I just returned from a week in Aruba with my husband and 2 teneage daughters. We had some great meals and some awful ones:
1) Wacky Wahoos - This was our favorite restaurant of the week. The food was so fresh and nicely prepared. We had delicious ceviche and fish chowder. They had several fresh fish choices - kingfish, wahoo, mahi-mahi. We opted to have the fish pan-fried aruban style which was great. We loved the restaurant so much that we immediately made reservations to go back on our last night in Aruba. Delicious again!
2) Moomba Beach Bar - my husband and I had enjoyed rijstaffel when we were last on the island, 26 years ago. I had heard that the only rijstaffel available on the island now was the Wednesday night Rijstaffel buffet at the Moomba. So we tried it. While it was not awful, I would not recommend it. The food was very mediocre and didn't seem all that fresh.
3) Sawaseeda Thai - we had trouble getting reservations this night because the island was getting so crowded (it was Christmas week). So we opted for thai food. I had read reviews elsewhere on line that said this restaurant was pretty good. This was, by far, the worst Thai food I have ever had, and I've eaten a lot of Thai food. Some people actually walked over to the nearby Wendy's and brought some food back for their group. Not recommended at all!
4) Gari and Wasabi - After leaving the thai restaurant hungry (yes, it was that bad that we didn't really even eat), we went down the road to a sushi restaurant that I had read about. We were a little nervous because the place was empty. But it looked really nice so we decided to give it a try. Glad we did! The food was delicious. We had 2 kinds of ceviche, both of which were great. Then we had a couple of rolls. The plantain roll was absolutely delicious. It was a bit expensive though, with rolls averaging about $15 each. The restaurant also had a really cool outdoor bar in front, so maybe it gets a big late night crowd.
5) Yemanja Grill - this is a wood-fired grill restaurant in Oranjestad. The food was really nicely prepared and delicious. My husband had a delicious fish dish, I had chicken, and my daughters had scallops and steak. All were very good. And they serve sides family style - wood-fired garlic mashed potatoes, brazilian beans, stir-fried veggies and basmati rice. My only criticism is that the menu could be a bit simpler. The food gets such a nice flavor from the grill, that they don't need to "sauce up" every entree. We also had a dessert sampler that was delicious.
6) Nos Cunucu - This has been named repeatedly as the best Aruban cuisine on the island. We enjoyed it, but I can't say that it was great. We started with aruban fish soup and conch sausage which were both ok. My husband had goat stew which he loved, I had cucumber stew which I really did not like at all. One daughter tried the keeshi yena, which was interesting and the other had a steak dish -just ok. All came with traditional sides - we liked the pan bati the best. I am really not sure if the reason we did not love this restaurant was that we just didn't like the type of cuisine, or if it was not that well prepared.
7) Salt and Pepper - This is a tapas-type place on the strip in Palm Beach. We enjoyed this more than we thought we would. It was a great place to sit outdoors and people watch. It is definitely nothing fancy and a lot of items on the tapas menu are not really tapas, but more like small plate items. We enjoyed the carafe of sangria for about $20 as well! They also had some full entrees, burgers and salads on the menu. This is also a great place for families with young children - easy and casual.
8) Indo Restaurant - This was our favorite find of the week!!!! It is up the road from Wacky Wahoo. I had seen other posts looking for surinamese food, but no responses. So when my husband and I came upon this restaurant while looking for something different for lunch, it was a great surprise. We had roti with chicken curry, and a delicious noodle dish. Sooo good that we came back with our daughters another day. We then tried a dish that had amazing chicken sate served with yellow rice and a cabbage type side with the best peanut sauce I have ever had. We also had a fried rice dish and roti again. The owners were so nice and friendly too. This will be a definite place we return to on our next trip!