Passenger Pick of the Month
A delightful combination of colors, action, aromas and flavours, Cimboco is a modern- day mix of all fun things Caribbean, all set in intimate and fun surroundings. This Café features savory and delicious pastas, fire roasted roti, pizzas, and rustic sandwiches, homemade breads and desserts - but each day the Chefs offer enticing specials highlighting the best available produce and seafood 'on Island'. As this month’s Passenger Pick of the Month, we wanted to learn more about the story behind Cimboco, so recently we caught up with Manager Catherine Murray.
PP: We’ve been coming to your restaurant for years now. It’s one of our favorites. We’ve heard that you don’t have a deep fryer or a microwave on the premises.
CM: It’s true, we don’t have either of those. We focus on fresh, healthy, delicious, affordable food. So a microwave or a deep fryer just doesn’t fit. We intentionally put our exhibition kitchen grill and our wood burning oven right out front, so you can see us prepare your entrees. No one wants someone in the back nuking their meal in a microwave! We’re very proud of our food quality. Everything is made from scratch here, from the breads and soups to homemade desserts – we even make our own ice cream!
PP: And it shows! Your food is so good, and so reasonable too. Our favorite breakfast on the island is your 5 items for 5 dollars offering.
CM: Yes, that one is hugely popular. We offer it Monday thru Friday and it comes with two eggs cooked the way you want, your choice of apple wood smoked bacon or Canadian bacon, roasted potatoes, slice of toast, and an orange slice, all for just $5 CI.
PP: It’s so good, we order it almost every time. You always seem to have lots of customers in here, when are you the busiest?
CM: Oh, it’s craziest here on Saturdays and Sundays for brunch. So many people come. Sometimes you have to wait 20 minutes for a table on those days.
PP: We’ve not experienced your weekend brunch yet. So popular, it must be awesome. Catherine, it feels like home here. Every-time we come in we’re greeted warmly, your staff recognizes us, and are always so pleasant. And during the week we’ve been able to be seated almost right away.
CM: It’s good to hear that. Yes, we have a fantastic staff. Almost all of them have been here with me for many, many years. They love their jobs and it shows!
PP: You can tell when a restaurant is really good and is a good value, when you have lots of locals as customers. We see as many or more locals than tourists here.
CM: Yes, we do have quite a large local following. Depending on the time of the year, the mix of locals and tourists will vary a bit. Many vacationing families have found us and come back time after time.
PP: Being so close to the Marriott and Comfort Suites, do you see a lot of folks from those hotels?
CM: We sure do! Those hotels are just across the street, a short walk away. Lots ofguests have discovered that they can enjoy delicious meals and save quite a bit of money in the process.
PP: That’s so important to families on a budget. Is that a hint of Ireland we hear in your speech?
CM: Yes, it is. I’m from Dublin! A lot of the locals just call me “Irish”!
PP: So “Irish”, tell us how you came to Cayman.
CM: I graduated from college in Dublin with a degree in culinary arts. My brother was already here in Cayman and encouraged me to come over. I had experience in the hotel industry and was offered at position at the Westin as a line cook. So that’s what brought me here some 19 years ago.
PP: How did you arrive at Cimboco?
CM: I was at the Westin for 4 years and found an opportunity to start here at Cimboco as a line cook. At that time Cimboco very new, just a year old.
PP: So you’ve been at Cimboco for 15 years, then?
CM: I have, almost from the beginning, and have grown with Cimboco. From line cook to Sous Chef, then to Executive Chef and now as Manager.
PP: Well that says a lot about the consistency we feel here at Cimboco. You, your staff, and the restaurant itself. No wonder it feels like home! Now, Cimboco is a cool, but unusual name! Tell us about it.
CM: Actually, Cimboco is the name of the first locally built, motorized sailing ship in Cayman. Her launching in May, 1927 was a great day in the history of the Cayman Islands. For twenty years, she was Cayman's connection to the world, introducing regular travel, shipping, and parcel post, and providing the first reliable supply of staple and exotic foods, such as flour, sugar, fruit, and even ice! Miss Annie Huldah Bodden, of the Cayman Islands Motor Boat Company said, "Cimboco was the Islands' Life Line" in exciting and changing times. Along with brave captains and crew, the credit for the ship's success belongs to master shipbuilder Capt. Rayal Brazley Bodden and Dr. Roy McTaggart, both legendary contributors in the history of Cayman. This restaurant celebrates one of their great achievements.
PP: What a great connection to the history of Cayman! And then you being born and raised in Ireland, an island country that has historically built many of the world’s great ships, what a neat personal connection.
CM: I hadn’t thought of that before, but that is an appropriate connection, isn’t it?
PP: We understand that Chicken! Chicken! is a sister restaurant of yours. They serve delicious chicken at an incredible value. Tell us about it.
CM: That’s right. Chicken! Chicken! is close by, just a block or so up West Bay Road from us. It’s been an island favorite for many years. They serve fresh Caribbean wood roasted chicken, or jerk chicken by the piece, or whole chicken, or in sandwiches, wraps or salads. Plus all the various sides and drinks. A really great meal for a great value.
PP: What a great deal! Well, Catherine we just love Cimboco. An outstanding variety of healthy, delicious food, a great staff, a fun environment, and all at fair prices.
CM: Thanks! We do have a wide selection of dishes such as freshly made pastas, pizzas, soups, salads and homemade desserts. Our pizza is baked in a traditional wood burning oven, we even have gluten free crust available. You'll also find seafood specials highlighting locally caught fish. It’s old school cooking at its best.
It sure is. So come join us at Cimboco for wonderful, delicious and fun dining from the heart of Cayman, with "New World" flavours, "Old World" value, and a good time you can count on, time and again! Open Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 10 pm and Saturday and Sunday 7 am to 10 pm.
The Marquee Plaza
Lawrence Blvd, near West Bay Road.