Fried Island – Curaçao
A few months ago, I took a short weekend trip with my bae to Curaçao, the island of fried things. Yes, romantical! I kid you not, I’ve never eaten so many fried croquettes in every shape and size in my whole life. (At one point, I even ate a square of fried, breaded spaghetti.) And you know I like my fried foods.
For example, at Mambo Beach, a beautiful white sand beach with off-the-beach snorkeling and lots of amenities, there was a takeout shop called Aloha which sold fried things galore. I ordered bitterballen, a croquette, and for good measure, some fries. The bitterballen and croquette tasted similiar, fried and filled with beefy goop, but hey, it was fried well (dry to the touch), so all was good with the world.
Crisp and golden, the fries were tasty as well.
If sweet, fried things or more your pleasure, a few shops down, Lekker & Zo sells skinny churros. They’re a little greasy, but a dusting of sugar and a little syrup for dipping will guarantee you a sugar high to trump your guilt.
For a break from fried foods, there’s lots of places to grab Indonesian food on the island.
At De Ruyter Café, you can get Indonesian and Surinamese food. I opted for a roti, which was a little pasty and bland.
Much, much better was the babi ketjap, luscious roast pork covered in a sweet, thickened soy sauce (ketjap manis). It was sweet, but also salty, so it balanced out nicely. And again, did I mention the luscious pork?
Back in town, when the Carnival wasn’t closing everything down (keep this mind if you plan to go during mid-February), more fried foods were eaten.
However, it was the non-fried ones, that stood out. Outside the Plasa Bieu, the Old Market, we had our fill of flakey, baked empanadas. Curry chicken was the stand-out.
So were the crazy-thick mango shakes that tasted like they were made with a million fresh mangoes.
My favorite meal of the trip, though, was the kabritu sjoba (stewed goat) within Plasa Bieu. The market has lots of stalls, but we ended up at the first stall, which had the longest line for good reason. One regular order came with lots of saucy, tangy bone-in goat, rice, and sweet plantains.
I assure you, there’s some magic happening in those pots at Plasa Bieu.
Even when not fried.
Mambo Beach, Unit 4-5
Lekker & Zo
Mambo Beach, Unit 12
De Ruyter Café
De Ruyterkade z/n Punda 40
Sha Caprileskade, Willemstad, Curaçao