Food Reviews

more vino, more sushi, trinidad- a review

thc-morevinocollageWe have been patrons of More Vino, More Sushi (will be referred to as ‘More Vino’ henceforth) for quite some time now. We first starting buying their sushi when there wasn’t yet a San Fernando branch and we always loved it.
When More Vino decided to open up a branch in the ‘South land’ we were thrilled!  We thought to ourselves ‘great, now we would be able to get good sushi in south!’

We have never looked back!

The quality and selection of More Vino’s sushi is unparallelled to others that I have sampled here in Trinidad! With clean, crisp, modern interiors, a relaxed and unpretentious exterior, an extensive wine list (it is called More Vino) and friendly, accommodating staff, More Vino is sure to please even the most exacting of patrons.

thc-morevino-smokesalmonbites

I dined at More Vino on a Friday afternoon- just past midday.  We were a party of seven ‘hungry for sushi-thirsty from the midday sun-toddler-wielding grown-ups’. This never once intimidated our gracious waiter- a wonderfully pleasant, ‘willing to please’ young man.  Opting to dine in More Vino’s beautiful courtyard area, we quickly noticed that the passing traffic faded seamlessly into the landscape.  The decor in the exterior dining area- with dark wicker tables and chairs, grape vines enthusiastically growing towards the heavens anchored to weathered wooden columns, wooden barrels serving as plant pots housing lush shrubbery and unpainted concrete floors contrasting against More Vino’s trademark royal purple and neon green- can well be described an eclectic melange of Caribbean cool and Mediterranean chic.  It works.

thc-morevino-exteriordiningarea

The interior areas are outfitted with bar height modern tables and chairs- again in a darker colour palette-  a sushi bar complete with a sushi chef working in earnest to fulfill the desires of all patrons and a bar area- dimmed lights and wine glasses seemingly hovering overhead.  The downstairs area inside is quite small while being sufficient  which makes me feel comforted in the fact that More Vino probably followed the restauranteur’s golden rule, ‘your kitchen should be twice as big as your dining area’.  It works.

thc-morevino-barglasses

Now that I have painted the picture of what More Vino, More Sushi, San Fernando is like, let’s get to the good part…the really, really good part- the food.

I say without reservation or hesitation, MORE VINO’S SUSHI IS THE BEST SUSHI IN TRINIDAD!

I have eaten (boy, have I) more times there than any other restaurant in San Fernando…I have ordered, I have dined in, I have had it at friend’s get-togethers and I have shamelessly eaten leftovers from friends and family- it has always been great and has never once disappointed me. Not once!

thc-morevino-maracassushi

From sushi neophytes to connoisseurs and everything in between, More Vino has the pickings to please even the most discerning.  With items like the last samurai, sushi pizza and riceless crab rolls those who are hesitant to try or are new to sushi are sure to be converted into diehard fans. The volcano, iron chef rolls and a variety of sashimi and nigiri offer a wide selection for the more adventurous or refined sushi palates. The fish is sublime, silky smooth and buttery- I almost envisage the head chef in the kitchen bludgeoning a fish from some cloistered tank in a hidden enclave and serving it- a beat of life still remaining in its heart- to me, or anyone else fortunate enough to dine at More Vino.  It’s that fresh!

thc-morevino-sushilime

The portions are sizable- an average 8 rolls per purchase- served with the staple sides of wasabi and gari (pickled ginger).  The appetizers are good- edamame, dumplings, fried calamari and a variety of tempura makes up a list of about 12 items. Sashimi, platters, salads, soups and even pasta and steak(!) can be found on More Vino’s extensive menu. Something admirable, since sometimes you might find yourself dining with a friend who simply cannot be convinced to try sushi!

We ordered the following rolls- pizza roll (new), riceless crab, maracas, last samurai, volcano, sophie jan, iron chef and dickiemoto- a lot of sushi, but how can you choose just one? Here are a few comments about some of the rolls.thc-morevino-pizza roll

The pizza roll is particularly enigmatic in its ability to trick the taste buds- it’s flat rice base serves as the ‘crust’ while ‘toppings’ like salmon, cheese and even pineapple are baked on top and drizzled with a garlicky mayo.  The taste is outstanding!

thc-morevino-ricelesscrab

The riceless crab is one not to be dismissed as a ‘low carb dieter’s dream’. At the helm of this roll is soft shell crab tightly and expertly packaged into rice paper drizzled with spicy mayo, and topped with a sliver of red onion for that textural pop. The taste is exquisite!

thc-morevino-sophiejanroll

Sophie Jan is an unassuming roll- I picture ‘her’ sitting quietly at the back, waiting to be noticed. She is not to overlooked; with salmon, tempura shrimp, garlic sauce and the surprising addition of pistachios- the sophie jan roll is delectable!

thc-morevino-lastsamurairolls

The last samurai became a surprising favorite of mine within the last year.  I’ve never been one to shy away from the ‘real sushi’- raw fish- and stick to cooked favorites, but I had to try this one under the suggestion of a cousin of mine.  I wonder sometimes how I survived without it! The beef is cooked to perfection, the crab salad gorgeously tasty and the crisp cucumbers are refreshing and subdued. Definitely one to try! The taste is exceptional!

thc-morevino-ironchef roll

The iron chef is a deliciously simple roll- salmon, crab salad and tobiko (flying fish roe)- which brings the sea to your mouth. I love the salty taste of fresh sea water as the roe pops in my mouth! These little eggs seem to tell a whole story of the ocean when they are eaten. The taste is refined and buttery, smooth and velvety!

Noteworthy points

  • It’s probably best to make reservations on Fridays and Saturdays since the place fills up pretty quickly
  • the service is great and the staff are very friendly
  • parking extends along the streets and there’s always a parking attendant there to assist
  • two locations- San Fernando and Ariapita Avenue, POS
  • you can order online @ morevino.com!

Pros

  • Great sushi, always fresh and always good!
  • Nice ambience- trying dining outdoors
  • Quite fast with orders
  • Wide slection
  • Very good portion sizes
  • One of the best mojitos I’ve ever had!
  • Extensive wine list
  • Clean, professional environment

Cons

  • Sometimes parking can be tricky on busy nights but attendants are always ready and available to guide you
  • Can be a bit pricey (especially when you order hundreds of rolls!)

Rating – 9.75/10

I would definitely recommend More Vino, More Sushi San Fernando!

thc-morevino-volanoroll

 More Vino:On the web
More Vino on facebook (South)
33 Scott Street, San Fernando                       223-VINO
                       &
23 O’Connor Street, POS                                622- VINO
 
 

 

 


more vino, more sushi, trinidad- a review

thc-morevinocollageWe have been patrons of More Vino, More Sushi (will be referred to as ‘More Vino’ henceforth) for quite some time now. We first starting buying their sushi when there wasn’t yet a San Fernando branch and we always loved it.
When More Vino decided to open up a branch in the ‘South land’ we were thrilled!  We thought to ourselves ‘great, now we would be able to get good sushi in south!’

We have never looked back!

The quality and selection of More Vino’s sushi is unparallelled to others that I have sampled here in Trinidad! With clean, crisp, modern interiors, a relaxed and unpretentious exterior, an extensive wine list (it is called More Vino) and friendly, accommodating staff, More Vino is sure to please even the most exacting of patrons.

thc-morevino-smokesalmonbitesI dined at More Vino on a Friday afternoon- just past midday.  We were a party of seven ‘hungry for sushi-thirsty from the midday sun-toddler-wielding grown-ups’. This never once intimidated our gracious waiter- a wonderfully pleasant, ‘willing to please’ young man.  Opting to dine in More Vino’s beautiful courtyard area, we quickly noticed that the passing traffic faded seamlessly into the landscape.  The decor in the exterior dining area- with dark wicker tables and chairs, grape vines enthusiastically growing towards the heavens anchored to weathered wooden columns, wooden barrels serving as plant pots housing lush shrubbery and unpainted concrete floors contrasting against More Vino’s trademark royal purple and neon green- can well be described an eclectic melange of Caribbean cool and Mediterranean chic.  It works.

thc-morevino-exteriordiningareaThe interior areas are outfitted with bar height modern tables and chairs- again in a darker colour palette-  a sushi bar complete with a sushi chef working in earnest to fulfill the desires of all patrons and a bar area- dimmed lights and wine glasses seemingly hovering overhead.  The downstairs area inside is quite small while being sufficient  which makes me feel comforted in the fact that More Vino probably followed the restauranteur’s golden rule, ‘your kitchen should be twice as big as your dining area’.  It works.

thc-morevino-barglasses

Now that I have painted the picture of what More Vino, More Sushi, San Fernando is like, let’s get to the good part…the really, really good part- the food.

I say without reservation or hesitation, MORE VINO’S SUSHI IS THE BEST SUSHI IN TRINIDAD!

I have eaten (boy, have I) more times there than any other restaurant in San Fernando…I have ordered, I have dined in, I have had it at friend’s get-togethers and I have shamelessly eaten leftovers from friends and family- it has always been great and has never once disappointed me. Not once!

thc-morevino-maracassushi From sushi neophytes to connoisseurs and everything in between, More Vino has the pickings to please even the most discerning.  With items like the last samurai, sushi pizza and riceless crab rolls those who are hesitant to try or are new to sushi are sure to be converted into diehard fans. The volcano, iron chef rolls and a variety of sashimi and nigiri offer a wide selection for the more adventurous or refined sushi palates. The fish is sublime, silky smooth and buttery- I almost envisage the head chef in the kitchen bludgeoning a fish from some cloistered tank in a hidden enclave and serving it- a beat of life still remaining in its heart- to me, or anyone else fortunate enough to dine at More Vino.  It’s that fresh!

thc-morevino-sushilimeThe portions are sizable- an average 8 rolls per purchase- served with the staple sides of wasabi and gari (pickled ginger).  The appetizers are good- edamame, dumplings, fried calamari and a variety of tempura makes up a list of about 12 items. Sashimi, platters, salads, soups and even pasta and steak(!) can be found on More Vino’s extensive menu. Something admirable, since sometimes you might find yourself dining with a friend who simply cannot be convinced to try sushi!

We ordered the following rolls- pizza roll (new), riceless crab, maracas, last samurai, volcano, sophie jan, iron chef and dickiemoto- a lot of sushi, but how can you choose just one? Here are a few comments about some of the rolls.

thc-morevino-pizza rollThe pizza roll is particularly enigmatic in its ability to trick the taste buds- it’s flat rice base serves as the ‘crust’ while ‘toppings’ like salmon, cheese and even pineapple are baked on top and drizzled with a garlicky mayo.  The taste is outstanding!

thc-morevino-ricelesscrabThe riceless crab is one not to be dismissed as a ‘low carb dieter’s dream’. At the helm of this roll is soft shell crab tightly and expertly packaged into rice paper drizzled with spicy mayo, and topped with a sliver of red onion for that textural pop. The taste is exquisite!

thc-morevino-sophiejanrollSophie Jan is an unassuming roll- I picture ‘her’ sitting quietly at the back, waiting to be noticed. She is not to overlooked; with salmon, tempura shrimp, garlic sauce and the surprising addition of pistachios- the sophie jan roll is delectable!

thc-morevino-lastsamurairollsThe last samurai became a surprising favorite of mine within the last year.  I’ve never been one to shy away from the ‘real sushi’- raw fish- and stick to cooked favorites, but I had to try this one under the suggestion of a cousin of mine.  I wonder sometimes how I survived without it! The beef is cooked to perfection, the crab salad gorgeously tasty and the crisp cucumbers are refreshing and subdued. Definitely one to try! The taste is exceptional!

thc-morevino-ironchef rollThe iron chef is a deliciously simple roll- salmon, crab salad and tobiko (flying fish roe)- which brings the sea to your mouth. I love the salty taste of fresh sea water as the roe pops in my mouth! These little eggs seem to tell a whole story of the ocean when they are eaten. The taste is refined and buttery, smooth and velvety!

Noteworthy points

  • It’s probably best to make reservations on Fridays and Saturdays since the place fills up pretty quickly
  • the service is great and the staff are very friendly
  • parking extends along the streets and there’s always a parking attendant there to assist
  • two locations- San Fernando and Ariapita Avenue, POS
  • you can order online @ morevino.com!

Pros

  • Great sushi, always fresh and always good!
  • Nice ambience- trying dining outdoors
  • Quite fast with orders
  • Wide slection
  • Very good portion sizes
  • One of the best mojitos I’ve ever had!
  • Extensive wine list
  • Clean, professional environment

Cons

  • Sometimes parking can be tricky on busy nights but attendants are always ready and available to guide you
  • Can be a bit pricey (especially when you order hundreds of rolls!)

Rating – 9.75/10

I would definitely recommend More Vino, More Sushi San Fernando!

thc-morevino-volanoroll

 More Vino:On the web
More Vino on facebook (South)
33 Scott Street, San Fernando                       223-VINO
                       &
23 O’Connor Street, POS                                622- VINO
 
 

 

 


david’s tea: creme caramel rooibos- a review

thc-davidstea-cremecaramelrooibos3

Since my last review, I haven’t been able to resist having more of my DavidsTea.  This tea is so captivating and irresistible that I’ve had to sneak a few cups, without totally disrupting the canister’s contents (so that I can photograph for future reviews)! I call it ‘work’ since I need to really taste the tea before I review it.  Ok, ok, I give up.  I cheated. Wouldn’t you cheat as well if you had 24 enticing teas, each fragrant and unique, to try?

I ‘tested’ forever nuts sometime last week and have to say I was impressed. The beautiful, yet surprising pink colour of this tea-from the unusual addition of beets- really balances out the nutty aroma of this soothing tea.  I wasn’t able to photograph it, but look out for photos from that ‘testing’ in the near future.

thcdavidsteacollage2

Today I am talking about another blend- the creme caramel rooibos.  I chose this tea from my caffeine free selection and decided to shine a spotlight on it for its dessert-like quality (and come on, creme caramel? Who wouldn’t want to sample this flavor profile in a tea?).  I wanted to assess whether the makers of DavidsTea were successful at translating the warmth and smoothness of creme caramel, into a tea.

thc-davidstea-cremecaramelrooibosbox2

I was skeptical at first, but from the moment this warm, lush rooibos tea touched my lips, I was converted.  Admittedly, I didn’t know much about rooibos(pr. roy-boss) before this first cup;  apparently it’s all that tea drinkers around the globe are talking about now- the latest ‘best thing’ for tea drinking connoisseurs. This legume family member is grown exclusively in South Africa and is also called ‘red bush’ and touted to ease digestive woes, nervous tensions and allergies with its high antioxidant powers.  It’s also caffeine free!

The scent of rooibos is quite distinct- strangely reminiscent to the pipe tobacco that my father uses- its crisp and fresh, almost citrus bouquet bares a peculiar resemblance to mint. The earthy aroma is deceptively simplistic. The complex melange of  undertones and highlights make this tea very difficult to describe.  Additionally, the tea is a blend- rooibos at its core, caramel chunks and other flavorings rounding out its periphery.

thc-davidsteacreamcaramelpot

I made my cup with milk and sugar- a truly decadent nectar to complement my subtly sweet, buttery French sables cookies, (courtesy my generous sibling), fresh strawberries and a tuna salad(courtesy my kind husband) sandwich made with a mini, individually-sized coconut bake(courtesy ‘the indroid’ and artisan lettuces- a bonafide fusion of global sampling!

thc-davidsteacreamcaramelcupI savored the sweet, silkiness of the melted caramel chunks counterbalanced against the sublime, earthy, almost minty perfumes of the rooibos, made ever more velvety by the addition of cream.  The warmth of this dessert tea is best captured when brewed for 8-10 minutes and is only enhanced further by the addition of cream and sugar. Its cozy, clean taste was surprising and refreshing all at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed its flavor as the scent wafted through our house seemingly attracting the neighbors.

thc-davidstea-cremecaramelrooibossables thc-davidstea-cremecaramelrooibostea_1

I would definitely recommend DavidsTea-creme caramel rooibos tea!


addendum to dream ultra lounge & bar review

Dream Ultra Lounge & Bar: Gulf View, Trinidad
phone: 868-223- CHIC (2442)
dream facebook
Find Dream here on the web

dream mezzanine

This may seem very bizarre in the world of reviews and reviewers and believe me when I say, I have thought about this and tried to reconcile it several times in my head before deciding to post this addendum to the review which I had written a few weeks ago on Dream Ultra Lounge and Bar.

By nature I am very open to learning new things and am extremely eager to get facts straight and this is what has prompted me to make this post today.  If you haven’t read my initial review on Dream, please take the time to read it as I will refer to that post during this addendum so as to clarify my opinions and experiences at Dream.

I decided to take to ‘paper and pen’ today because I feel like I owe everyone reading my blog and especially my reviews, the truth.  I am unbiased in my opinions and serve only to be a vehicle of truth and honesty here at thehiddencook.com and as such feel utterly compelled to make an addendum to my previous review.

I re-visited Dream for dinner a few nights ago with my family and all I can say is that some of my previously noted ‘cons’  have seriously caught up with the people behind Dream.  I’ve also read some comments and other reviews of Dream and have to say that I completely agree with many of the ‘cons’ observed by fellow patrons.  Like some of the other commenters, I too visited Dream at dinner time with my family, including of course my toddler.  To say that I was disappointed would be a euphemism!  After rating Dream’s service, food and decor a high 8.75/10 there was very little that night that garnered that score- in fact, nothing did.

First off, we too were seated in the upper mezzanine- the justification for which is beyond my comprehension- which as one person said and I have to agree, is a ‘death trap for children’. If the owners desire a ‘no children’ policy then I think they would be better off stating that since putting children upstairs is clearly not a feasible idea.  The other issue I had, being a second time diner, is that the portion sizes, tastes and presentation of the food at Dream has been vastly altered.  In my initial post I actually applauded the portion sizes, flavors and prices of the food items, this time…not so much.  The portions have decreased, the items- for instance in the chunky vegetable add-on have changed- broccoli and cauliflower have now mainly been replaced by the more economical carrots and cabbage, and the presentation is appalling.  We too were handed hot plates in our hands, menus were thrown on the table instead of being handed to us, when we asked about non-alcoholic drinks, like juices, one of the waitresses clearly did not know which juices were available, the food arrived in such a haphazard manner that side dishes were brought out long before mains arrived, steak was overcook-waiters never asked how we’d like our steak done- sauces weren’t brought to the table to accompany main dishes.  I mean, this is a place I had been to once before (and on the same day of the week mind you) and I had almost nothing negative to say, this time it was as though I had woken up in some sort of Dream clone-the bad edition!

I am not going to go much further with my qualms about this place.  Suffice it to say I am hoping that management:

  1. Seeks the opinions of their patrons and really listens to constructive criticisms- Dream, your reputation is only as good as your last diner’s experience
  2. Trains their staff to be more formal- your staff simply does not suit your establishment.  If you have a place decked out to look exclusive and expensive (even if you didn’t) you need to train your staff to be more vigilant about their diners.  Orders that take 30 minutes to arrive to the table on a night where tables are virtually empty should at least be RIGHT! You cannot be giving people fish when they ask for beef and vice versa, that is purely unacceptable.
  3. You need to be consistent with your portion sizes and more importantly the taste of your food- there is no good reason to have one meal one week taste superb and then the following week be salty or bland, tough and rubbery.  Where is the consistency?
  4. If your intent is to have an adults only lounge then please, indicate that.  Don’t chuck the children up into an area that isn’t even safe for them and then tack on 10% extra!
  5. If items aren’t available, please inform the wait staff and let them mention that when patrons arrive and are seated- over 3 items weren’t available the night we dined; one of the guests we took actually got do disgruntled he gave up trying to order anything and just left.

In closing, I would like to say that although I was thoroughly aghast at the seeming decline in quality and service in the space of 3 weeks, my motivation for writing this addendum is not to ridicule and criticize Dream, but rather to inform and hopefully uplift it.  I would really like to see this place grow into something better than it is right now so that South patrons could have the variety and option of dining and liming somewhere other than the usual suspects.  I feel that a lot of work needs to be done in order for that to be achieved.

Personal Disclaimer

I trust that anyone reading this will appreciate that I put a lot of energy into writing reviews and getting good, positive information about Trinidad and Tobago-dining, food, entertainment and places of interest- out there.  I take this very seriously since I know that my credibility is all that I can offer using this blog as a forum for information.  That being said, I work to bring the raw truth to anyone reading since I know you may potentially ‘take my word’ and choose to dine/visit somewhere or not.  I will neither review a product or service of someone or something that I am in any way associated since I feel that my opinion may become inadvertently biased nor will I take the opinions of others and use them for my own personal views here at thehiddencook.com.

Ultimately, what I strive to do is present a picture – in an unbiased, objective way to everyone reading this blog.  In the end it is my hope that dining in Trinidad and Tobago becomes on par with that of larger cities like New York, London and Paris and the only way for that to happen is by owners and managers of restaurants listening to their patrons and fixing flaws so that dining can be elevated in our country.  I do not intend to be negative in any way and hope that that is conveyed in my writing, since my desire is to always applaud the positives in any product/service.

This experience has been a learning one for me as it has taught me to visit an establishment a few times well before committing to writing a review; in fact, I will openly state that ‘any restaurant review will only be written after dining/eating at/from said restaurant on at least two occasions.’


david’s tea- a review

thcdavidstea1

Ok, so I was fortunate enough to be given two boxes of David’s tea for my birthday- I am an avid tea drinker, I collect tea pots and all things tea, so this was a great gift!

I had never heard of DAVIDsTEA before, which evidently is a Canadian staple.  The company started up in 2008 and has been enjoying wonderful success since then.  The teas are beautiful and vibrant, mellow and relaxing- all at the same time!  Apparently there are over 150 varieties of tea to be had at David’s tea locations found throughout Canada- I’m thrilled to have 24 in my 2 box sets, plenty for me to get started on!

thcdavidstea2

I’m planning to try one tea each week so that I could fully appreciate the flavor and blends of these beautifully packaged teas, so this is sort of of a ‘part 1 of 24’ series.

What I can say so far is that I simply adore the packaging! The boxes are beautiful and the individual canisters filled with brightly colored, tangibly textured and distinctly perfumed teas are genuine keepsakes.  I immediately thought of brewing the teas, drinking them and saving the canisters for some creative project or the other.  I can’t wait to see what I come up with.  For now though, I’m delighted to savor the flavor of these little unique blends.

With names like ‘forever nuts’, ‘pink flamingo’, ‘saigon chai’ and ‘happy kombucha’ I was enthralled!

My first taste came compliments of ‘saigon chai’ and let me tell you, I was not disappointed! I could smell the cardamom, clove and cinnamon immediately after opening the individually packaged blend, the bright pink peppercorns jumping out at me.  The smell was familiar- those chai spices that I’ve grown to crave from time to time, especially when my mother visits. The saigon chai came in my ‘around the world’ box- an austere black box with beautiful dandelions imprinted in subtle lustre.

thcdavidsteasaigon1

I brewed the recommended amount by the suggested method and time and sat quietly to enjoy the unique fusion of scents and tastes without the addition of milk or sugar- pure, straight, uncorrupted.  The smell permeated our house- warm cinnamon intermingling with the spicy aroma of fiery pink peppercorns and familiar peppery ginger perfectly intertwined with assam tea.  The tea felt rich, yet soothing, hot yet cooling.  Needless to say, my first taste of DavidsTea was a pleasant, comforting and perfectly familiar experience. I look forward to sampling the other blends- don’t know if I’ll be able to try just one each week!

thcdavidsteasetup thcdavidsteasaigondetail thcdavidsteasaigonfinal


dream ultra lounge & bar review

dream menu closeSo, I’m excited about this one;  Dream ultra lounge and bar has been open for less than one month now and I’m getting the opportunity to do a review!  I’m not in any way, shape or form affiliated with Dream Ultra lounge- again, simply went there, ordered, dined and left (remember Bacco Pizzeria Italiana review?)

My good friend called me up out of the blue and invited me out for lunch, with limited ideas but a plethora of excitement (we hadn’t seen each other for months!), we called up some people and asked them for ideas.  It was my husband who suggested Dream- we’d heard of it but hadn’t gotten the opportunity to dine there since it’s opening- my friend and I were game.

So this is the low down- the location is good, it’s pretty central- I mean everything is central in South- the parking is sufficient and the opening hours acceptable.  The one problem I had right off the bat was the entrance.  There isn’t proper signage and the heavy industrial gates make you question whether you’ve found the right place. There were no directions saying this way or that so it’s just a little bit confusing.

dream lounge entrance

dream wall dream lounge

Once inside you’re greeted by a hostess who shows you to your seats.  The decor is modern and sleek with a very sexy color palette- warm burnt oranges and vibrant cherry reds intertwined with subtle taupes and creams, the smooth jazzy tunes blaring in the background only add to the sultry atmosphere- I mean, it is a lounge!  You immediately notice the ‘lofty’ feel- an open mezzanine with tables and chairs overlooking the open floor space, cable wired stair cases and highly polished tiled floors- you can easily envision a ‘pumping’ Friday/Saturday night after work lime or fete.

The staff are very friendly and somewhat informal- giving patrons a sort of ease of dining if you will.  It took me by surprise since I could very naturally see a more formal type exchange between waiter/waitress and diner in an establishment outfitted to the nines like this one.  Either way, what counts for me is an attentive, clean, well-mannered waiter/waitress- which I had.

Now for the most important thing of all- the food.

menuThe menu is simple offering a few choice items- which in my opinion makes sense for a lounge.  There isn’t much frill or fru-fru  to the menu items- unpretentious and to the point.  It’s almost as though the head chef, when creating his menu was saying “you want Thai red curry?  Well, here it is.  You can get it with shrimp, chicken, fish etc etc.  That’s it. You’re done. Choose and move on.”  I like that.  There aren’t pages upon pages of menu items (in fact, it’s a flat menu card- one for drinks and one for food) and noticeably missing were dessert items.

mojitos at Dream lounge

We weren’t offered or given a ‘soft drink’ menu, which I found a slight bit strange.  Are we meant to have hard liquor only? Well, we did!
We both chose Mojitos- not the hardest hard, but who’s checking?

mojitos

When it came to our choices for food we decided to share everything- there was the Thai coconut mint soup, Emperor wings with sweet/spicy sauce (baked not fried), Chicken alfredo and Thai red curry shrimp.  Everything was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! The tastes were subtle, never intrusive, the spice was perfectly adjusted to suite the discerning Trini palette and the quantity? Nobody could even try to accuse Dream of small portion sizes- I felt like a child at a swinging party- party bag in tow when leaving.  I left with more food in my stomach and doggy bag than I had had when I entered, how could that ever be a bad thing?

Thai coconut mint soup baked wings Thai stir-fry Thai red curry shrimp chicken alfredo Dream lounge chicken alfredo @ dream lounge

As good as the meal was overall, these are the minor adjustments I would make or at least take into consideration:

  • The main Thai meals(and I’m guessing the ‘Western Style side of the menu is the same) don’t come with built in sides so you find yourself ordering a dish and having to ‘add- on’ (aptly named ‘add-ons’ on the menu) rice or vegetables or whatnot.  I find this inconvenient as a diner.  I would prefer to have a complete meal as a main since the brain behind the planning (the chef) will know what goes best with what.
  • Although the items in the stir-fry vegetables were varied and delicious, cooked to perfection, some of them were very salty as though salt was added at the end and not fully incorportated.
  • The presentation could be improved upon.  The soup was brought out with the spoon already submerged- I don’t fancy this- unless it’s some small ‘hole in the wall’ eatery. I’d prefer to have my spoon on the table and as the food is brought to me I’d use it.
  • A ‘soft drink‘ non alcoholic menu should be given to diners.
  • The music could be a bit lower and the lighting a bit brighter.  I’m no authority on ‘good restaurant practices’ but I think it’s safe to say that when one dines, one must be able to visualize one’s food in totality.

In all fairness to Dream Ultra Lounge and Bar however, they are newly opened so these little details might well be fixed in due course and my lists are my own and based on my dining preferences so that’s something to bare in mind.

However this is my verdict…

I would definitely recommend Dream Ultra Lounge and Bar!

Here is the breakdown:

Pros

  • Very clean and furnished to a high standard
  • Very reasonable prices especially for the large portion sizes- Dream, don’t get bright and change this!
  • Very romantic (although I would quicker say, sexy) atmosphere- turn on the charm gentlemen
  • Very tasty, well cooked meals- the chef certainly knows what he/she is doing
  • Affable staff
  • Menu is simple without too many distractions
  • The food was brought to the table very quickly
  • Bathrooms are highly sanitized

Cons

  • Card machine was giving trouble- slight inconvenience but no big deal, I think they’re working on it- the manager was extremely apologetic and I see this as a minor con, for now.
  • Could be a bit brighter during dining hours
  • Music could be a bit lower during dining hours
  • Non-alcoholic menus should be given as well
  • Main dishes should be served with at least one side
  • Entrance should be clearly marked and signed

Overall I would give Dream Ultra Lounge and Bar a rating of  8.75/10

Dream Ultra Lounge & Bar: Gulf View, Trinidad
phone: 868-223- CHIC (2442)
dream facebook
Find Dream here on the web