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“Just one of many” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Lemongrass

The Lemongrass
First Street, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 0843, Panama
005076790114
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Ranked #20 of 48 restaurants in Bocas Town
Price range: $7 - $15
Cuisines: Asian, Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Late Night
Description: The Lemongrass - Asian Fusion restaurant on the Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro waterfront. We use mostly local seafood, allowing our menu to change daily according to availability. We have the best views in town, great drinks, and a unique mix of Panamanian, Asian, and Mediterranean cuisine.
London
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Just one of many”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

A simple first floor restaurant with a good view. The food is OK but nothing special. I would say it is about average or maybe a little above for Bocas Town. The staff could help by being a bit more welcoming.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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128 reviews from our community

62% Recommend
    42
    38
    15
    16
    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bocas del Toro, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good food, Great view, and a laid back atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Dining at The Lemongrass Restaurant over the years I have experienced some of the most delicious, diverse menu items on the island. The many times I have eaten there with friends, family and guests from abroad I have always been pleased and often surprised by the variety of culinary delights.
To respond to a recent post by Skitty17 who was disappointed with her lobster, the lobster which live in the Caribbean are Caribbean Spiny Lobster which, unlike their cousins up in Maine, don't have claws but instead use their spiny antenna for protection. If they are boiled fresh and well alive, in water at a rolling boil, as all lobster should be, their legs often fall off. As almost all of the meat is in the tail and head(negating the need for shellfish crackers) missing legs is actually a good sign.
The view of the ocean and isla Carenero in front of this second story balcony restaurant is beautiful and the occasional live band that plays there is a treat on an island that is just starting to develop a live music "scene". The quality of the music seems to vary depending on who is on the island at the time, but I have seen some very talented and entertaining musicians perform there.
As for the attitude of the wait-staff, I have found that it tends to be, like every other place on the island, usually fairly laid back or on "island time", which is part of the appeal of the islands. I find it rather humorous to read Globethrotter08 complain that the servers were too attentive at first. Maybe part of the frustration she perceived was due to the fact that some people complain about waiting too long while others complain about not having enough time to decide what to order.
Visitors to Bocas should remember that this island has been, until recently, off the beaten track, which is also part of what makes it appealing. So one has to make some concessions as the locals are still learning to feel out what people want and how to serve them best, even at the finest dining establishments.
I'm sure that the people who run the restaurant appreciate the criticism as a way to improve their service, as everyone in Bocas does, because this is an island still coming into it's own. What ingredients and fresh vegetables are available from the vendors on the island also varies from day to day, like on most small, secluded islands, and I'm sure this affects menu choices and what you will find in your salad and veggie side dishes. One should also take this into account and go with the flow if one wishes to truly enjoy the adventure of exploring newly developing tourist (and traveller) destinations.
People who look for the good in people and places find it there and I have always found a lot of good things to enjoy at The Lemongrass Restaurant!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Peterborough, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Lemongrass on Calle 1, Bocas Town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

It is hard to describe how much fun it is to take a gang to Lemongrass and order the sliders (large planks of wood covered in a delightful assortment of hors d'oeuvres) which amply tide you over until the main event -- the steamboats! These are little cooking pots with hot coals into which pre-boiled sauce is poured, and you cook your own food right there at the table. The beauty of taking a gang is because it is tough to choose just one sauce -- all four are exotic and delicious -- mix 'em up. One is ample for two people, though, with an ample array of fresh meats and seafood in bite-size chunks, and the salad that comes with it is fresh, with local lime and coconut garnishing. The food and the view of the panga boats plying the waters between Isla Colon, where Lemongrass sits, and Isla Carrenero across the bay, all tell you "You are in the tropics, and life is good."

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Grecia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Not going back”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

The atmosphere is decent. It is right on the water and you overlook the docks. The staff are very unfriendly and rather rude. I tried to order a lemongrass mojito, sounded interesting and different, but they did not have it. My bill was added up wrong, no big deal, but when I pointed it out they argued with me, went to the manager/owner or whoever was in charge, and came back to argue more. I asked to see the menu again and, again, pointed out the fault in my bill and only then was it resolved. My husband ordered a mahi mahi special which was quite good. I ordered the lobster - a huge mistake. They did not have any shellfish cracker (the things that crack open the shell so you can get the meat) and the lobster didn't have half its legs or its claws. I've never ordered a lobster and not gotten the claws. The taste of it was mediocre at best, the rice had no flavor.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“This is not a Thai restaurant!! Yuck!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012 via mobile

I was craving Thai curry, so despite some negative reviews I wanted to take a risk. I walked into the restaurant and the only waitress looked at us without saying hi or hola whatever. She just said take any table. She borught us menus and 2 minutes late she came back expecting we have chosen our drinks, appetizers and main course. We ordered 2 cocktails and the only appetizer choice they had (sampler dish of cebiche, tuna paté?, crab cakes, chicken satay, spring rolls and salad) which was OK to eat and more or less not too expensive $10 for 2.
Well, after checking the menu, they only had 4 choices, green curry, lemon grass something, sweet&sour soup and tom kha soup. We chose the beef green curry, $10 pp with rice and veggies (just carrots, cabbage and bell peppers). She brought us a portable pot with charcoil inside, a jar of "greenish soup" and a dish with pieces of raw beef and veggies. She poured the green soup into the pot (which ended up being the "green curry"... What a joke) and then the beef and veggies and told us to let it cook 5 minutes. Hahaha after 20 minutes the beef was still not done. Never in my life I have tried such a disgusting green curry! The Thai government should sue this place for promoting itself as a Thai restaurant and serving rubbish! I live in the East Coast and I had bad Thai food, but never this bad!!! Cocktails were also too watery and had much better ones at other bars in Bocas del Toro. I would not recommend this place at all.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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