I heard mention of ‘Truffle Fries’ and I knew at once that I had to bring my husband here for a sneaky lunch while the kids were still at school. We arrived spontaneously at 1.30pm on Friday 26th February 2016, but it was packed. We could clearly see that the wait staff were running around the tables, and as we had no reservation we were politely informed that we would have to wait. Clearly that was not an option for us on this particular day, as I had a cheeky, romantic lunch in mind…..so I booked a table for the following Sunday (with kids) and we gazed into each other’s eyes elsewhere on this Friday.
However, today is Sunday finally, and we have just returned from a most wonderful afternoon where my daughter commented that she would like to move to Boom and live there happily ever after.
‘Boom at Gunpowder House’ is the poolside restaurant of the Admiral’s Inn hotel in Nelson’s Dockyard on the south side of the island of Antigua. It can be accessed by car if you take the (signposted) turn to the left just before the entrance to the historic dockyard. Alternatively there is a water taxi from Admiral’s Inn across the inlet. Galleon Beach residents can also use the water taxi service from the beach.
As you enter the place you are rewarded with a wonderful view out across the world-famous dockyard and the gleaming yachts in all of their splendour, that is, if you can peel your eyes away from the azure waters of the infinity pool and the hammocks in the garden beyond. Find your pleasure from a bed overlooking the inlet or closer to the pool and bar, unpack your towels and settle in, trust me – you won’t want to leave.
We arrived early for lunch on this day and swam in the pool and relaxed on an extremely comfortable day bed that I subsequently had to drag myself away from to sit in the restaurant. The decor is ‘island-chic’ – just a roof, a breeze, well crafted furniture that is presented with great attention to detail and a cleverly thought-through layout.
The menu offers a good selection of starters, salads, sandwiches and main courses that will delight most connoisseurs. I can personally vouch for the Caribbean Fishcakes and also the Tuna Tartare with mango, avocado, ginger and lime. My husband enjoyed the Gourmet Club Sandwich on ciabatta that was served with these Truffle Parmesan Fries that I mentioned earlier. Imagine triple-cooked, hand-cut fries with a sprinkle of crispy parmesan and a drizzle of truffle oil? And who had the brain wave to create ‘truffle ketchup’? My kids were not big fans which was a very good thing for us. Main courses include a selection from well prepared steak, locally caught fish of the day or lobster. I couldn’t go past the dessert menu either and managed to squeeze a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce into my bikini clad figure. You can’t hide in this tropical climate and there is no room for loosening the belt a notch!
Didier from France is in charge of the service and complements the restaurant magically. With a twinkle in his eye and witty, polished banter he ensures that everyone is having a good time.
The prices are average for similar restaurants on the island that provide a stunning setting in addition to great food and service. Expect to pay 50 EC$ for a salad or sandwich and 80EC$ for a main course. A glass of wine or cocktail averages 18 EC$.
The restaurant beside the pool is open for lunch 7 days a week during the season from December to May and limited opening hours from October. Testament to the unavailability of a table for us on Friday, I would recommend reserving your place. Use of the pool, hammocks and day beds is essentially for restaurant patrons, so plan to arrive for lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool, sipping French rosé or local rum cocktails (the mojitos are very good).
If anyone has any questions about the Boom (or other restaurants in Antigua), leave a comment below this review and I’ll get back to you.