Heading to the fish fry is a must do activity on a Friday night in Barbados. On the south coast everyone piles into Oistins but up on the west coast we take it a bit easier and head to Merton’s Place in Moon Town.
The decor can definitely be described as ‘rustic’, to the point where I was truly concerned that the deck may give way beneath my feet but as Stuart kindly pointed out there was only a 5 meter drop onto sand so I shouldn’t injure myself too much if I did go crashing through. Plus we’ve got travel insurance. You must look past the decor though because the food is delicious. Except for the plantain which is revolting whatever you do with it. I opted for Barracuda, which was grilled to perfection, with a side of chips and macaroni pie. Forget the vegetables and salad, I’m on holiday! The place has a low key buzz about it with a mixture of locals and tourists, next door all the local men hang out playing cards and if you get there before the sun goes down then you have a perfect view of the sunset.
Over the road you can have the most bizarre night out you’ll ever experience in a place called St Elmos. I’ve been numerous times and it never becomes less bizarre. St Elmos is a mixture of convenience store/bakery/karaoke bar, clearly a classic combo. First of all you go into the convenience store to buy a bottle of Mount Gay rum and some coke, then you go next door into the karaoke bar to drink it. I’ve no idea why you can’t order a rum and coke from the bar but apparently that’s not the way to do it here. You will never experience a stranger collection of songs than at a karaoke bar in Barbados. Anything that you know as a hit, the Bajans have never heard of. Instead, they seem to know every B side to every single released before 1992. If by some chance they do know a hit song, it’s usually a terrible cover version that they know and believe to be the original. To give you an example of this, our Bajan friend who now lives in England was completely distraught to discover that Bohemian Rhapsody was originally performed by some little known band called Queen and not the musical trailblazer Lauryn Hill. The combination of terrible songs, all of which are sung with great enthusiasm plus vast quantities of rum can only add up to one thing: a truly unforgettable evening… if you can remember it after all the rum that is!