Caribbean Culinary Delights with Susan
Tantalizing aromas of sumptuous food, simple beach embossed frescos, mounted football T-shirts, pictures of West Indian cricketers, foot-tapping Caribbean music, and the informal ‘homely’ ambience. Welcome to Sue’s Kitchen, a one-of-its kind quaint little restaurant with a West Indian countrified setting in Bangalore. The owner Susan R John—better known as Sue—came to India almost 20 years ago. A native of the southern Caribbean archipelagic state of Trinidad and Tobago, Sue married an Indian and came to Bangalore in 1998, and opened Sue’s Food Place—popularly known as Sue’s kitchen.
Ever since 2002, when one of Sue’s journalist friends recommended the place to Sir Vivian Richards while the West Indies team was playing a practice match at the Chinnaswamy stadium, the restaurant has been a must-visit place for the West Indian players. “The first time they came, the neighbourhood was amused to see a bus with the West Indies team arrive at my restaurant. By the time they were about to leave and we opened the shutters of the restaurant, there was a pool of people waiting to get a glimpse of the players,” reminisces Susan. Other celebrities who have been a regular here include Girish Karnad, Lara Dutta, Rahul Dravid and Meenakshi Seshadri.
As a young girl, Susan learned cooking from her father. But opening a restaurant was far from being a reality. “The idea came from having a lot of parties, trying to make new friends in India and trying to impress them with my food. When everybody started asking me ‘Why don’t you open your own place?’, I pondered and thought, why not?’ Cooking is my passion, meeting new people and giggling with them is my passion, making people eat my food is my passion, so I could do it all together in my restaurant,” says Susan.
Cooking for a group of 10 would be easy, but cooking for around 100 people each day would sure be a daunting task for many. Not for Sue, who starts at 9 am each day and cooks all the food by herself. Sue’s Kitchen offers a variety of beverages, appetisers and the regular ala carte.
The highlight of the place, however, is the weekday and weekend buffets. Some of her signature dishes include crab curry, Jamaican jerk chicken, Trinidad geera pork, crab dumplings, and the vegetable curries. The weekend buffet and weekday buffet cost Rs 350 and Rs 250 respectively.