I had been hearing about Spice Mill but I was afraid to venture out and try this restaurant because, surprisingly, a lot of the upscale restaurants in St. Kitts that are considered fine dining tend to have poor customer service. Needless to say, Spice Mill showed that they were not among that group of fine dining restaurants with bad customer service.
I came down here as part of a group outing. From the moment we walked up the boardwalk and saw the SPICE MILL sign on a plain white concrete wall backdrop, we were greeted by our waitress/host. She was very nice and accommodating when the organizer of our group informed her more people would be added to the party so she sat us at the table originally reserved for us. The restaurant started us off with a complimentary (5oz plastic cup) rum punch while we waited for the rest of the group arrived. The rum punch was ok, not strong at all, and heavy on the ginger. You have the option to sub it for a non-alcoholic drink which a couple people switched their rum punch for fruit punch. [I would advise you inform them of this when asked. This restaurant is not an advocate of excessive anything. I will expound later.]
There is an option to either order from the $100 EC menu which offers an 1. appetizer, 2. entree, and 3. dessert (red velvet cake) or you can order from the main menu. I ordered from the main menu but to describe the $100 EC menu: appetizer options ranged from lemongrass seafood soup (the overall consensus I heard from the table was that it tasted great and the SMELL was awesome) and thai chicken salad---entree options ranged from catch of the day (last night it was red snapper), seafood pasta, seafood risotto, cajun grilled chicken and a vegetarian option---dessert was red velvet only (a rather thick slice).
I decided to order from the main menu because the $100 EC menu didn't offer options that I wanted to eat. I started off with one $14 US West Indian crab cake topped with a remolaude sauce and served on a bed of iceberg lettuce mix with some tangy flavored dressing (not Thousand Island). The title was misleading, in my opinion, because I thought it would have more of a curry flavor but it tasted like a normal crab cake (not the crab cakes from Maryland or Pappadeaux but still good). The interior of the crab cake was similar to a salmon croquette interior (no big chunks of crab, everything is mashed together). It was so good I ALMOST ordered another one but didn't want to pay another $14US for it.
They provided garlic toast bread baskets prior to the entree and prior to the soups coming out. It was warm and very good. One reason why I took off a star was when I asked for another round of the garlic toast, the waitress said she had to ask if she could. WHAT? Bread should be given freely like chips at a Mexican restaurant or bread from Pappadeaux or Outback Steakhouse but I guess that's not how they do it in St. Kitts. The waitress never came back with a second round of bread and never addressed if she even did ask so I took that to mean, they only give one serving of that bread basket.
I ordered the grilled spiny lobster as my main entree and it was pretty good. I liked the seasoning and the portion size was huge (it is a whole lobster cut in half). The lobster was served on a bed of coconut lemongrass rice which I was not a fan of. It was a wet, sticky rice that did not have enough lemongrass in it where I could taste it. I had better lobster on the island (check out Lobster Fest Fridays at Reggae Beach I wrote a review about this) but this was the largest portion of lobster I have received on the island, priced at $45 US. I had a lot of mushy pieces of the lobster that didn't taste as good and weren't as firm as the meat of the lobster. This lead me to believe it wasn't cleaned well where the intestinal tract was removed or the lobster wasn't recently caught, which is the second reason why I took off one star.
The service was great and for the most part attentive. There were a couple times where my water glass stayed empty and I had to ask for it to be refilled. But for a big group I wasn't too finicky. The food came out together in twos with assistance from a second waitress. It was served hot and within a reasonable amount of time. The presentation of the food was nice and in either asymmetrical bowls or big oval plates.
The decoration of the restaurant gave a warm, intimate vibe with wood tones and recessed lighting (or the effect of recessed lighting because they used Christmas lights). It is perched beachside which gives a wonderful view of Cockleshell Beach and, in the far distance, Nevis.
I really liked how at the end of the meal the chef, Chef Johnson, came out to greet us and gather our thoughts on the food.
My total came to $59 US including VAT for the crab cake and grilled spiny lobster. Another girl, who opted out of the $100 EC/$38 US menu, ordered the same thing as I did but she added a dessert (Rum cake) and her total came to $70 US.
Definitely a restaurant worth the trip and the food! Just a tip, plan to get there before sunrise in order to appreciate the views while driving down and the scenic setting when you arrive at the restaurant.
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