The month of December was a great one as we had our whole family in town and we get to play tourists in our own country. Not too bad I must say when living in a Caribbean Paradise. During one of our nights out one of my daughters suggested that it could be fun if we start reviewing the restaurants we were visiting as a way to help those vacationing on Aruba think outside the Palm Beach strip and discover something different. I must admit that most of the time my hunger got the best of me and I forgot to take pictures, nevertheless, I volunteered to the first and write something about my personal favorite: the Aruban Chef...
Ever since this restaurant opened last May, people cannot stop speaking about it. It's one of the hottest spots to eat Aruban food for it is as authentic as it can get. The food is fresh and has that taste I always believed could only be cooked up at home. The prices are a local magnet as well since it is pretty reasonable, so even though the word of mouth is spreading across vacationers on Aruba you can expect to end up at a restaurant with mostly locals.
Another thing that makes the place great is the environment. No offense to the interior designers of restaurants but don't you just love it sometimes when you end up in a place that is cozy yet simple, where you can focus just on the food and the great company surrounding you?
The Aruban Chef is in the middle of the island in the district of Tanki Leendert, so you will need a car or taxi to get there. Click here for directions from My Aruban Home.
Higra Hasa at the Aruban Chef
Their menu goes far beyond the popular dishes like keshi yena, and pisca hasa (fried fish) which are more popular on Aruba presenting you with a more rare version of the local cuisine with dishes such as sopi cabrito (goat soup), calco stoba (conch stew), sanger yena (Aruban blood sausage), and higra hasa (fried liver). This is pretty much all of our orders that night and we can recommend every single one of these. If the rest of your family or friends wants something different there is also a nice selection of international dishes.
Make sure you come with an empty stomach as these are heavy dishes that come accompanied by my favorite sides funchi (fried polenta), pan bati and fried plantain.
Calco Stoba at the Aruban Chef
THE FAMILY VERDICT
We made a deal that every time we made a review we should always have one unanimous veridict of a place to show both the pro's and con's. Our family verdict for this restaurant is...
"Hopi Dushi! Our favorite place to eat criollo but they should have mixed drinks in the jars as the soda's!!!"
Thanks for this review. Our cab driver from the airport recommended Aruban Chef, and we found your site when searching for more info. This was our 5th visit to Aruba, and we enjoy eating local Aruban food. I had the keshi yena and my husband had the carne stoba. Definitely on the return list.