With its vibrant murals and thatching, plus smiley staff, inconsistent service and proper upbeat soca, Caribbean Scene makes a decent stab at island evocation. Even the rather tired-looking flooring and scuffed paintwork add to the authenticity.
But it’s the food that really hits the spot, taking you straight to the West Indies. Nothing does it better than the all-you-can-eat buffet, a clear favourite with the tables of diners dotted around the sprawling space. We followed the crowds to the impressively long counter, where pan after pan of down-home dishes tempted us to go back for a refill – for more excellent fish stews and the likes of kingfish, mackerel and, of course, saltfish and ackee. There’s also a dizzying range of meat dishes; the chicken selection alone included stewed, curry, jerk, pineapple and barbecued, with or without sauce. Vegetables don’t let the side down either: plantain was perfectly caramelised, while callaloo, okra, stewed cabbage, macaroni pie and dumplings were all as good as you’d get in most à la carte restaurants.
The downside? We consumed what felt like a full week’s worth of salt in one – admittedly very large – meal.