While on Anguilla, I had a seafood salad like no other. I dined one evening at Tasty’s Restaurant, a popular and renowned island eatery founded and owned by Chef Dale Carty. What makes his seafood salad so unique? Small pieces of fresh seafood – snapper, conch, crayfish, lobster and shrimp – are cut into small pieces and then spiced and sauteed individually, just like a larger portion might be served as an entrée. The seafood bites are then placed on the side of the dish – not mixed with the salad.
Chef Carty, Anguillan born and raised, came up with this idea when ordering seafood salad in other restaurants. “A lot of times I got cold crab out of the can and small baby shrimp. I really hated those salads,” he recalls. “I thought to myself, I really should be able to come up with a nice, fresh seafood salad with fresh grilled pieces of fish.”
“It’s not all mushy,” adds Carty. “It happens to be our signature dish that has given us most of our write ups and exposure in magazines.”
Tasty’s Restaurant specializes in traditional Anguillan cuisine, while some dishes are spiced with an international flair. “Conch Creole” and “Coconut Crusted Filet of Fish with spicy banana rum sauce” are on the menu, for example.
“I think I represent real traditional Anguillan cuisine and ambiance – everything in one,” he says. “When I created Tasty’s, I wanted locals and tourists to dine with me and we’re one of the only establishments here that does both.”
“Everywhere I go, when I order a seafood salad, I think why can’t they just put fresh pieces of fish on the salad instead of canned crab or baby shrimp,” he again says about his signature dish. “That just doesn’t cut it.”
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