St. Kittitian fare is an interesting amalgalm of dishes influenced by all of the cultures that have at one point called the island home or interacted with it extensively. You’ll find African, French, English, Portuguese, Indian, Chinese, Spanish and even Jewish influences from as far back as 17th century in restaurants across the island. Spice Mill’s USP is to infuse fresh sea food with some of these influences then marry it with a refreshing seaside locale and great service.
The starter dish I decided to sample was a rich seafood soup stewed in coconut milk. I grew up eating a lot of fish soup back in Oslo so my expectations were pretty high, it has to be said. Norwegian fish soup is prepared with a variety of fish – sometimes up to 5 different types of fish – so all them come together to form a medley of flavoursome soup. This one I found not only a bit on the bland side – perhaps because I could only see and taste one variety of fish – but I also found the coconut broth it came in a tad too rich.
The highlight of my night out will have to be the grilled spiny lobster that the island is reknown for. This was slighly marred by a fellow dinner who, being a staunch vegetarian, took umbrage to my ordering it on the basis of animal cruelty. At least I think that is what it was about on the surface; any psychologist worth their degree will tell you that whenever an adult wants to dictate a stranger’s lifestyle and food choices based on their own set of beliefs there are serious issues lurking underneath. The restaurant staff handled this superbly, making sure the guest was escorted to another area of the restaurant so she wouldn’t have to witness the cruelty of a human being eating lobster in a seafood restaurant.
I’ll let the dish speak for itself but suffice it to say that it was worth all the commotion.
While the restaurant excels in seafood options, it is definitely a tad limited in terms of dessert. I settled on a sponge cake which – in the spirit of full disclosure – tasted like a store-bought cake.
Postnote: We visited Spice Mill on a quiet, weekday night so I am quite aware that I missed one of Spice Mill’s biggest drawing points: the amazing view of the ocean and Mt Nevis.
Spice Mill Restaurant, Cockleshell Beach, Turtle Beach, St. Kitts