STEAKHOUSE MENU AT FUSION. We sampled to Kobe Beef Sliders with caramelized onions at Fusion last Friday, and immediately wanted to order more. No yet, said Freddy Zedan, this is just a sample to drive you crazy with desire for another one. We are finishing the construction of the exhibition kitchen at Fusion, he explained, and then we’ll offer our new steakhouse menu starting December 18th. Ok, FreddyI will wait patiently. The Kobe beef Sliders went well with the Moët & Chandon Moët Ice Imperial, offered by the Aruba Trading Company, that evening.
TAN’DẺ MONUMENTAL CAFÉ. Tan, short for Tanchi. De, short for Daisey. Very cute name. Auntie Daisey’s monumental café opened in town facing Plaza Padu and the government’s Cocolishi Building. They are again digging up the street so the view in imperfect. But turn your back to it. On the right hand side Yemanja Woodgrill Restaurant and the gorgeous rustling tree with brown pods. A few elegant Bordeaux umbrellas provide the shade over the sidewalk. There is no inside, just the kitchen. But you are welcome to visit and admire the display of local sweets, also greet the most adorable cooks. We were welcomed by Kylie, a fantastic hostess/waitress, with a huge personality, who made the experience unforgettable, down to the last detail. And the devil as you know is in the detail. We had the tomato and carrot soup, with too much cream, but it was amazing, served with sliced bacon infused white baguette. Then we shared the Roma Panini, nicely pressed with brie and prosciutto. For dessert Lavazza espresso coffee and freshly baked tert di pruin. I love prunes, so it was perfect. The café is the brain child of Tai-Foo Lee, an off-spring to a creative family with inborn, instinctive, culinary and décor talents. The café is dedicated to Padu Del Caribe, whose plaza it occupies and to Padu’s wife Daisey who died in 1993. Her nick name Tan De, served as the inspiration for the whole concept. With Padu’s music wafting in the air, the menu offers lovely choices, and the ambiance is just irresistible, against the backdrop of the historic Cosecha building. We loved the lacy bread cover in the kitchen, the cuckoo clock, the gold leaf on the menu covers, the staff uniform and the embroidered crest, the café’s hanging sign, the performing emerald-green iguanas in the tree, the hand carved bill boxes, the candy cane that came with the bill, the small wooden, delicately engraved table-top merchandisers recounting the legend of Padu & Daisey, the blue-eyed water boy, the edgy short haired supervisor, and the interestingly flavored breads! We will be back.
COSECHA DESIGN STORE, As we finished lunch we took our time to inspect neighboring Cosecha. We have to admit, the store is stocked with beautiful, unique gifts and souvenirs. Carina Molina’s belts and bags made from rubber inner tubes, Deborah de Weerd’s stunning glass jewelry and abstract paintings, Carolina de Waard’s gorgeous ceramics and sea glass pieces, Ciro & Marian Abath’s blown glass jewelry, more sea-glass jewelry by Gabriela Gonzalez, Hendrik Schouten’s paintings and copper jewelry and the Ramona “Mimi” Verbeek-Geerman’s collection, all super attractive. The design store is open Monday from 12noon to 6pm and otherwise every day except Sunday from 10am to 6pm. The store carries crafts by artists who received the seyo certification, by the Department of Culture, awarding them the official seal of local craftsmanship, meaning made in Aruba by an authentic artisan. The seyo is awarded to artisans for craftsmanship, originality, esthetics, material use, local identify and commercial value, and it has so far helped boost Aruba’s creative industry.