Photo: Photos Stephen Clarke and Chris James
Dining as the sun slides down toward the horizon and bathes the gorgeous surroundings of Rum Point in a soft, warming multi-hued whisper of tangerine, merlot and sighing embers is a quite extraordinary experience.
That visual treat is mirrored with the cocktail that I’m gently persuaded is a perfect beginning to the meal.
“The drink is indeed known as the Rum Point Sunset,” confirms our host, JB.
“And as we joke... if you drink too many, you won’t SEE the sunset. This is a yummy blend of coconut rum, overproof rum, orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine - which thoughtfully sinks to the bottom - offering that red glow, simulating the setting sun. All this is topped with a Meyers’ Dark Rum floater.” I’m sold on this creation by the talented cocktail architect, Serget ‘Seggie’ Quizeo, a renowned mixologist with a unique approach.
So, to the food: Rum Point Restaurant offers eats that are a mix of flavours and Asian-inspired fusion, these days in the capable hands of sous chefs Kapilla Kodituwakka and Saman Weerakkody.
Take my roasted fresh corn soup as an example; the corn is explosively sweet but the roast has also imparted a smokiness that is spectacularly offset by the drizzle of truffle oil. It’s savoury, but refreshingly so, and light as you like. Meanwhile, my partner is getting stuck right into a presentation of scallops and tuna tartare. The former is sweet and crunchy, the latter smooth and delicate.
Here’s an interesting phenomenon: when it goes quiet around the table chances are that you’ve got some very satisfied diners on your hands. Too busy to talk, all senses occupied in the process of eating the good stuff. And so it proves at Rum Point.
Hot pots and sweet spots
The main event of course has to be the Sea Food Hot Pot, which my companion orders. This aromatic offering is something of a signature dish at the restaurant and is rightly popular; you can’t beat a mix of seafood of this calibre, particularly when the broth is so unbelievably moreish.
Not that I’m disappointed in my choice: a meaty, somewhat spicy slab of blackened swordfish. The rub is a little peppery, the steak firm and succulent. A meat eater’s dream, in fish form. Not that it’s a simple one-paced slugger by any means: the accompanying fork-crushed butternut squash and superb curry cream sauce make for a velvety counterpoint which both cools and awakes all taste buds for the next bite. It might seem a simple combination but this classy blending of flavour, texture and the kinetic experience of a meal shows a refined understanding of, and respect for, the ingredients as a whole.
I’m not a massive dessert fan but I do sneak a few forkfuls of my partner’s choice, an enormous crème brulee with a thick caramel crust. (Of course, it’s delectable: I think I’m going to have to stop lying to myself about this ‘I don’t do dessert’ thing and embrace my sweet side one day. But don’t tell anybody.)
Existential worries aside, when you are at Rum Point there’s only one thing to do and that’s to order a, er, rum to round things off. After some deliberation I opt for what turns out to be a great sipping rum from Jamaica called Enlightenment, part of the Edwin Charley Proprietor’s Collection. Taking the advice of the knowledgeable JB, I add a touch of ice which serves to release the complex flavours. It’s reminiscent of a good scotch or cognac with a richness of depth to bring the palate to another level. A great end to a great meal, by anyone’s account.
We opted to drive to the restaurant this time around but a great part of the dining experience is taking the free catamaran from Safe Haven dock and back, around an hour’s sail - bathed, of course, in the glow of the setting sun if you time it right. Remember to book in advance, though.
Rum Point Restaurant is currently open Tuesdays to Saturdays inclusive from 6pm to 10pm.
For reservations or more information, call 947-9412