The Chef’s Table is the Best Seat in the House at Kome Curacao
I think Curacao is where Easter comes to vacation. Most of the buildings are bright pastel colors from powder pink to big bird yellow. Even the government buildings. I’m not kidding. This view would usually make me want to choke on my breakfast, but it grows on you. Phillip, a great bartender at Café Chaos in Aruba, told me there was a great restaurant here called Kome. He said, “It’s a bit of a walk, but totally worth it.”
The island of Curacao has two parts connected by a floating bridge. This bridge, to my surprise, can disconnect and in one piece, swing to one side to allow boats passage between the two sides of the island. Here’s something crazy: Even with loud warning horns, people still continued to cross the bridge AS IT WAS MOVING. Like jumping over the gap onto the bridge to try to make it to the other side. Talk about a lawsuit waiting to happen. Or death. Here’s a little video of the bridge in action. It’s pretty cool!
Living in New York has definitely made me very impatient I’m sad to admit. The bridge was in no hurry to reconnect, and there was no schedule or anyone to tell me if or when it would. Thankfully, there’s a ferry a few meters away that will take you to the other side. Now was there a ferry schedule? No. Was there a fee? No. Is it first come first serve? Yes.
Once I got to the other side, it was another 10-12 min walk to Kome. As I ventured further into the island there were fewer tourist traps, expensive shops, or obnoxious hustlers and vendors. It was calm, with local staples like a beauty shop, a park where a few families were playing, government buildings (one pictured above), and a random tattoo shop. I felt like I had stumbled on a secret.
CAN I AFFORD THIS PLACE?!
When I arrived at Kome, my first thought was “Shit, I’m about to spend some money tonight.” The entrance had an arrogance and opulence that let me know straight away I shouldn’t have worn flip flops today.
When I walked in it was a lot more relaxed. Men were in Tommy Bahama shirts, there were no linens on the tables, a HUGE lit up sign that said EAT, and kids all around. Ok cool.
IT’S HOT AT THE CHEF’S TABLE
The waiter sat me at the chef’s table. In most restaurants, it’s a bar seat overlooking the kitchen. Sometimes it’s a private table inside the kitchen itself, it varies. Personally, I get a natural high watching the process, the theatrics, feeling the heat, taking in all the aromas, and discovering ingredients I’ve never seen before. Watching a kitchen at peak times, is a sensory overload of chaos, a symphony of colors, pots and pans spitting fire, Chef David Mchugh yelling orders and reprimands, it’s damn exciting!
Wednesday nights at Kome is Tapas & Copas night. What I love about tapas is that I can get a bunch of small plates and taste a wide range of what Kome has to offer. To start the night, I ordered a watermelon white sangria. WHAT? Yeah. That happened. It was refreshing, light, so crisp I could barely taste the alcohol. Very dangerous.
When I saw chicken and waffles on the menu I said YES. PLEASE. The waffle was unconventional, and I did miss the little “pockets” of syrup on a regular waffle. What made this dish awesome though was the hot sauce. The tender chicken breast, the spicy heat paired with the “bake shop” syrup made this dish a winner.
My truffled risotto with Grana Padano cheese was up next. HOLY BABY JESUS. I had a foodgasm. I’ve had “truffled” dishes before and sometimes it’s just white truffle oil with some indistinct mushroom filler. This folk was the real deal. Can you see the lavish amount of truffle shavings in there?!
My last dish was the lamb meatballs. You can’t really see them in that lagoon of delicious gravy but they’re in there. I’m not a fan of olives at all but they complimented this sauce nicely. It had a great amount of fat, deep and complex flavors that kept blossoming with each bite and grilled bread that sopped it up like a tender lover. Conversely, the meatballs were a bit overcooked in my opinion; they were a little tough and a bit dry.
Kome got pretty full by 8 p.m. so I would arrive by 6 p.m. to get a good table. The menu prices are in Antillean Guilder (florin) currency and don’t reflect U.S. conversions. So when my bill came in at $85.00 I was shocked but it was actually $48.00 U.S. Not bad for 2 sangrias and 3 moderately sized plates.
If you’re ever in Curacao visit Kome and don’t be afraid to sit at the chef’s table. It’s a completely different dining experience that you won’t soon forget.
Johan van Walbeeckplein 6,
Phone: +599 9 465 0413