The "Sister Islands" as culinary destinations

Most visitors of the "Sister Islands" — Cayman Brac and Little Cayman — probably don't go there primarily for the food. 

The Sister Islands are better known for their pristine and peaceful environments. If any part of the Cayman Islands can be still called "the islands that time forgot," it is Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, the energetic ying to Grand Cayman's yang.  

When it comes to cuisine, it is Grand Cayman that shines brightest with some 200 restaurants offering everything from world-class fine-dining experiences to local and ethnic cuisine from around the world. However, while Grand Cayman might have earned the moniker of "The Culinary Capital of the Caribbean," visitors shouldn't assume the food in the Sister Islands isn't good; indeed, just like the islands themselves, restaurants on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman offer unique charms as well.

Le Soleil d'Or

Located on the south coast of Cayman Brac, Le Soleil d'Or is an elegant farm inn, making it different than any other hospitality property in the Cayman Islands.

The inn features five accommodations — a Coast House and four rooms in the Manor House — nestled among the flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruit trees growing on the 20-acre organic farm.

Fresh ingredients produced on the farm are the focus of the restaurant, which currently serves only guests staying at the inn.

The fresh farm ingredients are supplemented by local proteins — including seafood from the clear waters surrounding Cayman Brac — and a selection of high-quality imported ingredients that serve as the supporting cast for breakfast, dinner and picnic lunches to go.

Breakfast is what excites many Le Soleil d'Or guests most. Fresh organic eggs from the farm's chickens feature in several of the breakfast offerings, as do garden vegetables and tropical fruits, making the farm-to-table experience at Le Soleil d'Or one in which the carbon footprint of many of the ingredients can be measured in a small number of footprints from source to kitchen.

Besides omelettes and other egg dishes prepared with fresh farm vegetables, other breakfast favourites include parfaits made with house-made yoghurt, fresh fruits from the farm, candied papaya, granola and garden mint. Other choices include fluffy pancakes, waffles and French toast, all served with real maple syrup. 

Fresh fruit platters and fresh fruit juices are available with meals and in the rooms, with selections depending on what is in season. The juices, some mixed with other ingredients like honey lemonade, are also used to make fresh-fruit cocktails.

Hungry Iguana

Over on Little Cayman, the restaurant at Paradise Villas serves an eclectic mix of local, continental and ethnic cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As expected, there are egg dishes for breakfast, burgers and sandwiches for lunch and fresh fish, meat and pasta selections for dinner. What probably isn't expected is to also find at the same restaurant Caribbean dishes like ackee and saltfish, jerk chicken and jerk pork, conch fritters, conch chowder and black bean soup, alongside Asian dishes like vegetable stir-fries, pork potstickers, chicken-lemongrass dumplings and vegetable spring rolls and a variety of Indian dishes.  For breakfast, the menu includes vegetarian Indian dishes like dosa and for dinner, the Hungry Iguana serves some of the best Indian foods available in the Cayman Islands.

Prepared by Chef Jaison Joseph, who comes from Kerala on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India, the Indian menu choices include curries with fish, shrimp, chicken or lobster when it's in season. There's also spicy vindaloo with chicken, pork, lamb, shrimp or lobster, chicken tikka masala and butter chicken.

Vegetarian curries are also available, as is gopimanchurian, a cauliflower-based Indian dish in a spicy tomato and soya sauce gravy.

The Indian dishes are served with authentic accompaniments like poppadum, butter naan, vegetable pulao rice, raita and mango chutney.

The Indian specialties on the menu at Hungry Iguana have expanded over the last couple of years as demand — with residents of Little Cayman as well as visitors from Grand Cayman and abroad  — has increased.

Those thinking about a staycation at Paradise Villas should know that it will be closed from 8 September through 30 September, reopening on 1 October. 

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