresh parsley and the cocktail sauce had a pineapple twist to create a Bay Island original.
Just as original were the Tempura Drumsticks (Lps. 70).
The local island favorite- fried chicken, was treated to an innovative oriental context.
Bay Islands Restaurants

Roatan

Name Location Description Open Value Phone
Gio's French Harbour Italian & Seafood 10am - 2pm 5pm - 10pm 455-5214
Roatan's Dive and Yacht Club French Harbour International Cuisine & Pizza 455-5407
Cravin's Restaurant French Harbour Mexican, Seafood & Meat 455-6704
Lusty Lizard Dixon Cove   445-1980
Que Tal Cafe Coxen Hole Salads, Sandwich, Specialty M-Sat: 9am-4pm 445-1007
Pizza Inn Coxen Hole Fast food, Pizza & Other Italian Specialties M-Sund: 10am- 10pm 445-1496
Palmetto Bay Resort Palmetto Bay Dine in on of Roatan's most tranquil Settings F-Sat: 7pm-9:30pm 9991-0811
Rick's American Cafe Sandy Bay Steaks, Hamburgers & International Food W-Sund: 11am- 10pm 445-0123
Half Moon Bay Cabins West End Seafood, Steak and Burgers M-F: 5pm-11pm 445-1075
Blue Channel West End Gourmet Italian 445- 4133
Brick Oven Pizza West End Italian & Pizza
Pinocchio's West End Vegetarian, Seafood & Desert 445-4500
Pura Vida Restaurant West End Seafood, Pizza & Italian 445-4141
Les Boucaniers West End Gourmet French Cuisine 403-8850
Ooloonthoo West End Indian Cuisine 403- 8866
Posada Argentina West End South American, Steak House & Seafood 445-4264
Le Bistro West End Vietnamese 403-8854
Henry Morgan Restaurant West Bay Italian & Pizza 445-1455
Mangiamo West Bay Delicatessen & Market, Sushi on Tuesdays 6-9pm 445-4163
Mayan Princess Bar & Grill West Bay Fine Seafood, Steak 445-5050
Las Rocas West Bay Caribbean w/Italian Flair 403- 8046
Paradise Beach Club West Bay Buffet 455-5723
Parrot Tree Coffee House Parrot Tree Plantation Deliciously fresh... breakfast, lunches & snacks Tues-Satur: 7am - 3pm, Sund:9am-3pm 9978-7281
Hole in the Wall Blue Rock   VHF # 66
Paya Bay Restaurant Paya Bay Continental Cuisine with an Island Flavor 435- 1498

Utila

Name Location Description Open Value Phone
Munchie's Restaurant El Centro Island & Seafood [Daily] 7:30am- 10pm 425-3168
Seven Seas Punta Caliente American Burgers 425-3193
Ultralight El Centro Isreali 425-3201
Bundu Café Punta Caliente Cafe Thur-M: 7am- 2:30pm
Jade Seahorse La Loma Seafood & Vegetarian [Daily] 7am-3pm & 5pm -10pm 425-3270

Guanaja

Name Location Description Open Value Phone
Dina's House Reef Lounge Pelican Reef Seafood, Pork, Island & Fastfoods M-F: 12m-12m S & S: 12m-2am VHF #06
End of the World Michael Rock Beach Island & Seafood 9991-1257
Island House Michael Rock Beach Island & Seafood
The Green Splash Michael Rock, Island House Resort Seafood specialty meals seven days a week all day long
images/ad-palmetto-1.jpg
Click for the latest Roatan weather forecast.