Passenger Pick of the Month
Small Plates & Designer Cocktails
KARoo opened in early 2012 by partners Markus Mueri and Neil Bryington, owners of Abacus and Deckers. Located by the Crescent, overlooking the sea and the majesty fountain in the heart of Camana Bay, KARoo is becoming a favorite culinary destination in Grand Cayman. As this month’s Passenger Pick of the Month, we wanted to learn more about the story behind KARoo, so recently we caught up with Executive Chef Scott Dahlen.
PP: You are famous for your Tapas/small plates menu. Where did this vision come from, and why do you think it’s so popular?
SD: We believe people love a culinary journey. "Tapas/Small Plates" is the perfect way to enjoy multiple culinary creations, feasting at your own tempo, one small plate at a time. Ladies love this for they don't have to order a huge entree they can choose to snack on one Tapa or order several of their favorites.
Tourist and residents alike will experience a fun filled lunch and dining experience based on the small plates concept, because the "Curious George instinct" aims to sample multitude of textures and flavors to be paired with the perfect Glass of Wine or a crisp, fun filled Mojito with Tropical touches, the emulsions of Fruits and Scents blended with the perfect spirit, the lifestyle we want to be accustomed too.
PP: Our Passengers love your food. What are your most popular dishes?
SD: So far, our number one selling entrees are Beef Sliders, Caprese Pizza & Parmesan Herb Fries.
PP: How about your best dessert?
SD: Our signature Dessert is a Brownie Sundae. It’s awesome.
PP: Where did you grow up and where did you cut your culinary teeth?
SD: I grew up in Central Texas just south of Austin in the suburb of Kyle. After dropping out of college and working dead end jobs I decided to go to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin Texas. I left Texas in late ’06 for Florida and my first of many seasonal jobs throughout the US. Spent three winters in Lake Wales, Florida, 1 summer on Martha’s Vineyard, 1 summer in Wellfleet, MA, 1 Summer on Mackinac Island, MI and 1 year in Idaho. After chasing summer and realizing I don’t ever want to see snow again I decided to come to the Caribbean. I worked at our sister restaurant Abacus for 10 months before being promoted to Executive Chef of Karoo.
PP: Tell us about your family.
SD: I’m single. Single as single gets.
PP: What do you like to do when you get a day off?
SD: I enjoy playing golf, back yard barbeques, fishing, hunting (where available), drinking and hanging out with good people.
PP: Do you cook at home when you entertain and have folks over?
SD: Not that much. It’s the chef life, as they say. But when I do cook at home it is usually family style things like stews, gumbos and I like. Anything I can wrap into a tortilla and eat or use a tortilla for bread.
PP: Many of our male passengers say they love the Sports Bar at KARoo.
SD: We have 4 HD Flat screen TV’s all with surround sound, satellite and cable. We show usually what the people request. The Manager (Clubbee) is very much open for any special requests, as long as it does not upset the ladies…you know like UFC and other kind of beatings.
PP: But we notice there are a lot of women and children here too.
SD: Women love Camana Bay! It is becoming a favorite dining and entertainment destination…folks can catch a movie, cool down with a nice ice-cream, even take a stroll and do some window shopping or just simply catch the pleasant breeze on the Crescent and watch the kids having fun in the fountain. Moms can bring the entire family, they can go shop, the kids play and the Daddies watch sports…and just a few steps away they can enjoy watching their kids enjoy themselves.
PP: Both locals and tourists rave about MargaritaTuesday. Tell us about it.
SD: We start at 3 in the afternoon and run ‘till midnight! We make up large pitchers of Margaritas and serve with Tortilla chips and Salsa. We offer many exotic Margarita flavors. A favorite of many is Spicy Scotch Bonnet, but we offer Wild Berry and Strawberry also. We want you to have fun on Tuesdays.
PP: Several passengers have talked about your wide range of beers on tap.
SD: Draft beers at KARoo are not your ordinary selection of the "run of the mill.” Our carefully selected choices are brewed in Europe's finest established breweries from Germany, Belgium and Ireland. For centuries these brew masters have provided the finest beers around the world, unique and special in taste, especially when served as a draft. The freshness makes a difference when you get the perfect draft. KARoo is offering Stella Artois , a classic lager, Hoegaarden a Belgium white wheat, Warsteiner, a crisp German pilsner and to round up the selection Guinness, the most famous stout in the world. A pint is more than a beer, it is a enjoyment for the distinguished beer drinker.
Small Plates & Designer Cocktails
By the Crescent, Camana Bay