Written by: Josh Newmark
During your stay at Jicaro, the culinary team will make sure you’re more than well-fed. The menus for each meal are varied and there is always a local twist so that upon departing, you will have had a taste of Nicaragua. The restaurant is all-inclusive so you can have a meal as fulfilling as you like, and the staff are super friendly and attentive and will accommodate any preferences or dietary requirements.
For breakfast there is a fantastic variety of options: a cooked breakfast might take your fancy, including the eggs and bacon with which you are familiar but accompanied by gallo pinto (a favourite local dish of rice and beans) and Nicaraguan dry cheese. Or perhaps you would prefer fresh, locally-sourced granola with yoghurt and a plate of fresh mango, grapefruit and pineapple slices. And if you are after something sweeter, the menu offers amazing pancakes accompanied by caramelised banana. My recommendation would probably be the ‘island french toast’: thick slices, dusted with grated coconut and accompanied by a jug of pineapple syrup. And make sure to ask for the smoothie of the day! Also, every meal is accompanied with freshly baked bread, which at breakfast includes a fresh pastry and locally-produced fruit jelly.
The lunch menu has several traditional local dishes. The ceviche is a delicious cold starter made of sliced fresh fish, new potatoes, and avocado with olive oil, served alongside crunchy plantain fries. Red bean humous is a Nicaraguan twist on an international favourite. There are also three different flavours of refreshing gazpacho to choose from. For the main course you might decide to try the vigoron, a traditional meal of yucca mash with fried pork. The tacos (chicken, fish, or prawn) are another delicious option, served on corn tortillas and accompanied by refried beans and salad. Then there is also the option of a simple three-cheese toasted sandwich, a burger, or steak, as well as vegetarian options.
Dinner can be preceded by a salad or soup (the fresh crab soup is brimming with flavour), or by another starter such as the eggplant stack, which is served alongside a slice of camembert. Although I am not a vegetarian, I tried the tortilla española and the plantain lasagne, and they did not disappoint. On the non-vegetarian menu are two delicious steak options, as well as delightfully exotic coconut shrimp dish. And despite being someone who rarely enjoys fish, I requested the orange-glazed fish of the day multiple times because it was so tasty – served upon a delicious sweet quequisque paste, alongside roasted eggplant. Desserts include exotic ice cream flavours (coconut, dragonfruit, passion fruit), chocolate or citrus cakes, and ‘choco banana’ – a frozen, chocolate-coated banana on a stick.
Finally, if your stay at Jicaro coincides with a Saturday, you might be lucky enough to experience ‘Nicaraguan food night’, a buffet of traditional dishes.