Yemanja, Aruba (December 2013)

Another great meal at Yemanja, a wood-fired grill restaurant in Oranjestaad, Aruba, DWI. This place gets things right from start to finish. There are various seating options including inside, outside, and at the bar. Have a look:

Seating at Yemanja restaurant, Aruba.

Seating at Yemanja restaurant, Aruba.

And here’s the bar:

Bar area at Yemanja, Aruba, DWI.

Bar area at Yemanja, Aruba, DWI.

You can have a nice drink there before or after your meal. Moving on to the food… as mentioned, this is a “wood-fired grill” place, so there are some great meat options. But let’s start with our greens, namely the salad with prosciutto that you see in the next photo:

Salad with prosciutto at Yemanja, Aruba, DWI.

Salad with prosciutto at Yemanja, Aruba, DWI.

If you’d like a salad with scallops, well, take a look:

Mixed salad with scallops at Yemanja, Aruba.

Mixed salad with scallops at Yemanja, Aruba.

Those are just two ways to begin a great meal. There are other options that you’ll find on the menu to satisfy various tastes. Now, for a couple of meat choices, you might like the rib eye that you see here:

Yemanja, Aruba serves this rib eye.

Yemanja, Aruba serves this rib eye.

Or, you might like the filet mignon that is served in two pieces, which is a favorite of mine.

Filet mignon at Yemanja, Aruba.

Filet mignon at Yemanja, Aruba.

I like the french fried onions as a garnish, just the right flavor kick. Service here is excellent and mindful of all things, including my water glass. Sorry, no room for dessert, maybe next time. There will be a next time, because Yemanja is on my regular list of places while in Aruba. Hope to make a video there soon. Bon dia.

Amadeus Restaurant, Aruba

Enjoyed a darn good meal at Amadeus recently. This restaurant is located slightly inland from the main tourist area. It’s an easy drive and well worth the visit. So, let’s get to the food. There was a garden salad as you see here (sorry about the lack of light, fixed in later photos):

Garden Salad at Amadeus, Aruba

Garden Salad at Amadeus, Aruba

Nice and fresh that salad. There was also an escargot, which is served in a mushroom sauce as you see here:

Escargot at Amadeus, Aruba.

Escargot at Amadeus, Aruba.

Plenty of the little buggers in there, too. Also had an order of coconut shrimp which were fried nice and crispy. Take a look:

Coconut Shrimp at Amadeus, Aruba.

Coconut Shrimp at Amadeus, Aruba.

I liked the bit of greens on the side, a nice touch. Before we get to the entrees, let me say the service at Amadeus is also very good. Okay, more food. Here comes the sea bass:

Sea Bass at Amadeus, Aruba.

Sea Bass at Amadeus, Aruba.

Notice the veggies are bright and tasty. Then there was an order of ribs.

Rack of Ribs at Amadeus, Aruba.

Rack of Ribs at Amadeus, Aruba.

And then there was a beef tornados, which I can personally say was done just right and very flavorful.

Beef Tornedos at Amadeus, Aruba.

Beef Tornedos at Amadeus, Aruba.

Finally, a roast duck, which was reported by a friend to be spot on for flavor and texture. Here’s a look:

Roast Duck at Amadeus, Aruba.

Roast Duck at Amadeus, Aruba.

There was dessert, but it was ice-cream and a few other small treats. Very full after this meal. Amadeus gets it right and the prices are very fair. Again, take the time to make the short drive. You’ll enjoy it.

Scabeche, Aruba

Scabeche Restaurant is located at the Caribbean Palm Village in Noord, Aruba. It’s tucked inside the the complex, which means it’s not visible from the street. You’ll walk past the pools and want to take a dip, but enjoy the food first. I had a very pleasant meal here last week as part of a large group. There were about 30 of us spread over three tables and Scabeche’s staff did a fantastic job. So, let’s get to the food. We started with some appetizers including this shrimp cocktail:

Shrimp cocktail at Scabeche, Aruba.

Shrimp cocktail at Scabeche, Aruba.

Those shrimp were quite large. There was also a nice caesar salad. But let’s see some entrees, like this grouper with mango sauce:

Scabe3

And how about the chicken parmesan you see here:

Chicken Parmesan at Scabeche, Aruba.

Chicken Parmesan at Scabeche, Aruba.

That chicken was perfectly cooking meaning it was juicy and over a bed of truly al dente pasta. A friend liked the rib eye steak as you see next:

Rib eye at Scabeche, Aruba.

Rib eye at Scabeche, Aruba.

Among the other high points were the vegetables, which were cooked just enough. (Sometimes in Aruba, the veggies come out bland. These were still crunch and full of flavor. I like my veggies so these were particularly tasty.) Finally, a slice of cheesecake for dessert:

Cheesecake at Scabeche, Aruba.

Cheesecake at Scabeche, Aruba.

All in all, a solid meal with great service. My water glass was always full and the waiters hustled around the tables so our group could eat mostly together. No easy feat and they did a great job. If you haven’t tried this place, give it a go. I think you’ll like it.

Hung Paradise, Aruba

You’ll find solid, regular Chinese food at Hung Paradise located in the Seaport Marketplace, Oranjestaad, Aruba. All the standard dishes are on the menu and served by very friendly people. It’s not awesome, but fairly priced and reliable, which makes it a four out of five star joint. Let’s start with the wonton soup:

Wonton Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Wonton Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

I like the extra cabbage and whatnot in the soup. Then there is the “Chinese Tomato Soup,” which was strange to hear but tasty to eat. Check it out in the following photo:

Chinese Tomato Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Chinese Tomato Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

The tomato soup was an unusual item, one I would recommend. Give it a try. Another locally adapted item is the giant egg roll, which is nearly as big as the plate and stuffed with all kinds of things. Here’s one cut open:

Giant Egg Roll at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Giant Egg Roll at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Yeah, that thing is huge. Then there were some regular features like the kung po pork seen next:

Kung Po Pork at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Kung Po Pork at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

The kung po needed more spice, more heat. Finally, there was a chicken with snow peas, another reliable dish you see here:

Chicken with Snow Peas at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Chicken with Snow Peas at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

This was a good meal at a price that most visitors will find very affordable. Service is accommodating and cheerful. So, for something different, casual, and predictable, try Hung Paradise. Bon dia.