Jaanchie's far exceeded our expectations based on many other reviewers' complaints. I was dragged kicking and screaming into Jaanchie's by my wife, who insisted that we give the place a try despite warnings from other reviewers. Based on those reviews, I expected the restaurant to be a dump, and Jaanchie to be this creepy, drunk guy who gropes you while giving you the rundown on what's left in the kitchen after being picked over all day by previous visitors. This visit included none of that!
The interior of the restaurant was a dimly lit den of heavy wooden tables and chairs--a perfect setting for a quaint, romantic dinner. We were first greeted by our server who took our beverage order and explained that Jaanchie would soon give us a "walking and talking menu." Jaanchie was chatting it up with other guests and just when my efforts to control my rush mode were reaching their limit, he sauntered over to our table and pulled up a chair.
Jaanchie sat down with the air of a host who knows his food, knows the area, and truly wants his guests to enjoy their dishes as well as their experience in his "home." He explained the dishes available to order, and yes...he did touch us. He gingerly ran his fingers up our arms while playfully explaining the lore that eating iguana stew can be an aphrodisiac. We both ordered shrimp in garlic sauce with rice and beans (known as gallo pinto or casamiento in Latin America) and plantains. When we noted that we wish we could taste the iguana stew, the server said she could bring a side of it. Thank you!
Our food was served within 20 minutes--far from the one hour wait that others described. And this was by far the best food we'd eaten since arriving in Curacao. The server brought out a tray of three sauces before the food arrived--spicy garlic, Hollandaise, and mayonnaise, which the Dutch apparently like to slather on everything according to Jaanchie. I did add a little spicy garlic sauce to my beans and rice just to taste the sauce, but nothing on the plate needed additional flavouring. The garlic shrimp was heavy with garlic, which I love. The plantains were cooked with the beans and rice and this was a lovely combination. The iguana stew had a similar flavour, as far as seasoning, to the goat stew we'd eaten earlier in the day but was tastier.
We WILL return to Jaanchie's and will order at least one full entree of iguana stew. Jaanchie is a warm host who appears to genuinely care about his guests. They close at 7pm but the statement is "as long as you're in the door by 7, you can stay as long as you wish." We arrived right at 7 and left around 8:15...were not rushed or herded out the door.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.