If you can’t visit the Caribbean, let the Caribbean come to you.
Lime House at 2 Jiak Chuan Road is Singapore’s first Caribbean restaurant, serving a great selection of Caribbean food and special cocktails. But if you just want something to grab and go during lunch hour (Lime House is only open for dinner), or something casual to take home right after work, Lime Deli – which is Lime House’s sister establishment – is the perfect place to visit.
I had the opportunity to try Caribbean food at a Lime Deli tasting session and must say that if you are missing out on a vibrant, colourful cuisine if you haven’t tried it yet. It is the amalgamation of Chinese, Indian, African, Portuguese, Spanish and Arab influences, thanks to the immigrants who brought their food with them when they moved to the Caribbean. The local population took these people’s ingredients and cooking methods and made it into something unique. In fact, each location in the Caribbean has its own way of cooking.
Lime House and Lime Deli are opened by Chris Morris, a native of Trinidad & Tobago, where he spent most of his childhood before moving to London. The former management consultant moved to Singapore with his wife and children four years ago.
He hired chef Hasan Defour, 37, a celebrity chef who also hails from Trinidad and Tobago, to be his executive consultant chef. Chef Hasan was pleased that he could find all the ingredients he needed for Caribbean dishes in Singapore. Thyme and coriander, for example, are essential in jerk seasoning. Caribbean food is heavy on the marinades and all their meats are intense in flavour.
He uses a roasted blend of his own curry powder, which consists of fenugreek, mustard seed, caraway, cumin, chilli and turmeric to make “green seasoning”.
I love how there are plenty of vegetables to go along with all the heavy protein dishes. The flavours of these dishes are no stranger to the Singaporean palate – the curries are reminiscent of Malay and Indian food but I find that Caribbean food is never one-note spicy. Sure, there’s heat in the seasoning, but it aims to tickle your tastebuds and give you that endorphin rush one gets from eating piquant food – not numb your tongue entirely that you lose appetite for your meal.
My favourite dishes were the Curry Goat, Jerk Chicken (also available at Lime House) and Catch of the Caribbean, which by the way, was parrotfish on that day. For those who can’t take spicy food at all, you’ll find safe ground with the Catch, which is a lime and herb marinated crispy fish fillet with tomato creole sauce. The eatery is vegetarian-friendly, with plenty of chickpea-based dishes, veg stews and curries to make sure that herbivores get enough protein.
The word “lime” used in the name of these two F&B establishments comes from the Caribbean term “limin'”, which is really what we know as “lepak” in Malay, or “have a good time with friends” in English. Having attended the Entertainer 2015 launch party which was hosted at Lime House, and this lovely tasting session at Lime Deli, I can definitely attest to their prowess at concocting cocktails, and showing warm hospitality – the most important catalysts in limin’.
At Lime House, enjoy one complimentary Main Menu Item with the purchase of one Main Menu Item.
Address: 51 Telok Ayer Street #01-02, China Square
Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 9pm
Tel: 6222 7751
Address: 2 Jiak Chuan Rd
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 5pm – 12pm; Saturday: 12pm – 12am
Tel: 6222 3130
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