Sunday, June 07, 2009

Restaurant Review - Kafe Kalik, Prime Outlets Mall, 4969 International Drive, Orlando, FL

Kafe Kalik, A Taste of the BahamasWay, way, down at the north end of International Drive is the Prime Outlets Mall, with high end outlet stores galore. Joining this group of retail is now Kafe Kalik, an upscale Bahamian restaurant. The interior is beautiful with florals, bright colors, dark woods, and a sheet of "rain" at the entrance. There's also a Straw Market (gift shop), sushi bar, and gelato counter. I never knew Bahamian cuisine was known for gelato and sushi, but there you have it.

We visited during lunch which looks to be the best bargain as all the prices go up (way up) during dinner time. The menu is huge with a lot of very unique flavors, mostly concentrating on seafood. The "sushi" is actually Caribbean rice rolls and as I far as I could tell, all of the fish items were cooked, not raw. The Junior Junkanoo kids menu stays the same for lunch and dinner and offers a burger, chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, chicken in the bag, pasta, ribs, cracked conch in the bag, or grouper fingers from $4.95 to $6.95. All kids meals come with a soft drink and most include fries.

On our first visit, we started with the West Indies Curry Crunch rice rolls ($8.00) whicWest Indies Curry Crunch rice rollh is honey coated mahi mahi with tempura flakes, wrapped in rice like a sushi roll. It is served with traditional pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce but also with a tamarind soy dipping sauce and julienned calabaza. The roll was very good as is but I did dip it in the tamarind soy sauce and it was even better.

The server also brought to the table a basket of goodies including johnny Johnny Cakes and Junkanoo chips with dips and butterscakes (like small corn muffins), flatbread slices, plantain chips, and regular tortilla chips. Watch out -- we found out the hard way that some of the johnny cakes come with jalapenos as my 5-year old found out. Accompaniments were guava butter (and you could really taste the guava!), regular butter, and a "pigeon pea relish", a Caribbean-style salsa with tomatoes, beans, and onions. The relish was delicious with all of the items and it went quickly.

Grandpa had had the jerk chicken platter before (which he declared as excellent), so this time he and Grandma shared a Banana Boat combo ($27.00), a choice of three of the Caribbean Rice rolls. They chose the Bump and Grind, Fat Annies Refrigerator Lobster Maki, and Johnny Canoe Crabby Cali (I swear these are the names on the menu for these rolls). The best was the Lobster roll with a sweet sauce, which had lobster, shrimp, crab, avocado, cream cheese, and veggies rolled in rice. The Johnny Canoe was really like a California roll, with a slight Caribbean twist.

BB ordered the Kids Ribs ($6.95) but had helped out a little too much with all the rice rolls so was not really hungry when his large kids plate of ribs came. He got four big, Jr. Junkanoo Ribsmeaty ribs in a guava barbecue sauce. It came with fries that were slightly sweet. GGrouper Fingers platterrandpa helped him finish the ribs and said that the sauce "grew on him". I got the Grouper fingers platter ($11.50) which was very lightly fried and also had a slight sweet taste to the batter. The fish was good and tender but I think I would have liked it to be a bit more crispy. I also got the peas and rice which was good but I was hoping for more taste, maybe more of a coconut flavor. I actually preferred the island cole slaw (the server snuck me a cup of it to try) which was very light and fresh tasting and a good companion to the grouper.

The next visit, it was just me and the kids for lunch. This time I got the soup and sandwich lunch Guava Hog Sliders with Conch Chowdercombo ($9.50) with two Guava Hog BBQ sliders and a cup of the conch chowder. The chowder was a nice size and was slightly spicy wKids Pastaith big chunks of veggies and conch and, well, some sticks and stuff. I know they were probably fresh herbs but I would have preferred to have those large pieces of herbs strained out or removed before serving. The sliders were small but after the soup, it was enough. The guava pulled pork was sweet but not overly so and was tender. LB got the kids cheeseburger ($4.95) and BB got the pasta, with Alfredo sauce ($4.95). Both boys ate pretty well, although we did have to ask for more sauce for the pasta as it was very skimpy. And I was glad that LB didn't want the pasta as it was fettuccine which he doesn't like.

I don't know if it is supposed to be the island way, but the service can be pretty slow at times. The kids ended up watching a video of parades in the Bahamas that kept them entertained so make sure you have something to keep your kids occupied.

Dessert time! We decided on the Mini Trifle Creme Shooter desserts ($2.50) which are a good deal for the price.Chocolate Creme Shooter Basically, it is cake, topped with your chosen flavor of gelato and thCoconut Creme Shooteren topped with whipped cream. Plus, we each got to choose our own flavor of gelato instead of having to choose one to share like with the bigger gelato dessert. There are eleven tropical flavors to choose from including mango, passion fruit, rum raisin, key lime, tangerine, etc. LB chose banana, I chose coconut, and BB ordered the chocolate gelato. I liked how they were all presented slightly differently with rainbow sprinkles or toasted coconut flakes. All were great, but we all decided that the chocolate was the best; it tasted like rich chocolate pudding.

There was still a lot on the menu that I have yet to try, and this time I'm going to order the chocolate gelato as well.

Kafe Kalik website:

Kafe Kalik on Urbanspoon

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