An Unorthodox Guyanese Cuisine Experience Awaits…
Guyana, much like many other Caribbean nations, is a mélange of ethnicities, social classes and demographics that influence its culture. The exquisite food that this land boasts is as diverse and unique as its people. Embedded in its cuisine is the heritage of generations woven together to form a unique Creole-Indian-Caribbean-fusion, which is distinctly Guyanese. There are quite a few locales where you can find such flavours. Whether you’re local, or planning your next Guyanese getaway, one culinary experience that should make your short-list is the Backyard Cafe.
In-home Dining at its Finest
Comfortably nestled in the West Ruimveldt backyard of Chef Delven Adams, you’ll find the Backyard Cafe in a rather unorthodox setting. It is simple and unpretentious. Sitting directly opposite the Ascension Secondary School, its location captures the authenticity of what it means to be home in Guyana for most people.
A handwritten sign – “Welcome to the Backyard Cafe: Live, Love, Laugh” welcomes you. Upon arrival, you will be greeted with the energy of that of an old friend, visiting after many years. This is the vibe. Warm, inviting conversations with the hosts will set you at ease and make you feel immediately at home. Cheerful parrots, tiny chirping frogs and baby turtles seemingly minding their own business add to the ambiance.
The decor is eclectic – authentic dutch bottles and ceramic art line the shelves. Vivid flowering plants and potted croton plants, a bar-b-que grill and an authentic charcoal fireside all add to the serenity of the cafe. Cozied up under the fruit trees is the furniture, handpicked and mixed and matched by Delven himself covered in bold, colourful paintings and designs and of course, the proud flag of Guyana. But the decor doesn’t stop there, a “wall of fame” adorned with signatures and messages from every single person that has visited the cafe to date, towers over the entire setting. If you’re not interested in being as bold as writing on the wall, their guestbook is a much more discreet option.
Personalising your Dining Experience
Different, void of rules and the monotony of a typical restaurant, this establishment maintains its authenticity throughout. It is evident in not only its setting but how Chef Adams and his crew operate.
There is no fixed menu. This gives room for experimenting with your meals as Delven is very open to fusion – merging different dishes to delight your taste buds. If there are special dietary requirements, you’ll be accommodated. If you’re more adventurous and want to go to the market to secure your next meal with Delven accompanying you – then that can be arranged too.
Securing a spot can be difficult due to the high demand for the delicious home cooked meals. Reservations are absolutely necessary and they should be made at least a day in advance. So you pick the day, time, how long you would like to spend at the cafe and what exactly it is that you would like to eat.
Farm to Table Takes on New Meaning
Market tours provide travellers with an insider’s experience. Guyana boasts an incredible environment where locally sourced meat and vegetables are always available. With Chef Adams as your personal guide, you’ll learn about Guyanese culture and where your food comes from and if you’re interested in the finer details of the seasonality of different exotic fruits, how soil is prepared for planting, how to raise healthy, free range chickens and much more.
Sourcing only locally produced food is something Chef Adams takes pride in, and by extension Guyana’s tourism sector. Local farmers and producers are the direct beneficiaries of the Backyard Cafe. They supply everything from natural honey, nuts, local juices and beverages to natural oils and herbs and spices. Chef Adams also curates his own wines, seasonings, sauces and flavoured oils – a combination of coconut or vegetable oils mixed with fresh onion, garlic and herbs, all grown by himself.
It’s all full circle; Chef Adams gives back to his community as much as he can, not only by supporting the local vendors, but also by employing the young boys from the school next door. These boys are all trained in areas that will benefit the business and themselves. They are provided an opportunity to learn, host visitors and put their time to use in a positive manner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or all three?
Guyana’s food options are vast, so it is understandable if you’re having a hard time deciding what you would like to eat. If you like, the lovely people at the Backyard Cafe would be more than happy to make a suggestion based on what’s in season. Here, it is all about the customer – your needs are their top priority, making it easy for everything else to fall into place.
As you would imagine, everything is prepared from scratch by fusing locally sourced herbs and spices with the fresh meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits of choice. They are always up for a challenge! Suggest anything out of the ordinary and the skilled team will get it to you, guaranteed. Let us tempt you with some suggestions…
If you’re a foodie, why not reserve an entire day for this experience? Start with breakfast – delicious pumpkin and oat pancakes topped with pure honey and eggs or cassava flour pancakes served with passion fruit jam. Or keep it a little bit more local with salted fish paired with moist bakes or ground provisions such as plantains and cassava. Various porridges, prepared with the finest locally milled corn and herbs and spices and creamy milk can also be prepared to your liking.
By now, you’re probably thinking, “why not brunch instead?”. Start this off with sautéed vegetables with mashed eddoes garnished with fresh herbs and spices. Or head straight into lunch with an unorthodox but equally delectable Passion Fruit Shrimp Curry, with some colorful Dahl and Rice and passion fruit cheesecake for dessert. The catfish curry paired with gooseberry cheesecake, or soursop ice-cream is another unique combination that will have your taste buds calling out for more. The authentic fruit juices such as golden apple, or soursop smoothies and a range of homemade fruit wines can be paired with your meals as requested.
Your mouth’s watering already, isn’t it? The choices are unique, they are seemingly endless and they are absolutely amazing.
Securing your spot
To ensure that you secure your spot at the Backyard Cafe, contact them via their Facebook page at The Backyard Cafe. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to try what most locals and visitors are calling the best way to experience local cuisine!
Travel Better with Guyana: Guyana is working hard to conserve its vibrant wildlife and ecosystems and protect its culture and heritage. We realise that it is often difficult to understand how you can support these aims and make a difference when you travel. That’s why we’ve set out to help you by creating Visitor Guidelines For Sustainable Travel. All passionate globetrotters, curious culture seekers and bold adventurers are encouraged to do all they can to leave a positive impact on the people and places you visit in Guyana.