On Friday night, some friends invited me to experience dinner at Oistins Fish Fry. As I have not attended an Oistins Fish Fry in many years, I decided to tag along with my friends.
Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday evening is a highly recommended must-do experience for both locals and visitors of Barbados.
We set off on this adventure, and I was so surprised to see that the car park was filled with cars and people walking in groups towards the actual eating areas. Wow, tourists and Bajans do patronize the Fish Fry.
Oistins Fish Fry is situated on the seaside in Oistins in the parish of Christ Church. There are many small wooden kiosks, each one with a different name, serving a variety of foods and drinks. They are long portable tables and chairs set up and a bevy of ladies trying to encourage you to sit at their dinner-tables.
They even have printed menus for your convenience to choose your desired meals. It is a very festive atmosphere with soca music playing, hips swaying, and people in a jovial mood as it is Friday night, and the workweek completed.
To add to the atmosphere, they even have wild chickens walking about between people happily pecking at dropped morsels of food. You can smell the sea mixed with the aroma of frying fish. The pleasant breeze was blowing, keeping everyone fresh.
There is a buzzing sound of all the voices as they eat dinner and converse about all things imaginable. The essential topic around Barbados these days is politics.
My plate of grilled dolphin, pasta salad, plantain, and tossed salad was delicious. Others at our table had macaroni pie, fried chicken, peas, and rice—all delicious Bajan food.
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There is a small stage in the center of the forecourt, for live bands or dance displays. Renowned personalities (some were under the influence of too much rum) were entertaining the crowd with their uniques dancing styles: quite a spectacle but so much part of the integral Bajan nightlife.
On one side of this event was a very intense domino competition. Table after table of men having a blast slamming dominoes, each one was trying to slap down their domino louder and with more enthusiasm than the next.
It seemed to be an official competition with people keeping score on a big blackboard. I am not sure if this happens every Friday, but I am guessing it does. Again a very intimate part of the Bajan culture.
The crowd was very diverse, with tables of local people having dinner and drinks after a long week of work. Tables consisted of sunburnt visitors enjoying a very Bajan cultural atmosphere as well as young kids, babies, and older teenagers.
It was an enjoyable experience. Everyone just hanging out and having some downtime. My daughter and I have decided we are going to frequent Oistins more often on a Friday night as the atmosphere was very captivating.
I recommend that if you haven’t been to Oistins recently, you decide to go and enjoy this experience. If you are a visitor to this island and you want to experience local culture at the fullest to make your way to Oistins and have dinner on a Friday night.
By: Anna Page
Last Updated: June 13th, 2020
Publisher: Totally Barbados