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Roland’s Garden

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So there was once a German chef named Roland who occasionally let people come to his home in East End and eat his food.  There were a few wooden tables outside and a giant grill where Roland would prepare the evening’s meal. Guests didn’t have any choice in what they would be eating, and they better eat it all. There was no liquor license, so if you wanted some wine you had to bring your own.  There was no bill at the end of the night. You put what you thought the dinner was worth in a bucket on the way out.

We loved it.

A few months ago, Roland’s Garden re-opened at a new – more convenient – George Town location: the former Cayman Butterfly Farm.  It was also this month’s Restaurant Club destination.

 Roland’s is finally open and they’ve done an excellent job of recreating the ambiance from Roland’s front yard in EE.

Roland’s Garden is a restaurant with a beer garden in the front.  Once a month, Clark Kent and I go to staummtisch in the beer garden for some Hoegaarden on tap and a plate of whatever the dinner is for the night. This was the first time we’d eaten in the restaurant since it had moved.  Luckily, the format was still the same.  You eat what you’re given.

Loads of selection for the first course

The weather was being a bit dodgy, so despite reservations for twelve only seven of us made it out for dinner.  Roland and his assistant were ready for us. As soon as CK had gotten Rachel and I some beer, the food started coming.  There was fresh fruit, homemade bread – including a savory plantain – and some wonderful nibblies like pate, spicy cheese, olives, hard boiled quail eggs, gnocchi, salami, green beans and pickles.  All of it was fabulous with the exception of whatever it was the salami was wrapped around.  It was good too, just a bit overwhelming.  Sorry I can’t be more specific…with Roland, you don’t ask questions 🙂

The meat keeps on coming

The second round of plates was a meat lovers dream.  There was bacon-wrapped scallops in a cheese sauce as well as chorizo, cheese puffs and knackwurst wrapped in pastry. The meat pastry was especially good.  At this point, the club’s vegetarian is not only starving…she’s getting rained on as well.  Not her night, bless.

Her relief came with the third course which featured a grilled cheese and yummy sun-ripened tomato bruschetta. It got 14 thumbs up.  We also got a salad in this round which was pretty liberally doused in dressing.

The main attraction

The first thing out of Roland’s mouth when he brought the entrees around was ‘spaetzle.’  CK nearly yelped with excitement.  This yummy dumpling was served with pickles, chicken, pork, beef filet and some sort of game ribs.  Again, I didn’t ask.  I was already in trouble for leaving food on my plate.  Roland threatened to not bring my dessert.  Sad face.

The sad face worked and I got my fresh fruit and rum cake with white and milk chocolate mousse.  I think the Restaurant Club organizer, Jackie, might have licked her plate clean 🙂

Smiles all around.  Restaurant Club fully endorses Roland’s Garden.

Small Hoegaarden – $3.50
Dinner – $50 (you pay what you feel it is worth)
All prices in CI.  $1 CI = $1.20 US

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  1. Such a cozy place to have these delicious meals!

  2. I love the concept of eating whatever the chef makes and pay what you think it's worth. I think we had some kind of restaurant with the same concept here in Holland and it went bankrupt! I think that shows the mentality of Dutch people toward food. Seems like you had a great time! The food looked soooooooooo good!

  3. Chef Roland must be so generous and giving to not charge for all the amazing foods and desserts…and so smart to let you BYOB!
    Such a quaint garden place that can only be in a gorgeous island setting!
    Love the photos, and really loved you restaurant review!
    Thanks for sharing:DDD

  4. This is the coolest idea I love it! I wish I were there to lick my plate clean! 🙂

  5. so I need a vacation and my roomie suggested cayman islands and I thought of you!

    any tips /places/ ideas on where to stay?! !! we are thinking last minute for 7-15 or plan a little bit more for 8-15

  6. Oh I love this place… great concept… you eat what you get! I love surprises! hehehehe The food looks delicious (I am a meat lover… hehe). And that cake looks great!

  7. The German in me is trying not to drool on the keyboard (so are the meat lover, the cheese lover, and a variety of other personalities). I must start a restaurant club.

  8. I think it is thrilling to put my dinner choices in the chef's hands. Usually it turns out to be a superb meal like what your group experienced. I loved this!

  9. WOW I want to be there!! Great concept, the food looks amazing, and you my friend are one very lucky gal!! 🙂

  10. What a novel concept. His food looks delicious and it sounds like you really enjoy eating there. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  11. Looks like an amazing experience..the idea of paying what you think the meal is worth is brilliant 🙂

  12. Certainly looks like everyone had fun! One day when I get to the Cayman's – I'm going to Rolands!!

  13. What a funny and fun way to run a restaurant. Only in the islands, I think! 😉

  14. Looks like a wonderful place with great food.

  15. Roland's Garden looks reaaly inviting! Your review was really great…loved the way you wrote the same!
    Hey, you have a reason to smile. You are invited to my blog for receiving some beautiful awards! Congratulations!!

  16. That sounds like an amazing place to hangaround! I wish I were there too.

  17. I want to go there, also. Rolands looks like a fabulous place and the food looks outstanding. I love the concept of paying what you think it is worth, although, I would probably take an hour or so figuring that out.

  18. That looks amazing and so much food! When I lived in Sicily – you could find places like that every once in a while…but you had to know someone. Fortunately, we knew someone! Lovely evening…

  19. That is my kind of place! Love all of the different selections you are served. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place with us. I would love to visit.

  20. wow cool place, so need to visit Cayman islands one day

  21. What a fantastic place and dinner. Looks like it has a great ambiance too!

  22. Great idea, I think! When you are left to your own judgement, I believe people pay what it is worth and some more even! Or that is what I want to believe , hoping nobody is taking advantage of the situation.
    I can skip the whole meat thing and can go directly to the dessert.

  23. Om, nom, I'm so glad I'm not a vegetariuan. That food looks so delicious!

  24. I'm with Jackie…I would have licked my plate, too! But I may have been too full from all the other offerings…what a fun spot to dine!

  25. I love your dining adventures. Just one picture makes my mouth water, and you describe the food beautifully!

  26. Sounds like a really fun place, you pay what you feel it is worth and they serve what they feel like serving. I am guessing most times both parties have good feelings towards each other, with the occasional miss.

  27. What a fantastic concept for a restaurant and the food looks so delicious!

  28. Fun,fun,fun! Wishing Roland and son nothing but success. From the looks of the food photos Roland's is going to be quite busy, you and CK might want to make a standing reservation so you can get served. Please inform CK that we will see to it that he eats his fill of spaetzle in Switzerland in the fall. Keep these wonderful posts coming. Mrs. Herb Garden

  29. Cool idea, no bill. That is real confidence. They may even make more than planned since they do not even ask for money. By the looks of the food, they have nothing to worry about. Thanks for sharing and happy 4th

  30. Love Roland's place. Everything is so inviting; he must be thrilled you have given him such a nice review. I ws surprised Roland was German, the name sounds French to my ears.

  31. Savory plantain bread?!?!? Oh, I totally think you should get the recipe and post it on your blog 😀

  32. What a cool place! I would love to be there. The food looks really delicious! This is the first time that I've ever come across the concept of pay what you think it's worth! Awesome!

  33. This is so awesome and it is so making me miss Germany so bad! I lived there for 5 yrs. and right down the street from where I live there was a beergarten. Roland's garden seems like a place I would love, and I for one love dinners where you eat what you are given. Makes it more fun. Thanks for sharing this lovely place!

    Maria @ A Platter of Figs

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