Suggesting a hint of whimsy, Pink Octopus was chosen to be the name of chef/owner Gal Kotzer's debut restaurant in Nassau, The Bahamas. "It's fun and playful," he said.
The new kid in town just opened in mid-February this year and it came highly recommended by new-found friends. It didn't take long for hubby and me to check it out.
Pink Octopus lives up to its hashtag #wedohappy. The restaurant's interior from floor to ceiling spelled F-U-N. It's a cozy space, delightful with lively colors and gleeful decor. The dining tables are awash in shades of Bahamian ocean waters.
Chef Gal, a native of Israel, was formerly the executive chef of The Cove and The Reef at Atlantis Paradise Island from 2009-2016. From there, he moved to become the executive chef of One&Only Ocean Club for a year prior to venturing on his own with Pink Octopus.
We arrived during the last hour of lunch service on a Saturday, when the restaurant was quieting down. My hubby opted for the Spicy Shrimp Salad, normally served with avocado, pickled cucumbers, and feta cheese. Since he asked to forego the avocado, his slightly modified salad came with cherry tomatoes and cilantro. I asked for a taste and was rewarded with a refreshing and satisfying bite.
I, on the other hand, went for the restaurant's popular Fried Grouper Tacos with guacamole, cilantro, and red beets. I don't believe I've ever tried red beets on tacos before. I liked it! The mini tacos were meant for small plates but the modest serving size was just right for me. I was saving room for dessert.
For the finale, I chose the Dulce de Leche Flan. The slice of the caramel-colored flan lightly garnished with sesame seeds looked so delicate on the dessert plate. The flan was rich but the subdued bitter notes of the sesame seeds complemented it well. The sesame seeds also gave it a subtle nut flavor and crunch that I enjoy on my sweets. Lucky me, I didn't have to share because hubby doesn't like flan.
It's only natural to expect grilled baby octopus on the menu of a restaurant with a name such as theirs. I have yet to sample it. I also heard about their Sunday brunch, tempting dinner offerings, imaginative cocktails, and special event nights when they feature live entertainment. There are so many reasons to visit this place again. Hubby Alan and I started mentally listing names of friends to invite for future get-togethers here.
"We're still changing things on the menu," admitted Chef Gal. Some changes are based on availability of ingredients. For instance, he was thrilled about introducing aji dulce, locally produced sweet bell peppers, as a substitute to the Asian shishito peppers. While related to the habanero, aji dulce peppers, are much milder and exude a smoky flavor.
Other changes to the menu are driven by continuing improvement and experimentation. He did mention the one specialty that will remain permanent is the Cauliflower Steak. Curious? Me too. I'm definitely going back to try it.
Pink Octopus is located on West Bay Street in close proximity to Baha Mar Resort, Melia Nassau Beach, and Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. It is easily reachable via Bus No. 10 (read my previous story) heading west from those hotel resorts. Most businesses in The Bahamas don't have websites. You can learn more about this restaurant by visiting their Facebook page.