Oakland >Food & Dining > Hibiscus Oakland
Caribbean Creole To Speak Well Of....
Shrimp & Grit appetizer, had better
Plantains, best I've had since Puerto Rico & Jamaica trips
Pepperpot stew, DELICIOUS!
Fried Chicken, a few moments more and it would have been burned
Had a female bartender that gave a creative twist to the shirley temple when she realized they did not have the "normal" ingredients. My daughter & son loved it!
The bar area was small. The restaurant was beautifully set , but the bar benches could use some softening with cushions. The lighting fixtures were unique. Our waitress was very courteous and knowledgeable about what was coming out of the kitchen. Took over 45 minutes to get entrees.(some of the wait staff was confused about what went where, but it was only the second night) Looking forward to returning and trying other items on the menu!! Then I will update this!
Great place for Carribean Creole Food!.
Great place for dinner and drinks and can't wait to try it again. I made a reservation for 5 for a Sat night at 6 pm. My friends arrived before I did and they were seated right away unlike some restaurants who don't seat until the rest of your party gets there. Right off, the staff was super friendly and the bartenders gave me a warm welcome as I walked in. We were seated in a little secluded booth in the corner with a cute wood framed window looking into the courtyard/garden.
The decor is nicely done beautiful colored glass lamps that give the restaurant a nice warm glow and a comfortable casual atmosphere with fine white crisp tablecloths. The colors, textures and ambiance evoke refinement but it also feels like home. To enter, you go through the bar/lounge area, and the dining room is a separate room to the right, overlooking the corner of San Pablo and 18th St. with white curtains framing each window. There's a open air patio area that I can't wait until it opens when the weather is warm enough to dine outside.
I started off with a Hibiscus Royale cocktail which is like a Kir Royale but made with homemade Hibiscus syrup. Mixed just right and delicately balanced. Strong, but not too strong that it overpowers the light essence of hibiscus. Nice. They also offers homemade non-alcoholic drinks. My friend ordered a ginger limeade that was a unique blend of flavors tangy, spicy and sweet. I love ginger beer and this drink reminded of that.
The food is simply wonderful. The spicy crab with grits was delicious with succulent pieces of Dungeness crab with vegetables and just the right amount of spice over the buttery creamy grits. The portions are huge that we shared a large order of crab with grits between 4 people as an appetizer.
The chef sent us these fritters served with a fabulous homemade tamarind sauce that were delicious! They were crispy on the outside and tender/soft on the inside and the tamarind sauce was out of this world. I can't wait for these to be on the menu!
The prices are affordable with starters are around $7-$10, sides $2-4 and the entrées are between $16-$21.
Entree: I had the Amerindian Pepperpot Stew that had large chunks of beef so tender and juicy that it melts in your mouth, topped with mustard greens and crunchy buttered lima beans. Subtle spices with hints of sugar and cinnamon. The meat is so flavorful that it tastes as if had been marinated for days. Delicious!
I tasted my friend's Miss Ollie's Fried Chicken that was so crispy with hot juicy white meat inside was another fabulous creation, served atop the best sweet potato mash I've ever had.
I was too full for dessert, but tasted a little bit of my friend's desserts. They ordered a chocolate cake with chili ice cream. I'm a big chocolate lover and this one hits the spot with warm dark chocolate cake topped with chili ice cream that gives a sweet and a spicy kick to this dessert. I also tasted the Panna Cotta that delicately sweet and smooth as silk served with guavas on the side.
The restaurant is also kid friendly. My friend brought her 3 year old and our waitress bought her crayons to draw her own works of art on the butcher paper topping the white linens on the tables. The staff were very accommodating in ordering a dish not on the menu for her to eat because we weren't sure what a finicky 3 year old would eat. Turns out her daughter was a big fan of Miss Ollie's Fried Chicken and the chocolate cake with chili ice cream! She loved the restaurant and kept saying how fancy it was.
The staff was friendly throughout the evening and checked on us often without being overbearing.
Everything was exquisite. I can't wait to go back and try everything else on the menu. Thank you Hibiscus for bringing the Carribean to this little part of Oakland.
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