I have some news today that I am VERY excited to share with you all! You may be familiar with the beautiful courtyard nestled away in Cruz Bay that was once home to Rhumb Lines before they switched locations and moved to Coral Bay. You may also be familiar with Shaibu’s Gourmet Grab and Go in the Marketplace…A small space tucked behind St. John Hardware that offers quick, healthy and delicious lunch and fresh juices to go with an emphasis on local product and flavors. Well, those two worlds collided last week into an amazingly renovated space and global concept dining experience that you won’t want to miss on your next trip down!
Chef Shaibu Abdulai and his lovely wife, Julie, are opening an incredible new restaurant in the heart of Cruz Bay this week!
Shaibu,who is originally from Ghana, brings to the table (literally) a Culinary Institute of America education and a vault of experience with chefs from all over the globe and years of expert catering in the Caribbean. Julie was the Front of House manager at Morgan’s Mango for YEARS. And has been the operational mastermind behind Chef Shaibu’s catering, Gourmet Grab and Go and Garden Oasis concepts.
Shaibu’s Garden Oasis will feature a rotating menu of “local cuisine with a global flare” using only the freshest ingredients from nearby fishermen and farms and organically sourced ingredients from local purveyors.
He plans to incorporate fish from St. Croix and will be working closely with VI based farmers to source his produce. He mentioned that he has found a resource for organic proteins as well and will be incorporating those into the ever changing menu as well.
And guys…THERE IS A SUSHI BAR!
In addition to the traditional warm spiced flavors of the Caribbean and Africa, Chef Shaibu will incorporate many Asian, specifically Korean, profiles into the meals, as well as many other global influences.
He intends to sometimes present two concepts on one plate, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy local flavors and those of a different region in the same dish. He has, on staff, a seasoned pastry chef and sushi chef and has high hopes for his dream team in the kitchen!
Their cocktail list is bright and fun and features the an array of spirits mingled with local flavors of hibiscus, lemongrass, tamarind and mango kombucha. The wine list is small but offers a great variety of flavor profiles. All with a modest price tag.
Having worked at Rhumb Lines for a moment in time (alright, I spent MANY a brunches there on the other side of the bar as well LOL), I couldn’t believe the transformation to the space when I walked in. Beautiful planters and decor with an African flare and influence pop all around the courtyard and behind the bar.
I could just picture the space bustling with happy diners.
“Our goal is to create an oasis in the center of Cruz Bay,” said Julie. Once you enter the space from the center of town, you’ll find a quiet space to enjoy a fine dining experience.
Chef Shaibu and Julie aim to please the community and will be listening to diners about their favorites and preferred items they may need to keep static on the otherwise rotating menu of fine, globally inspired cuisine.
The symbol of a bird that is incorporated in their logo and also predominantly featured on the back wall of the dining area is an African Adinkra symbol called the “Sankofa.” The meaning behind this is to learn from the past or “look to the past to go forward to the future.” I would say, that with the combined experience of this restaurant power couple, the future will be bright.
Shaibu’s Garden Oasis is currently open for dinner service Monday-Saturday from 5:30-9PM. The new entrance to the courtyard restaurant is located to the left of Cruz Bay Landing, just off the ferry. For more information go to their website or call 340-776-7424 to reserve a table!