I always advise people who visit Belize to focus on the local foods…all the great flavors, techniques, and ingredients that make this country and her food so special.
Read: My Guide to the Food of Belize for more information on the local cuisine.
But…sometimes, even if you are visiting for a few days or, especially if you live in Belize, you want something different, something special. And for me, that meal is sushi. I love it. And while my typical Belizean cuisine, it fits in very naturally.
The main ingredients – rice and fish – are two of the backbones of Belizean cuisine especially along the coast. You can hardly have a meal in Belize without rice! And then add in fresh local flavors…like peppers, jicama, citrus and mango and ginger and avocado and it’s a natural match. Plus, it’s so nice to eat cool food in an air-conditioned restaurant – especially in the summer months.
So a few nights ago, we went out to dinner at Aqua Belize at Grand Caribe Resort and enjoyed a really delicious sushi dinner. And as you may have guessed – I am here to tell you about it.
There are two restaurants at the resort – Aqua Restaurant, which is open Wednesday thru Sunday, 4 pm to 10 pm, and is the indoor space. And Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace – which is basically always open. 7 am to 10 pm and just dinner on Sundays. We had a really great meal there a few years back. Be sure to order that Mexican Street Corn Soup.
We arrived early because…well…that’s what I do. I need light to take some halfway decent photos. Very nice space…and 4 or 5 tables came in while we were eating.
The sushi bar – I like to see the chef doing his/her thing.
Especially when it involved such beautiful plating and flair! (I just love a .gif)
They have a great drink menu. We both decided the Ruby Mule sounds pretty amazing.
They have a beautiful menu…and we went right to the sushi. We ordered the Poke Salad, Saikyo Yellow Tail, the Dragon Roll, and The Ocean Roll.
Prices are listed in USD.
Our service was great. Funny and attentive. An excellent combo.
This poke salad is one of the best things I’ve eaten in ages. So much fish – a delicious mix – and the perfect dressing. I could eat this forever. And just so pretty.
And then our rolls…
Both were great. Fresh firm fish – beautifully plated. But the …really wowed me. Who knew that charring/caramelizing the unagi (eel) would be this tasty. Plus, the tempura shrimp inside just makes it extra great.
I’d planned to order dessert – the mango cheesecake or even the molten chocolate – I mean, it’s my job, right? But I couldn’t. I’m ashamed to say that we could not even finish all the food we ordered…though we came very very very close.
I popped upstairs to Rain (the second restaurant and terrace) to gauge the sunset. Should we stick around a few minutes…perhaps grab a drink at the bar upstairs to enjoy it?
Or head on home. It was hazy and looking pretty but not worth sticking around.
So we decided to head home. And…this may seem silly…but taking an elevator is unusual…different. (You can probably count the buildings with elevators on the island with one hand)
We had a fantastic dinner – that felt very special. A beautiful cool dining room, really great service, and delicious sushi. Plus a poke salad that I can daydream about…knowing it’s only a few miles from home.
We jumped in the golf cart and headed home. And then realized that sometimes the WOW happens after the sun sets. About 10 minutes later, the sky – a deep royal blue – lit up in oranges and roses.
Would I rather view this beauty from a 4th store terrace while I’m sipping a fruity mocktail? Yes I would. Instead I was swatting mosquitos and trying to snap a quick phone-pic.
But just around the bend, some excitement. Wwe ran into our friends Chris and Christina, the heroes that run ACES Wildlife Rescue on the island. Who respond to every call. From “we see a pelican with something stuck in his throat” (yup, that was me) to “there is a large snake hanging from a tree in our yard eyeing our chihuahua” to “there is a large croc trying to cross the road by Secret Beach”…
Imagine 15 years ago? That call might have been unanswered or might mean someone coming with a gun.
This night, ACES was on the case!
And then asking a bystander to help – to just jump on his head. WHAT?!?!?!
They helped this 10-footer get to safety. Follow them on Facebook – they do amazing things for this island. And donate if you can.
They also have a fun fundraiser coming up at Wayo’s Bar…check it out.
Plus…Wayo? We are loving that hat!