Bajatzu delights on every level
~ Maho's best bet ~
Make no mistake; Bajatzu is one of the finest restaurants on the island. From atmosphere to service, the dining experience at this small eatery is always top notch, and the food... well, it's truly exceptional. When I heard about a new menu, I wondered how it would change, but by listening to the clientele, the best bet in Maho has expanded its offerings to include some vegetarian options, sandwiches and Indian-inspired dishes. They have also brought back some of the favourites from the early days such as the Bone in Filet and the Porterhouse Steak.
My gal pal and I needed to indulge our inner carnivores so we were planning on steaks, Bajatzu premier entrées. We found a seat on the terrace overlooking the Maho strip – normally active, but quiet this Monday night in low season. I have almost always ordered the filet, eight ounces of tenderness so full of flavour it could make you weep. But the menu listed something – perhaps even better – for a limited time, a Kobe Beef New York Strip. I had to try it, having heard so much about this special delicacy. My friend opted for the fixed menu which was actually a great deal. For $42, she could choose a starter, a main course and a dessert, the first and last of which she shared with me!
We started off with delicious and refreshing cucumber martinis. These were concocted with pear vodka and fresh cucumber and a sprinkling of fresh mint. Who knew you could make such sinful goodness from a cucumber? Anyway, we had a basket of "to-die-for" fresh bread rolls and then came "her" starter: Escargot in classic garlic herb butter. Needless to say, we were living large and loving it.
By the time the main courses were brought, we were ready to dig in. Her steak came with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh veggies. My Kobe Beef Steak came with a choice of sides, of which I chose veggies (zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and carrots). We traded bites to compare the steaks, hers was flavourful and delicious but you did have to give it a bit of a chew. Whereas, mine was soft and almost dissolved, Kobe beef is very well marbled and it has a different kind of fat, with a lower melting point than common beef fat. And the fat is more similar to the oil in olive oil, thus it can be considered healthier in terms of cholesterol. That is a fun fact, certainly, but the first bite was all I needed to know why it's gaining worldwide appeal.
Well, of course, with beef of such divine quality, we needed a lovely red wine to accompany and our waiter Lionel suggested the Pinot Noir. We savoured the food, each other's highly intellectual conversation and, to some degree, Lionel, who said something about being so fast on his feet that they nicknamed him 360 degrees.
By the time my friend's dessert showed up, we had very few complaints, other than perhaps needing to run about 15 miles tomorrow to work off this meal. Dessert reinforced this dictum: a generous slice of pecan fudge cake that was more fudge than cake. We nibbled at it with alacrity and finally decided we could eat no more.
By October 1, Bajatzu is opening for lunch and hopes to lure the business crowd in for a pleasing midday break. It will offer soups, salads, sandwiches and a host of other lighter options – but make no mistake, this is one restaurant that knows how to please its clients. Be sure you are one of them!
1 Rhine Road
Phone: 545-2021, 520-0625
Hours: Restaurant and lounge open 6:00pm-midnight daily
Cuisine: Steaks, chops, seafood, burgers, salads
Good: Great food, service and atmosphere
Price range: Appetizers start $10
Main courses $25-65
Reservations: Recommended, especially on weekends or in high season
Credit cards: Visa, MC, AmEx, Discover
Children's menu: Available (tapas menu)
Vegetarian/Vegan dishes: Available
Staff friendliness 5.0
Service speed 4.0
Restaurant cleanliness 5.0
Food quality 5.0
Value for money 4.5