Antigua

Cocobay Resort, Antigua - Restaurants & Menu's

Sheer Restaurant

Sheer Restaurant

*Sheer Restaurant

This fabulous 5 star boutique hotel in Antigua, was the brain child of Executive chef Nigel Martin and Antigua Hotel Director Ian Fraser who both balanced precariously together on the cliffs below what is now the Sheer restaurant, whilst helping plan the foundations of (what has become) one of the islands most romantic Antiguan vacation settings, perfect for Caribbean weddings, all inclusive honeymoons destination or that special anniversary.

Sheer Restaurant Menu

*Sheer Restaurant Menu

The exceptional food and fine dining with billowing muslin and crisp white tablecloths including lovely touches like the translucent parchment menu, candlelight, attentive yet discreet staff and a great wine list - just has to make this one of the best restaurants in the Caribbean.

Marinated Goats Cheese, tomato and green tea consommé with entrée's such as Cocoa dusted Mahi Mahi with crab and asparagus relish or Jerk Rubbed beef and grilled scallops accompanied by roast corn and potato rosti are just a sample of the wonderful dinner menu in Sheer.

Nigel also presides over "Rafters", the main restaurant of the hotel where even "all inclusive" guests eat Al-a-Carte.

Eating at Cocobay Resort

Executive Chef Nigel Martin; explains the thought process behind food and beverage service at Cocobay.

Breakfast of course can be the same the World over, said Nigel, but we strive to make ours exceptional and have a cold section with cold meats, different breads, Danish pastries and an egg station where staff make omelettes and cook eggs while guests wait so we maintain high quality, but then of course guests go off for the day and because of that, we keep lunchtime very simple.

Lunch is presented buffet style with two lovely hot dishes and then 4 or 5 fresh salads and we always provide a fresh soup each day where guests help themselves as we have found that, that sort of format is what most guests seem to want.

Soon the hotel will offer a sandwich service delivered to the beach, which will include a sandwich of the day with "vegetable" chips all served in a basket - guests wouldn't even leave the beach!

On Sunday there is a lunchtime BBQ which has proved extremely popular as most guests head up to Shirley Heights, which is a bit of an institution for Antiguan tourism.

Supper is very different where guests have a choice of Rafters with four courses cooked al-a-carte rather than a buffet, which is all part of the experience.

Rafters

This is a selection from a typical Rafters menu:

Appetizers of Lamb "Lollipops" with Cous Cous, Sundried Papaya and Pine Kernel salad, Cucumber Sour Cream or Pickled Breadfruit, Palm Hearts and Cherry Tomato Salad with Pecan and Bacon Dressing.

Main courses of Chipotle Braised Short Ribs with Oven Roasted Squash and Red Bliss Potatoes or Lobster and Mussel Tart with Shaved Fennel, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Olives - Trust us - you will not be disappointed.

Or of course there is Sheer as detailed earlier.

An Interview with Nigel Martin, Executive Chef

The authors were delighted to spend some time talking to Nigel and this is a short extract from An Interview with Nigel Martin, Executive Chef at the 5 star Cocobay resort Antigua. Click Here to read the whole transcript.

Nigel Martin - Executive Chef

*Nigel Martin - Executive Chef

Alexandra; so what brought you to the Caribbean Nigel?

Nigel; In 1993 I got my first job in Anguilla a seasonal position as senior sous chef and later after a period working for the Jordanian Royal Family in Jordan I became group exec for an hotel in Barbados and fell in love with the island. Although that didn't really work out, whilst I was considering my next step, took a call from Ian Fraser whom I didn't know at that time. Ian said he owned a restaurant (called Coco 's)

Coco 's was really the pilot project and out of that project became Cocobay which has grown from strength to strength from about 1999

Alan; (it sounds like I'm patronising), but whilst the ingredients you were using are sometimes unusual or at the least uncommon, they went together beautifully and were a delight.

Alexandra; Thinking of the Michelin Star in Europe, is there nothing to rank food in Antigua ?

Nigel - no, nothing, nothing at all, there were people in last week who said "as good as any Michelin restaurant we've eaten in", but I take it with a pinch of salt as people fall in love with rocks out here (laughs)!

Alan and Alexandra together - I think you are being really modest!

Alexandra - We travel a lot and it really is on a-par with food we have eaten at the Vineyard in Berkshire (England) and with several Relais & Chateaux hotels we have stayed in across Europe.

Alan & Alexandra; Nigel, it's been a real pleasure meeting you and eating here in this lovely restaurant, thank you for speaking to us and sharing your ideas.

To make a reservation at the Reef or Terrace Restaurant please contact us.

At a Glance:

Cocobay Resort

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Why you should go:

  • Boutique Resort
  • Best for couples
  • Lovely beaches
  • Wonderful food

What we thought:

"Friendly staff, quite exceptional food and quiet secluded, pastel shaded cottages epitomize this wonderful retreat where some of the cottages are almost at the water's edge; children under 12 are only accepted over Christmas and televisions are excluded."