Xp Bonaire Feature Story
It is generally known that the vision is to turn Bonaire into a high-end holiday/vacation destination. Quality over quantity. Wait, Rick Baak and Marloes Driessen must have thought that when they made plans to open a new restaurant. The Captains Table is located on the Kaya Grandi opposite the Banco di Caribe. Not only new, but, above all, exciting.
Rick and Marloes have been living and working on Bonaire for several years and have carefully explored the existing market. They chose The Captains Table, a concept that focuses on shared dining, with a menu that is different from others on the island.
For a change, let’s start this review with a conclusion. This young couple have succeeded particularly well in creating an opportunity to dine at a high culinary level using well-known ingredients in tasteful combinations.
The terrace is about a meter above the street, equipped with a bar and offers about 30 neat, but simple seats. We are warmly welcomed and have our drinks on the table pretty quickly. When handing over the menu, it is clearly explained what the intention is of shared dining, possible combinations and what we could expect from the surprise menu. Not everything of course, because then it wouldn't be a surprise anymore.
We opt for 1 surprise menu of 6 courses with our choice of oysters 3 ways, foie gras and short ribs. It became clear that this evening would be a culinary feast after the nicely presented amuse-bouche of a piccalilli wafer topped with, you guessed it, loose homemade piccalilli vegetables.
Next we enjoyed oysters prepared in 3 different ways and then continued with a Nikkei tuna ceviche of passion fruit, watermelon, soy sauce, avocado, sesame and rice. A delicious combination where we did comment that the passion fruit was a bit on the sour side. No ceviche without acid, but it's a shame if 1 ingredient overpowers all other flavors. Easily solved by ourselves by slightly bypassing the passion fruit.
I'm just making a list, because if I have to describe the experience of all the dishes, I'm 2 pages short.
Gyozas with vegetables and a foam of kimchi with, in contrast to what we have been served elsewhere, the authentic taste of kimchi.
Vitello Tonnato where it should be noted that the veal was exceptionally tender and soft and served with fresh tuna.
Foie gras served on smoked eel brioche and caramelized apple and calvados.
Wahoo on samphire and beurre blanc with a potato/bacon marbre.
24 hours sous vide braised short ribs with parsnip and spring onion, where no knife was actually needed for the meat, it was so incredibly tender.
This evening is, as we immediately realized at the beginning, a culinary celebration. Carefully balanced taste sensations from start to finish reveal that the kitchen is not staffed with chefs, but with masters.
Finally, we choose a cheese platter as an extra dessert, with, of course, a delicious dessert wine. The surprise menu contained an “Espresso Martini meets chocolate”, a creation with chocolate, coffee, vodka and Kahlúa, and just like all previous dishes, nicely balanced and very delicious.
Bonaire can once again add a top restaurant to its culinary list. That is clear. Let's hope that this chosen concept holds up in all respects. This does not only apply to Rick and Marloes, who must maintain this quality standard, but, of course, that the guests continue to appreciate this haute cuisine. The Captain’s Table is not cheap, but the connoisseur definitely gets his money's worth.
Our Top 3
Short Ribs sous vide braised
Foie Gras with smoked eel and apple
Vitello Tonnato poached veal and fresh tuna and tuna dressing