Upstairs Restaurant, Contemporary Dining with Caribbean fare. Chef Laurence Tham utilises his modern European techniques and Michelin star experience with Caribbean ingredients. One thing is for certain: Upstairs menu is guaranteed to impress your inner food critic. Alfresco dining on the patio overlooks the peaceful North Sound.
Upstairs is renowned for Chef Laurence’s consistently excellent Michelin star standard and modern European techniques, using local and Caribbean ingredients, to create a masterpiece of a menu.
Open Thursday through to Sunday, Upstairs makes sure that the fresh fish delivery on Thursday morning is maximised.
The 5 course Tasting Menu, (a selection of Chef’s favorite dishes) with wine pairing (optional) is a firm favorite amongst visitors and review critics.
Inside, the air conditioned restaurant is beautifully decorated with a swathe of muslin curtains and comfortable couches arranged around the Rare Rum Bar, specialising in a selection of Rare Caribbean Rums.
Nearly 50 rums, many of which are unavailable in elsewhere in the Cayman Islands, offer a chance to admire if not sip your way through the fine rare collection.
The boutique wine list is selected to compliment every dish on Laurence Tham’s menu. Hand picked single vineyard selections are a speciality, with new and old world both well represented.
The menu at Upstairs changes frequently and reflects the season. Most of the fish is line caught and local, to boost the local fishing industry in the Cayman Islands. Try the Baked herb-crust Cayman mahi-mahi, with steamed Asian vegetables, eggplant caviar, green olive & cilantro tapanade.
The desserts are all made in house. The selection changes monthly, to include taste sensations such as: Sticky Banoffee pudding; Mixed wild berry & apple crumble; and White chocolate parfait with dark chocolate nougatine and sauce.
Docking is free to all diners. Kaibo is a 15 minute boat ride from the busy Seven Mile Beach area of Grand Cayman.
Bring your own boat or book the water taxi.
Kaibo Upstairs restaurant is open
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Reservations are essential.
4. Sunday Times Travel Magazine, “Do the Rum Bar” January 2011
“Do The Rum Bar” at Kaibo Upstairs, Cayman Kai. For Nature Lovers.
One of Cayman’s finest bars is Upstairs, above the Kaibo beach on Grand Cayman.
It’s square bar serves rare rums while the restaurant serves wonderful modern Caribbean food.
5. Cayman Free Press, “Upstairs sizzles as a destination restaurant” April 2010
Upstairs sizzles as a destination restaurant, puts Kaibo on the map. by Elphina Magona – CAYMAN FREE PRESS
“Take the water taxi or drive to the ultimate evening getaway – ‘Upstairs’ Restaurant at Kaibo and gear up for a culinary adventure on the shores of North Side. Take a chiffon scarf and feel alluring and adult. Think James Bond with a culinary twist.Upstairs Restaurant is where Old and New World cuisine meet. The elevated restaurant, with its wrap-around porch, offers far reaching views of the North Sound. Open three years ago on the site of Cecil’s Cajun-style restaurant, Upstairs is garnering a sizeable reputation for its exciting take on fusion Caribbean cuisine thanks to the artistry and talent of British chef Laurence Tham.Michelin appealThe gastronome may be young but he has already earned his stripes, firstly as part of a Michelin starred team, headed by Executive Chef Phil Thompson, at the Auberge du Lac in Hertfordshire, north London, and more recently still by creating the Upstairs Restaurant’s Caribbean dishes with flair and creativity. He sources local produce and ingredients where possible to lovingly create an island taste experience.And if this was not impressive enough, Chef Tham also brings the subtleties of Oriental cuisine and spices thanks to his multicultural heritage. All this he has distilled and is showcasing the restaurant’s revised menu, worthy of the destination restaurant that the eastern districts deserve.A well-kept secret, Chef Laurence has only been on island a couple of months, and his arrival to North Side is the Islands gain.Those with a penchant for nouveau Caribbean dining in a relaxed yet upscale island milieu and already in the know about this dynamic culinary wunderkind may be put out that Grand Cayman’s best kept culinary experience is now out – but who cares. Good food in this breathtaking waterfront locale should be shared – and liberally.With a nor’wester spoiling our plans to whizz over to Kaibo on the restaurant’s water taxi; we drove up from George Town and viewed the Eastern districts at night, which was in itself a novel experience.When the weather is good we will be leaving the behemoth at home and sharpening our appetite with a 15-minute ride across the North Sound in Kaibo’s water taxi service from SafeHaven.Casual elegant ambienceSoaring ceilings, white muslin curtains fluttering on the trade winds and mammoth ceiling fans and trendy low-key lighting announced our arrival at our destination but I sensed that our real journey had only just begun.That special element that restaurants often get wrong was oh so right at Upstairs. The mix of Buddah-bar-vibe-cum-Iberian-chill-out music was subtle, grown up and definitely set the scene that we were now far away from the ordinary 7 mile stretch.We were greeted by co-owner Daniel Petts and escorted to our waterside table out on the expansive closed-in veranda. Overlooking the beach with its lofty palms trunks swathed in ribbon lights, we settled in for the evening at the best seats in the house.A more tropical backdrop is hard to imagine. From our lofty vantage point the beach with its towering light fringed palm trees and Kaibo’s picturesque marina rested before us.Five-course mealWe started with an amuse bouche courtesy of the chef. It was a light and creamy concoction of shredded conch atop sliced cucumbers. Suitably impressed, we moved on to the appetisers.I had oxtail off the bone, beautifully prepared in an Appleton rum and black pepper reduction and coated with crispy breadcrumbs with a side of Caribbean coleslaw and crispy leaves. The melt-in-your-mouth quality of the dish and its unusual presentation was a novel departure from my previous experiences with the hearty Caribbean staple.We chose a bottle of Trivento Reserve 2008, a beautifully smooth Argentinian Malbec from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. With its soft, fruity notes it was the ideal accompaniment to our meal.My guest chose moist crab cakes served with baby neck clams, mussels served over wakame salad, beautifully arranged on slate with the appearance of a shoreline at low tide. I had sashimi grade seared tuna dressed in ginger, soy and sesame, which was piquant and zesty.For intermezzo, we were served scallops in an orange and coconut water sauce with orange segments and pomegranate seeds. The savoury flavour of the shellfish was complemented by the citrus bursts of the fruit and made a intriguing and mouth-watering combination.Our party ate oven roasted duck breast and confit duck leg served with sweet potato mash, sautéed greens and five spice jus, a generous dish of Imported Prince Edward Island mussels tossed in a light coconut curry served with aromatic vegetables and cilantro, and a tenderloin (centre cut black Angus,) with pot roasted shallots, garlic and sugar snap peas in a gorgonzola brulee with red wine port jus. It would be hard to choose a favourite from such a feast but I have to plump for the mussels which are the best I have sampled on Island, and apparently made by Tham’s dedicated kitchen team who he insists he could not be without.Served alongside the gorgeous feast is the showstopping waterfront ambience. Tham is particularly proud of the grouper. Oven baked black grouper filets are served with cashew nut crust, sweet potato, creamed callaloo and a white wine and mushroom cream.For desert we chose a lusciously light combo of crème brulee and vanilla panna cotta both served with a helping of seasonal fresh berries.A restaurant of that calibre lives and dies not only on the quality of its food and ambience but on the temperament of its servers. Mervyn Laihow deserves recognition as a rare professional server, and was as entertaining as he was knowledgeable. Claire Pettinati, co-owner, poured drinks and communed with regulars at the granite bar inside, she manages the marketing and special events at this versatile beach location. What is her intention with Kaibo? To create a locale of island chic.I certainly felt grown up and chic when I received my glass of Ron Zaccapa XO from Upstairs’ extensive rare rum menu, which boasts over 40 rums from the Caribbean’s finest estates. A tour of the rum menu will warm from the inside out, and if that doesn’t keep the chill off your back then borrow one of the restaurant’s many soft pashminas: I did. A romantic stroll on the beach, sandals in hand with waves lapping on the shore, rounded out our culinary adventure. My only question is how soon can I return?
Upstairs Restaurant is open from 6pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.Make the dining experience a real adventure: Take a water taxi. Leave the car in the lot and watch the moon under water, as you skim along the North Sound in Kaibo’s 28ft Formula water taxi. Book to reserve a trip on the craft, the round trip is $25 per person. A short walk up the wooden jetty, sans heels, and across the warm sand takes you up to the staircase for Upstair’s Restaurant. From there the continue on a journey that excites all the senses.” E.M.