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“Service Lacking/ Food so so”

CocoPlum Restaurant
Ranked #55 of 228 Restaurants in Oranjestad
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $60
Cuisines: Dutch
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Local Aruban restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, Dinner (on Friday and Saturday). Serve fresh fruit drinks and local specialties. Indoor and outdoor seating available.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

We ordered Escargo and drinks and then waited at least 20 minutes until they came. Had to ask another waiter for a glass of water as our waiter seemed to disappear. It was a late night snack so I got a Club Sandwich. The chicken was rubbery and tasteless. I only at 1/3 of my meal. We had been recommended this restaurant several times, but truly do not know what the attraction was.

1  Thank edodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 - 36 of 59 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013

went shopping downtown with my wife and decided to get an early lunch, we have passed this place in the past and noticed locals eating here so we decided to stroll a couple of streets back from the main st. There is actually a new trolly that runs right down past this restaurant now.
we went in and got seated and waited on by the owner who was very pleasant to talk with,
he was trying to teach my wife papiamento (the native language of aruba) witch was quite funny.
and he also exsplained the history of the restaurant and a little bit about his family.
we decided to get the spacial that was curry chicken and rice with plantain, and also the stewed beef with a cabbage salad. both dishes were very good. prices here are very reasonable for aruba.

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1  Thank ronjr1259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

This restaurant have excellent quality food and services. The prices are very reasonable, a great place for a nice quite lunch while strolling in Oranjestad. The Manager and his wife are eager to help you and if required to explain to their guest what the menu offers to you. The setting of the restaurant is small and unique in the down town area. A great place for you to stop to have lunch and to rest your feet to continue to see the town and maybe speak with the locals on the Island.

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Thank JuneandFrankStolp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2012

Why you should go:

The man who I would presume is the owner/manager was charming and knows how to give the sort of service that North American tourists seek. He was entertaining, knew his product, explained everything well, and was very efficient.

The place is a bit of an oasis in the downtown, with a thatched roof. Outside, the new tram tracks that will take cruise ship guests from the cruise ship port through the downtown runs right by. So, when the trams start rolling, this could be quite a popular spot.

The fresh-squeezed juices (available in many combinations) such as passionfruit, watermelon, pineapple, mango, banana, lime and more were delicious and, with blended ice, very refreshing.

The prices were very inexpensive. Each of us had a large juice drink and a lunch plate, and threw down $16/per person including a 20% tip. So, no issues there.

Why you might not go:

If you are not walking from a nearby hotel (such as the Renaissance) or a cruise ship, the downtown can be a tricky place to park, and traffic is currently very congested nearly always. Re-development of the downtown has had traffic much worse than ever before. (This will have been worth the inconvenience, once complete.) This would be true for any of the downtown restaurants nearby, such as Que Pasa, Yemanji, or El Gaucho.

The menu is very limited. There were 5 menu items the day we dined. One was chicken "cut small" with carrots and green pepper. This didn't strike me as terribly inventive. Another was beef "cut small" with mushrooms, made, we were assured, in Aruban fashion. Third was a pork chop in creole sauce. The remaining two were soups. These sounded great, but weren't appealing on a hot day.. Two of us went with the beef, while the third went with the pork chop.

They make their own hot (very hot) sauce, which I would presume to be Madame Jeanette peppers with some mango, possibly a dash of vinegar. The dish was served with a bit of salad with a bit of french dressing, two pieces of fried plantain, and your choice of white rice, polenta, or corn bread.

The polenta (or fungi) was a much firmer texture than polenta as I know it, and was under-seasoned (or unseasoned). The corn bread was not corn bread as I know it, and seemed very close to a piece of a thick American pancake. For you Caribbean travelers or cruisers, both of these were much better at Cuzzins in St Thomas (which I always recommend), for example.

The pork chop seemed okay, but all three dishes were served in about three minutes, had clearly already been made (not cooked to order), and were not hot. We were told that many locals come for lunch, and as such, lunches are served within 3 minutes.

Nothing stuck out as being a flavor or seasoning or ingredient that would have us saying, "Oh, THAT'S Aruban food. Do you taste the... ?". In fact, they seemed bland. The creole could have been from any culture that has creole (and was certainly not competitive with a French or New Orleans creole). Ditto the fried plantain.The beef was sort of like pepper steak, in a nondescript brown sauce, with canned mushroom slices. Without the hot sauce, they would have all been too bland to bother with. Indeed, we all used more hot sauce than we would have, had there been some notable flavor to anything on the plates.

Conclusion:
If you are downtown, it's inexpensive, served by really nice people, has a sort of cute atmosphere, and is something a little different, that would not be off-putting to children or fussy eaters. Hotter food (temperature) that made use of something local, be it spices, herbs or veggies, would make it better. On another day with different specials, it could quite possibly be better than what we had. I would not say anything as strong as "don't go", but would not plan a day around it.

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2  Thank BARRYfromBOSTON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Wandering around town and passed this restaurant. Sign indicated that it was the "place locals frequent", so we walked in to search for authentic area cuisine. It was busy, and largely with, yes...locals. Menu was not too large (which was perfect for lunch), a few chicken and beef dishes over rice. They looked great and smelled even better (the kitchen is right out front), but we had eaten a large breakfast and was in search for fried plantains. I'm guessing it was the owner who greeted us and accommodated the request for plantains and a few beers. I realize this review won't shed much light on the food, but the service for two people ordering minimal food was exceptional. Furthermore, we got the check, left cash and headed out. The owner called me back - apparently I had overpaid (read the cost for Aruba currency and left that amount in US dollars). It would have been easy to just not say anything or justify that we had left a large tip, but honesty prevailed. If you're downtown, stop by and enjoy the patio setting and good service. Again, not a helpful review regarding the food, but wanted to give a plug for an owner who clearly takes pride in his operation.

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1  Thank Ken S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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