Barbados is especially known for its delectable national dish of cou-cou and flying fish. But one local all-inclusive hotel is seeking to give locals and tourists an equally satisfying experience of a major aspect of Japanese cuisine – sushi.
Sugar Bay Barbados, formerly Amaryllis Beach Resort, yesterday officially opened its Umi (Ocean in Japanese) Japanese restaurant, promising to disrupt the local dining experience in good way.
General Manager Morgan Seale said the new restaurant, which will be accessible to both hotel guests and the general public, would initially be opened only on Fridays.
This brings to four, the number of restaurants at the 138-room, Hastings, Christ Church hotel property.
Welcoming selected guests to the official opening of the restaurant last night, Seale said the intention was to get Barbadians and tourists “coming back and enjoying the experience”.
“Who said you can’t mix the two [local and Japanese cuisine]? The chef has been experimenting with different things,” said Seale.
“We are going to be really happy to have Bajans in here. I always tell people, ‘our guests matter but don’t forget that our Bajan guests matter just as much or even more because at the end of the day they are going to be the ones recommending you’. And we want to make sure that Bajans feel at home here too,” said Seale.
The hotel employs just over 200 staff, which includes about 67 kitchen and wait staff.
The Japanese restaurant, which boasts a variety of freshly made sushi and sashimi dishes, as well as Japanese-Asian dishes and tempuras, is led by Chef Robert Pereyra.
Turning his attention to the performance of the property, which was reopened in mid-November following an upgrade, Seale said the just-concluded winter tourist season was better than projected.
Adding that most of the guests were first time visitors to the island, Seale said while he anticipated majority of guests would come from Canada and America, most of them were actually from Europe with the bulk coming from the United Kingdom.
“We were full, literally. When I say we were full from day one we were . . . We are really happy with the results,” said Seale.
And while he anticipated an equally rewarding winter season this year, Seale said the summer, however, would be “quiet”.
“Everybody knows that summer in Barbados and the Caribbean gets a little quieter. It is nothing that we didn’t expect. I think that if we didn’t have the concerns with Zika, which seems to be something that is still on people’s minds, it would be better. It is an Olympic year as well and there are some other issues [including] the possible exit of Britain from the European Union and the concerns with the US Presidential Election. All those things do play on people’s mind when they want to travel.
“So while we may see a quieter summer than usual this year, we are already seeing positive indication for a strong winter again, and this winter was one of our best on record,” he said. (MM)