Island Restaurant is a little gem of an eatery that is close to where we live. I have been going there for years but never even thought about writing about it – the food was too familiar, not exotic enough. It was time to pay some more attention to Caribbean cuisine. The food served here is more Jamaican than anything else with some touches of Trinidadian here and there.
We ordered curry chicken with roti and stewed oxtail. The oxtail came with rice and peas and steamed vegetables.
The Steamed Vegetables were sensational – I know this is a strong word to use when referring to a simple plate of vegetables but these were super-good. Cabbage, carrots, red pepper, corn, green beans and snap peas co-mingled in a dish that was pure joy – it was so clean and crispy and soft all at the same time.
A plate of Rice & Peas was another hero – beautiful, lovely, grainy and flavorful. The Stewed Oxtail was falling off the bone; you really did not need teeth to chew it.
Anyone who knows me well is aware of my adoration for chicken roti. Here the Curry Chicken was served separately from the Roti, not all wrapped up like a burrito like I am used to. Once I poured the chicken over the roti it was insanely good – the aromatic curry infused and magically moistened the roti.
There is something significant that is worth pointing out about the food served at Island Restaurant. Caribbean cuisine is not exactly notorious for being healthy – it is usually on the heavy side, heavy with carbs, fat, sugar, salt, so it was an awesome surprise how light these traditional Caribbean dishes felt in your mouth.
The curry chicken was a mixture of both light and dark meat, the rice and peas were not oily, and neither were the veggies or the oxtail. Even the fried plantains did not leave a trail of grease on the plate. The portion sizes were adequate, not massive. The chef deserves special commendation.
You can either eat in or take the food to-go. There is also a little grocery store so you can replenish your pantry with Caribbean goodies. The next time that you are in the neighborhood check out this place – it is full of positive vibrations and excellent food.
10201 Hammocks Blvd
Miami, FL 33196