With very little fanfare, Lola Bistro on the Paseo of Camana Bay changed hands earlier this year. Regular customers would have noticed, however, that some new dishes from Asia and India appeared on the menu, and there were several other changes at the restaurant as well.
The soft transition is now complete and Lola has now officially become Aroma, although it retains a lot of what diners liked about Lola, including its chef, Deb Pradhan.
Joining Chef Deb in guiding the restaurant is another chef, Rajeshkannan Srinivasan, who made a name for himself as “Chef Raj” at Grand Cayman’s Southern Spice Indian restaurant before coming over to what has now become Aroma as an owner/manager.
Pradhan says Aroma’s “homemade” approach is what guests like the best about the restaurant.
“We make everything from scratch,” she said. “Our pasta, our pancakes, our waffles … we make them all ourselves.”
Raj says Aroma has something for every dietary preference, including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options, all at a good price. Although the restaurant serves many visitors during the high tourist season, the lower price point is very popular with Grand Cayman residents.
“We want to make locals feel like Camana Bay is affordable,” he says.
One of the restaurant’s most popular breakfast items is eggs Benedict, which is made with a choice of smoked back bacon, smoked salmon, asparagus with pancetta or swiss cheese with wilted spinach. All are served with Aroma’s homemade hollandaise sauce.
Other items on the breakfast menu include pancakes, Belgian waffles, signature smoothies, homemade pastries including croissants and scones, and an “all-in” breakfast bap sandwich with egg, three meats and a slice of tomato.
“We also have a Paleo diet omelette that is cooked in coconut oil,”said Chef Deb.
Aroma serves a free glass of its fresh-squeezed orange juice or homemade watermelon juice with breakfast entrees.
A new mini-brunch with a buffet of cold items like pastries, juices and desserts, and made-to-order eggs and meats is served on Saturdays and Sundays.
LUNCH AND DINNER
For lunch, Aroma serves a variety of sandwiches — Raj says the jerk chicken panini is very popular — as well as fish dishes, pastas, quiche and Indian dishes.
The ceviche starter is a favourite, as are the soups of the day and the Asian/Indian dishes.
“Guests love the butter chicken,” says Raj, adding that the recipe has been tweaked a bit from the version served at Southern Spice. “I can say it is the best one the island … really!”
Chef Deb says Aroma’s salads, which are a meal in themselves with proteins like tuna, salmon and steak, are also very popular.
“People come here just for the salads.” Lunches can be served to go, either for pick-up or free delivery in Camana Bay. Platters can also be delivered for office meetings in Camana Bay.
The dinner menu includes some of the same lunch dishes, but is expanded with more fish, meat, pasta and Asian/Indian dishes. One popular vegetarian pasta dish is Pasta Camana, named after Camana Bay. It is made with homemade fettuccine, fresh spinach, shiitake mushrooms, garlic and pine nuts, tossed in extra virgin olive oil and topped with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
A free glass of the house wine is served with dinner entrees.
DRINKS AND HOURS
Monday through Saturday, Aroma features drink specials on beer, wine, mixed drinks and on its menu of five signature cocktails. There’s also a special “cocktail of the week” and “wine of the week.”
Aroma is open every day of the year, including public holidays. Its hours are 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sundays and public holidays.