Let your taste buds take you on an exotic journey through this hidden pocket on South America’s north coast as we share our top three restaurants.
3. Garden of Eden
Virolastraat, Paramaribo, Suriname +597 499448
This romantic hidden treasure is just off the Kwattaweg, on the Virolastreet at Uitvlucht. This place, with seating in and outside, attracts Paramaribo’s young and trendy crowd. The menu offersa lovely variety of Thai dishes and uses local ingredients making them even more striking. The prices are quite reasonable.
I started with an elegant cocktail followed by a Tom Ka Kai soup to cleanse the palate. This is a fabulous, flavour filled Thai chicken soup – lemongrassy, coconutty, not too spicy and with generous chunks of chicken. I continue with Marinated Beef in Tamarind sauce, which is striking and brings heavenly flavours together. The Bang-Bang, a local fish, steamed with ginger is delicious. The Green Chicken Curry is another favourite dish and proves they really understand Thai cuisine using a perfect amount of curry paste in the sauce, balancing the flavours beautifully. The most amazing dish though, is the Fried Squid Salad with Green Apple (normally with pear) and cashews. They marinate the salad with sweet and sour spices and it’s simply amazing. For desert, the banana fritters have a lovely sesame and vanilla flavour.
2. Spice Quest
Dr. J.F Nassylaan, Paramaribo, Suriname +597 520 747
On the sandy part of Dr J.F Nassylaan, you will find a venue that will rock your world. Let no-one dare say Suriname does not know about culinary food because here you will meet the Surinamese master, Patrick Woei, the humble owner of Spice Quest who has put a lot of energy into sharing his knowledge with the youth of Suriname to continue the flow of culinary skill and beauty. The ambience brings up different emotions: outside you can enjoy a lovely romantic meal, inside, you have a more intimate setting and upstairs you can party while you eat. The menu includes a large variety of reasonably priced dishes, using local ingredients and a well-selected wine list.
I start with a creamy Tajerblad (local spinach) Soup with some Tempura Butterfish on the site which is an explosion of flavours. Although the beef carpaccio looks like nothing I have ever seen before, this sweet crispy garlic and teriyaki flavoured dish is to die for. The grilled Salmon teriyaki is served with local veggies, yams and okra – it is luscious and enjoyable an the cinnamon Parbo Beer stew with mashed potatoes and friend plantain lives up to my imagination of very balanced and delicious flavours. This is mt favourite dish of the evening. For desert, I taste the watermelon, orange meringue served with a pandang rice ice cream – the perfect end to this epic meal!
1. Flavours (in the Marriott)
Anton Drachtenweg, Paramaribo, Suriname +597 456 000
In the Courtyard by Marriott, you will find this awesome restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch and sometimes a killer buffet. The service and winelist are wonderful. The breakfast buffet offers a large variety of local dishes that change every day – sometimes they even serve ‘pom’. Every buffet offers a wide variety of local and international fruits and desserts, including the mind blowing Bojo, made from coconut and yucca. The evening buffet offers all kinds of pasta, veggies, meat and fish. On Friday, the fish market day is a dream come true with beautiful white fish right from the ocean. The chef prepares it any style you wish and serves it with a variety of sauces. They also have a Chef’s Table on request where the chef serves 9 dishes of extremely high quality – think NYC fine dining!
I decide to start dinner with a creme of taro (root), which is heavenly with beautifully earthy flavours. Continuing on with the Trio of Seafood, I never know that somed Bang Bang could be so flavourful! It is served with feta, watermelon, ginger, wasabi and caviar – all natural flavours and no salt. My main dish is a lovely piee of meat cooked to perfection. Their cheesecake cannot be missed for dessert!
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This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.