Oistins Fish Fry has become somewhat of an institution in Barbados, especially on a Friday night. I can’t say I had heard too much about Oistins before arriving in the Caribbean but as soon as I touched that Bajan soil I somehow managed to hear about it everywhere… and for very good reason!
After spending an incredible stressful day 😉 swimming with turtles and sun bathing on a little secret beach I found up the coast I decided to take everyone’s advice and headed straight to Oistins Fishing Town on the south coast of Barbados. Boy, was I in for a treat!
Oistins Is Like Borough Market After A Glass Of Pinot Grigio!
Oistins Fish Fry has become something of an institution in Barbados, particularly on Friday nights. Imagine it like Borough Market in London…actually scratch that, imagine Oistins Fish Fry as if Borough market had a few too many glasses of Pinot Grigio and decided to bring around its friend, Camden Market and its party pal, Notting Hill Carnival. 🙂
Once I’d left the beach and the sun began to set, I was itching to get towards Oistins so I grabbed a taxi and headed 30 minutes south to enjoy some Friday night shenanigans.
As soon as I arrived I could understand what all the hype was about. Literally, thousands of local residents and travellers filled the beach, all on the look out for the tastiest meal of the evening.
What Do You Mean You Serve Dolphin?!?
I was starving when I arrived and so the very first thing I did was look amongst the 80 or so food stalls for something tasty to eat. Trust me, you were spoilt for choice here as they had everything from swordfish, jerk chicken, flying fish and even ‘dolphin’ on the menu. You can imagine my shock and horror at seeing dolphin on the menu! How could people eat dolphin… how?!? My curiosity got the better of me and I had to ask all about the poor dolphin being served. Thankfully, I was quickly reassured that although Bajan’s call the dish ‘dolphin’ it is actually mahi-mahi, with the name dolphin become somewhat of a slang term for the dish. Phew! 🙂
After all my worrying about dolphin, it seems that my appetite for seafood disappeared so I decided to go for a dish that I was reliably informed is a Bajan favourite – Jerk Chicken! Sat on communal tables, I devoured my chicken and macaroni pie as quickly as it came. I can just imagine how much sauce I had all over my face and the state I must have looked after ravenously devouring that chicken. I didn’t dare look at a mirror to try to find out – especially after having a few tell-tale dribbles down my white shirt. I would be embarrassed if I wasn’t so blissfully happy about the food! 😉
Wandering Around Oisitins
After eating my weight in chicken, I decided it was time to work off those extra calories. I headed straight to where the local residents gathered to play dominoes and cards. There was an electric atmosphere around each of the tables, with each game taken so seriously – people where cheering and even gathering to watch important games. I really wanted to join in but I haven’t the faintest idea how to play dominoes so I moved swiftly on… best not to embarrass myself any further.
Showcasing my ‘dad-moves’ dancing…
After a little more wandering and a quick browse around the local craft stalls, I decided to head to the main stage to enjoy some local dancers, signers and drummers entertain the crowds. I quickly came across some really great break dancers – they put my dad-moves to shame! Thankfully, no one had to watch my dancing on a stage, I save those moves for my friends back at home (and even then, only after I’ve plied them and myself with a few drinks first) . 😉
Somehow, in what felt like an hour, my alarm on my phone sounded. It was time to leave 🙁 I could have stayed here all night! With the music, rum punches and delicious food it’s a night I won’t forget in a hurry.