UPDATE: (MARCH 2014) Zam Zam Cafe has reopened with the same great food and service, including the addition of culinary talent, Chef Floyd. They had experienced extensive damage in a severe rain storm that occurred on December 24, 2013. It had been closed for a few months. Tom and his wife Irieri worked very hard to repair, restore and improve upon the seaside setting that is Zam Zam. They received no assistance of any kind (as did others were were adversely affected by the storm) but were able to perservere with their creative vision of the setting. The end result is absolutely stunning! The reopening of Zam Zam is wonderful news and a Mexican-inspired dining experience at this lovely establishment is more than worth it! (GW)
I admit that there are many wonderful places to watch the sunset on the west coast of Dominica. But there is something about the simply sweet ambience and fabulous Mexican food at the Zam Zam Cafe that pulls in a crowd most afternoons. It is earthy and rustic, set in wood and stone construction, accented with plenty of potted plants and adorned with exotic wall art.
When I went there a few Fridays ago to meet friends for a little `lime`(it means hanging out, West Indian style, if you recall…), owners Tom, a British expat and his wife Irieri, who hails from Mexico, welcomed me warmly.
It was an overcast day, so there was no spectacular sunset. No one seemed to mind. A few people relaxed on chairs by the seaside. Others ventured into the warm waters for a refreshing dip before dinner. Before I settled down at my seat, I ambled around the rocky beach and admired a number of boats that were moored close by at the Anchorage Hotel, Whale Watch and Dive Centre.
Despite the close proximity of other homes and businesses, the café and its beachfront were very private and quiet. The surf gently touched the shoreline. Soft music played in the background as I joined my group for a pre-dinner drink at our table. Of the numerous choices, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, I was craving a Margarita, but felt that full strength would be too strong for me. I asked the friendly waitress for only a few drops of tequila and she graciously complied. Of course, there is a Mexican-Latin American emphasis on all offerings at Zam Zam. Tasty Sunrises, Mohitos and Coronas are on the expansive beverage menu.
We laughed and chatted for some time as we nursed our drinks and admired the darkening sky and twinkling lights of Roseau to the north. Suddenly, we collectively agreed that we were ravenously hungry. Most of us were repeat customers and already knew what we wanted to enjoy that evening. Some of the gathering had already nibbled on hearty nachos and chips, but clearly desired more of the delicious offerings. While most people selected a burrito with different fillings, I chose a chicken quesadilla. Once the substantial meals arrived, everyone devoured their dinners and remarked on their wonderful flavours. Mine was too big for me to eat at one time. I got to take half of it home, with zesty salsa on the side. Some people even had room for dessert – it was ice cream that evening – a perfect complement to the mildly spicy main course.
When my tummy was filled and my eyelids started to droop, I bid farewell to the assembled gang and paid up my reasonably priced bill. I promised Tom that I would be back to Zam Zam very soon for more good eats in such a pleasant atmosphere. Hasta pronto!
Zam Zam Cafe (440-7969; 612-7471) is open from noon to 10 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday. It is located about one mile south of Roseau, next to the Anchorage Hotel.