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Dine in Simpson Bay

840_dineMarina Zaika – a chill spot in Simpson Bay!

~ Delicious diversity ~

Among all the high energy hub-bub of Simpson Bay, tucked into a corner of another restaurant's parking lot, one will find something we desperately need – a chill spot – with comfy seating by the lagoon, a bar with easy going banter, low key music at just the right volume for relaxed conversation, friendly staff and a menu with delicious diversity.

Marina Zaika has perfect pitch, offering a menu something akin to a food court. Groups of friends can come for a meal and everyone can find what they desire. Vegans and vegetarians can find items such as mock duck chilli, teenagers can order their cheeseburgers; but the bulk of the menu features selections from two unlikely cuisine realms: German and Indian. Believe it or not, it's all good!

We heard about this place from a friend who raved about the wiener schnitzel. The German cuisine attests to the heritage of one of the owners. But once we sat and settled in, our tastes turned to the second owner's wheelhouse: savoury and spicy Indian dishes.

We started with a glass or two of Chardonnay which arrived in proper stemware, chilled to please. A crisp tart wine, so enjoyable in the relaxed setting. We waited for our food and talked of travels, past and future. The waitress named Judy was very attentive and soon we were presented with Saag Chicken (with spicy spinach sauce) and Tikka Masala (spicy and rich) and order of Pulao Rice (Basmati with vegetable) and Naan.

This chef definitely knows what's up. From the first bite, a rich blend of the Indian spice palette is evoked: the coriander-cumin-turmeric-garlic blend of spice was sharp and flavourful, not overpowering or hot, but provocative. Hard to believe the same kitchen that produced this authentic spread was capable of simultaneously creating wiener schnitzel! Only on St. Maarten do such seemingly extreme opposites attract.

We shared our dishes back and forth, dipped the naan bread into the sauces with delight and swirled wine in a toast to our good fortune. If you seek such good fortune, find your way to Marina Zaika. For dining on delicious diversity or just looking for a chill spot to hang out with old friends or make new ones, don't miss the chance to discover this hidden gem, right in the middle of Simpson Bay.

Info: 64b Welfare Road

Simpson Bay (next to Cugini)

Phone: 1 (721) 581-1787 or 553-4003

Hours: Open every day: breakfast through late dinner

Cuisine: German, Indian, International/American, Full Breakfasts

Good: Peaceful atmosphere, good service, great food

Price range: Appetizers start $6-16

Main courses $12-20

Desserts $5-8

Breakfasts $7-9

Reservations: Not needed

Credit cards: None at present

Children's menu: Available

Vegetarian/Vegan dishes: Available

Ratings:

Staff friendliness 4.5

Service speed 4.0

Restaurant cleanliness 4.5

Food quality 4.5

Value for money 4.0

Ambience 4.0

Total 25.5/30

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