Author: Ujwala Samant
I’m from India. My husband is from Bretagne. I’m used to 3 months of glorious, cooling rain. And then sunshine. My husband is used to rain, thrice a day, twice a week, through different times of the year. A puzzling concept to Indians; even those used to 2 monsoons a year. Bordeaux winter has been one major onslaught of rain, drizzles, storms, hail, and rain! My Indian soul needed some sun and colour. So dark wood restaurants with duck and heavy red wine were out. Rum, glorious rum, sparkling red-green-yellow chillies; that’s what the heart wanted. Along came Calabash.
Calabash is off the main drag and as my pictures will show, it was one of those foggy nights and the idea of rum and a DJ sounded Alright. Calabash has a bar at the entrance with wood, and blue lighting. Some kitsch, a few pictures, mingled with some lovely artefacts and warm sunshiny walls. Our table was in the main seating area towards the far end of the restaurant. And then my husbands face changed. We were seated facing the DJ’s table. Visions of steel drums vibrating through our brains went through his poor head. Distraction in the form of our drinks appeared, a cheerful blue Caribbean Tonic for him and Passion fruit mojito (8 euros each) for me. A pitcher would have been excellent, they were refreshing and not ubersweet. (They offer pitchers to share.) 15 rums on offer for rum tasting.
Being a tapas and cocktail bar, the menu has individual tapas as well as share platters. Vegetarians, fear not, you can have “The Calabash Big Veggie” with Grenadian patties, avocado salad, coconut rice and peas. We got The Greedy Calabash (38 euro) which had Creole Shark, Barbadian Meatballs, Jerk Chicken, Plantains, Coconut Rice and Peas, Veggie Patties, Avocado Dip, Rasta Salad, Coleslaw. The coleslaw was the only “meh” in the meal. Creole shark, patties, and the meatballs were exceptionally good and worth going back for. The menu covered the Caribbean from Jamaica to the Dominican Republic. And for those looking for a little extra heat, they have a mash of habaneros with garlic.
Everything is on Caribbean time, from the service to the DJ. And served with big sunny smiles and why worry when you have a passion fruit mojito in front of you? DJ Dady played Soca, dancehall, reggae, and was a cheerful young chap. I imagine it got louder after 10:30 pm which is when we left.
So, we’ll go back soon, and try something different. Except for that pitcher of passion fruit mojito. That’s mine.
Website : http://calabash.fr