The menu at Island Paradise Bar & Grill in Warner Robins is less a promise of what’s available and more a starting point for discussions. The chef, Kevin, came out to ask us what kind of mood we were in.
I ended up with a shrimp curry. My dad landed Warner Robins’ best Indonesian chicken stir fry. Needless to say, that’s not on the menu of the Jamaican restaurant.
My shrimp curry wasn’t on the lunch menu either, but I didn’t mind a bit.
On a latter visit, we discovered the menu has a number of drinks that weren’t in stock. But it became a great beginning for negotiation, leading me to a wonderful mango tea.
And that’s the thing about Island Paradise -- you may go in expecting to be surprised by different tastes, but sometimes you’re surprised about the process of actually getting surprised. But it all works out.
Every single thing we tried was robust, seemingly bursting with flavor. Each dish had an absolutely beautiful presentation. Though we didn’t have a clue what we’d end up eating, we weren’t in the least disappointed.
It didn’t matter if the dish was complex or simple. My wife loved her appetizer of fried plantains ($4), a dish that reminded her of her native Brazil and bested the work of a nearby Cuban restaurant. She liked her spinach patty ($2.59) as well.
My dad’s brown stewed chicken ($9) was wonderfully tender and tasty. I opted for a jerk chicken ($9) that came with Jamaica’s traditional flavoring embedded to the bone.
For that matter, my daughter’s grilled cheese sandwich was perfect. It’s hard to mess up a grilled cheese sandwich, but this one had a superior grade of cheese and no greasiness.
The only flaw was the french fries, which tasted like something we might’ve tried baking at home. (Of course, my daughter loved those as well.)
Island Paradise was a most unpredictable restaurant, but we couldn’t have ended up any happier.
Island Paradise Bar & Grill
Address: 2203 Watson Blvd., Warner Robins
Phone: (478) 550-3736
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays
Payment: Cash, credit, debit
Kids Menu: Unwritten
Noise Level: Varies
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Health Rating: 87
Rating: 3 1/2 stars