XpBonaire IslandLife Feature Story
After several years of being vacant, the well-known lighthouse at the Kralendijk marina is again home to a restaurant. The lighthouse has been a well-known spot for decades and belongs to the adjacent Harbour Village Beach Club.
The decorative building, meant for the hospitality industry from the start, is not on the list of Bonaire’s lighthouses. That does not take away from the fact that it creates the atmosphere of a piece of authentic Bonaire. Located at the corner of a harbor with modern yachts and sailing boats, owner Yasmine van Dijk and Chef Brandt Bakker are the driving forces behind restaurant Oscar Lighthouse which opened its doors in December, 2019.
Quite unusual for us, we arrived this evening without a reservation. The friendly service brought us to a table and provided us with a drink and the menu in a short time.
The starters consisted of artichoke soup and a tenderloin salad with blue cheese, mushrooms and bacon. The artichoke soup was actually a dish for which we both had no reference, simply because we've never eaten it before. The fact that there is not a well-known, everyday soup on the menu is a plus in my opinion, and this one was tasty too.
The tenderloin salad was slightly on the greasy side, but tasted fine. In our opinion, there could have been slightly more blue cheese, although the whole salad was richly filled overall.
The main course consisted of BBQ chicken, of course with BBQ sauce, and the marinated catch of the day, with fresh vegetables and a spicy mango salsa.
The BBQ chicken, in this case thighs, was a generous amount and was prepared on the Green Egg grill. The meat was tender and tasty and harmonized beautifully with the potato and vegetable purees and delicate long beans.
Did you know?
The catch of the day was tuna. This fish is caught by (hand) line by local fishermen. You will find a variety of tuna on Bonaire. Among them the black fin tuna, usually smaller, and the larger yellow fin tuna, which are very occasionally brought to the surface weighing more than 100 kilos. Strangely enough, until recently tuna was seen by local fishermen as by-catch, but due to its growing popularity in restaurants, tuna is now number 1 by far. For about 10 days a month, this fish is difficult to catch. The lighter it gets, the better the tuna can see its prey. Around full moon, the tuna bellies are therefore well filled, which makes them prefer relaxing over hunting.
Just like the BBQ chicken, the catch was served with various purees and long beans. To be honest, the fresh vegetables, as promised on the menu, are excellent in taste, but only sparse. The fries with homemade sauce are served separately and are immediately distinguished by their very crispy exterior, which was still crunchy even after they had cooled.
For dessert we shared a millionaire’s short bread with banana ice cream. This short bread was covered with a thick, soft layer of caramel fondant, which was perfectly balanced with the other flavors. The taste of the fondant reminded me of the ”borstplaat”, a Dutch sweet from my childhood, which was very popular at the Sinterklaas party in addition to marzipan and candy. In any case, this was a wonderful ending of which only a clean plate remained.
The bill was slightly higher than at the average restaurants. For that you get ample parking at Oscar Lighthouse, friendly service and tasty dishes that you will not easily find on the menu elsewhere. All in an authentic atmosphere with a breathtaking view.