Business Lunch: Al fresco dining at Ferdinand’s

Although a popular night time spot, espeally when it comes to The Westin’s well-attended wine maker dinner series, Ferdinand’s might not be foremost in the minds of business people when considering a lunchtime destination, yet it’s the perfect spot for a get-away-from-it-all quiet luncheon. And it has the added bonus of magically transporting you away on vacation, if only for the duration of your lunch break. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull takes a two-hour vacation and reports.

Boxed away in the artifial fluorescent-lit offices in the heart of George Town, office workers can sometimes forget the wonderful geographical location in which we find ourselves.

Overlooking one of the best stretches of Seven Mile Beach, Ferdinand’s is situated, quite possibly, facing one of the world’s most beautiful and most sought-after vistas. The restaurant is in the most unique of spots and it would be a crime if you didn’t venture West occasionally.

For the outdoor lovers there is a large patio (thankfully netted in to keep the thieving ching-chings at bay!) with ceiling fans to assist the ocean’s breeze. A word of caution here though, at this time of year only venture outside if you like the heat; shirts, trousers, socks and shoes are best catered for inside the lovely Caribbean-coloured restaurant, where the full blast of A/C will keep office workers in their cool comfort zone.

Lunch can be as light or as filling as you choose at Ferdinand’s – a soup and salad or maybe a tasty sandwich affair, or a whole hog three (or four if you count coffee) courser that forces you to chill out for the rest of the day.

My dining companion and I chose a mix of the two – light bites with a nice glass of wine and coffee to follow – ample enough food for ladies who lunch but don’t want to end up ten-ton Tessys, but lengthy enough to feel like we’d enjoyed a long and leisurely treat.

Appetisers are almost a meal in themselves – try the crab cakes with a remoulade for $12 or roasted poblano and jerk chicken quesadilla’s ($9). Soups are well-prices and delious – black bean ($5) and conch chowder ($6) are popular tasty and filling choices. Salads are also filling and a naturally healthy option. The Cobb is full to the brim of Boston lettuce, avocado, bacon, tomatoes, hard boiled egg and blue cheese ($11) or why not try the rather sophisticated sounding mixed green salad with potato truffle vinaigrette, summer vegetables and beetroot crisps ($7).

Burger lovers will no doubt be tempted by the broiled Angus beef burger ($8 – add an extra $1 for cheese and $1.50 for bacon, and who wouldn’t?), while the Island lobster salad sandwich ($16) is almost a feast for two, espeally with the huge portion of fries that is served alongside.

I particularly liked the idea of a noodles section on the menu, always a staple lunch time choice, whereby diners could choose from dishes such as Caribbean chicken (jerk marinated chicken with market vegetables) ($14) or perhaps the rotini al pesto with grilled chicken strips in a pesto cream ($12).

In the end I chose the grilled Atlantic salmon fillet served with jasmine rice, stir fried vegetables and mayonnaise ($21), a succulent fish that was lusciously amplified by the mayonnaise sauce and well rounded off by the selection of veg.

Meat lovers are not forgotten and can enjoy a 12oz New York CAB sirloin strip steak with Idaho potato mash ($29).

Desserts are a must-have if you have the time and stomach capacity. The mango and banana Napoleon is a nut-encrusted caramel affair topped off nicely with a good dollop of everyone’s favourite Haagan Dazs vanilla ice cream ($8). Another favourite is the fresh fruit martini, served with a passion fruit sorbet and mango chips ($8).

There is a good selection of wines by the glass, from the sparkling Lunetta Prosecco ($10) to the popular Bertani Due Uve (Pinot Grigio/Sauvignon Blanc blend) ($11), the latter a good choice with the lobster sandwich. Then there are the ever popular reds, such as the Rosemount Estate Shiraz ($11), big juicy and powerful enough to work well with the steak, or a lighter Bottega Vinaia Pinot Noir ($12) which would suit the salmon nicely.

Chefs at Ferdinand’s take as much care with the preparation of their lunchtime menus as they do with their innovative evening creations, while the wait staff can never be commended highly enough for their attention to detail, friendly smiles and speedy service.

Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy lunch at Ferdinand’s and remind yourself of what living in the Caribbean is all about.



Service with a smile from Kumar