At Bucuti – new Authentic Aruban & Caribbean Lunch Buffet

I recently dropped in for lunch at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, curious about the new Authentic Aruban & Caribbean Lunch Buffet.

You may do the same Monday through Saturday, 12:30noon to 3pm. Sunday is dedicated to brunch.

Island visitors always ask me about local food, and I refer them to popular approximations, because the real MacCoy is probably extinct and is no longer practiced.

Except at the Bucuti.

Also if we’re honest about it, cooking has radically changed over the years, we have no time to spend full mornings in the kitchen to stir the funchi, clean and dry the Jambo, simmer the stoba. And we have refrigeration, so overcooking in an effort to kill all bacteria is passé; the sacred practice of washing everything with lamunchi and vinegar is no longer a necessity and thus the food is deprived of its extra original zing; We kissed all Hag beets, and green pea jars goodbye, forever changing old-school cooking.

Except at the Bucuti.

No, they don’t pop any HAG jars open, they make it all from scratch.

We had a feast at lunch, overlooking one of the most spectacular beaches in the world, in full compliance with pandemic protocols, under Bucuti’s No-Touch food-service policy

The experience at $24.50 per person, is pretty extensive – I took the rest of the afternoon, off.

“We wanted to create an authentic Aruban menu where each bite will transport you back-in-time to your childhood home. We want you to relive the nostalgic flavors of the stews and desserts your parents and grandparents prepared,” says Ewald Biemans, owner/CEO of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort.

In literature it’s called a Proustian moment, after writer Marcel Proust who accidentally bit into a cookie, a Madeleine, a tiny sponge-cake, and experienced an involuntary flood of explicit childhood memories he compiled into 6 volumes named In Search of Lost Time, a total of 4,215 pages, between 1913 and 1927.

So, yes, two weeks later, I am still talking about the bread basket, and the beef stoba, the best I have ever had.

And the pickled pork — a total standout.

The bread basket, you ask? It is bursting with Funchi Fries, Cheese Arepas, Mini Johnny Cakes, Mini Pan Bati, Corn Bread Squares, Patacones, and Sweet Plantains all cooked in BUTTER. I swear. And you taste the difference — leave the diet policeman at the door.

Executive Chef Marc Giesbers, who doubles up as Director of Food and Beverage, and his kitchen team of local & Caribbean chefs, came up with the rotating menu:  Aruban Ceviche, Seafood Salad, Sulz, Pickled Pork, Blood Sausage, Cucumber or Papaya stoba, Beef or Chicken stews, Fish or Chicken soup, Jerk chicken, Caribbean Seafood Paella, a Pasta Action Station, and a Dessert Tasting of tres leches, quesillo, cashew cake, bolo preto, and more!

“Our team is incredibly diverse, and the rich buffet highlights their diversity: Traditional local dishes are made by our Aruban chefs and cooks, and our Jamaican, Dominican, Haitian, Colombian, and Venezuelan chefs and cooks come up with the Caribbean dishes, focusing on authentic regional taste,” explain Chef Giesbers.

Bucuti also supports the local Farm to Table movement and buys and promotes locally grown ingredients, which are sourced here.

The award-winning, adults-only, beachfront restaurant also continues to offer its regular a-la-carte menus, which cater to all dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets.

The restaurant offers the ultra-romantic private dinners for two in one of the resort’s famous beach cabanas. Guests may enjoy their meals and Caribbean cocktails or mocktails overlooking spectacular Eagle Beach on Elements’ outdoor seating deck.

Reservations are recommended, and kindly be mindful that the restaurant does not seat groups larger than six, and does not take cash — all major credit and debit cards are accepted.

For reservations, kindly visit or call +297 583 1100.

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March 30, 2021
Rona Coster