Driftwood Aruba Reviews
Delicious seafood and great value 3 course menu! Feb 04, 2017
It's not often that we eat at the same restaurant twice during a holiday, but we were so impressed with our meal at Driftwood Restaurant in May 2015 that we returned a few days later for a second visit.
Driftwood is located on Klipstraat, between Wilhelminastraat and "Main Street" in the heart of Oranjestad and opens Monday to Saturday from 5:00pm until 10:30pm. It has a nautical theme (with fishing nets hanging from the dining room ceiling), lots of wood and the feel of being on board a ship – there's even a "Welcome Aboard" sign above the entrance!
A work colleague had recommended Driftwood to me before our trip; commenting particularly on the quality of its seafood. Indeed the menu is dominated by fish and seafood (shrimps, lobster, crab, scallops, squid) – but there are a handful of options for meat-eaters too (steaks, chicken dishes and rack of lamb).
One of the many promotional brochures that we picked up in Aruba contained an advert for Driftwood...and its special 3 courses for $US 25.95 offer. This offer was open to all, but the staff didn't seem too forthcoming in presenting us with this special menu until they saw that we had the advert with us. Instead, they presented us with the standard menu, on which a main course costs roughly the same as the 3 course offer!
The service at Driftwood was impeccable on both occasions. Each time we were presented with a complimentary basket of garlic bread and, after we had quickly devoured it, were given a second basketful. We were then given delicious pieces of cornbread to go with our main courses. Our glasses of water and ice were continually topped up throughout our meal by the friendly and attentive staff.
The special 3 course menu offered a decent selection of starters; fish croquettes, onion soup, fish soup, escargots and salad.
On our first visit, I had the Fish Soup (a delicious hot soup containing various types of fish, potatoes, carrots and other veg) and Emma had the Onion Soup (which was topped with a generous portion of melted Gouda cheese).
On our second visit, we both started with the Fish Croquettes – five lightly-battered croquettes filled with a tuna-like fish and served with a tasty honey and mustard dip. Although it was nice, I preferred the soup that I'd had on our first visit.
There were four options to select from in terms of main courses; "catch of the day", jumbo shrimps, fillet mignon and boneless chicken breast. However, that doesn't do justice to the wide variety that was on offer, for the "catch of the day" and the jumbo shrimps were available in several different styles.
The "catch of the day" fish when we visited were wahoo, mahi-mahi, barracuda and tuna. Each of these fish could be served:
"Aruban-style" with Creole sauce;
"Breaded" – deep fried and served with tartare sauce;
"Garlic" – pan fried and sauteed with wine and fresh garlic;
"Blackened" – coated in Cajun spices and served with a sweet Caribbean peach sauce; or
"Grilled" – served with vinaigrette sauce.
Similarly, the jumbo shrimps were available:
"Breaded" with tartare sauce;
With fresh garlic;
In a mild creamy curry sauce;
"Blackened" with sweet Caribbean peach sauce; or
Sauteed in garlic over linguine.
On our first visit, I opted for "Blackened" Wahoo. It was delicious. Wahoo is a "meaty" fish which could easily be mistaken for chicken. The Cajun spices had quite a kick to them, while the Caribbean peach sauce offered a cooling contrast. It came with a portion of boiled white rice and a selection of vegetables (carrots, broccoli and courgette).
Emma had "Garlic" Wahoo – as mine, but served with a dish of garlic sauce.
On our second visit, I opted for Jumbo Shrimps with Curry Sauce. This consisted of 5 large shrimps, with tails still attached, a mild but tasty curry sauce (a similar taste to the curry that you get at fish and chip shops in the UK), a portion of boiled rice and a selection of vegetables. Although it was nice, I preferred the wahoo that I had on our first visit.
Emma, having also been so impressed with the wahoo on our first visit, opted for "Breaded" Wahoo with tartare sauce, a jacket potato and vegetables.
We both had the same desserts on both occasions - Chocolate Cake (served with whipped cream and a cherry) for me and Caramel Flan (also served with whipped cream and a cherry) for Emma.
Hot drinks were also included as part of the special 3 course menu. I had a coffee and Emma had a green tea on both occasions.
I also had a bottle of the local Balashi Beer ($US 4.00) and Emma had a glass of Sprite ($US 3.00).
Excellent food, excellent service, excellent value for money! Driftwood was our favourite restaurant in Oranjestad. The special 3 course menu is amazing value for money by Aruban standards. Highly recommended!!
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Great restaurant, will cook what you catch! Nov 28, 2014
With all the fresh fish in Aruba and all the restaurants we went to on our 2 week visit, you cannot go wrong. However, this restaurant was my favorite due to the fact that they cooked our fish that we caught earlier that day on a fishing charter. We got a large platter with our fish (we had 4 kinds of fish) we got them each cooked 4 different ways. The spices were very good, and my favorite was the pan fried tuna. The price is average for Aruba, with that being said, is higher cost than usual in the US due to the cost to import supplies to the island. The service was excellent and if it wasn't so far away from our hotel we would have gone again. Oh, and if by some miracle you have room for dessert, the chocolate cake is excellent.
The Best Comes ashore at Driftwood Jun 12, 2011
Driftwood! Driftwood! Driftwood! Although this restaurant ranks 21 of 57 in Oranjestaad, it surely a very lucky 21 in my humble opinion and to my discriminating taste for seafood. Based on a very great rave from a fellow tourist, after dining there on my first night, I will now continue to pass on the rave to anyone who will be visiting Aruba in the future. The is a must dine for seafood lovers with very discriminating taste. Although I dined there 2 out of 5 nights stay, Driftwood will be one the few Restaurants that will have me returning to Aruba for years to come. Bona Petite to my travel aficionados and seafood lovers...