Royal BVI Yacht Club Gets a New Chef and a New Menu  – The aLookingGlass staff walked over to the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club on a sunny Wednesday afternoon to sample some old favourites and some new additions from Chef Crystal O’Neal’s updated menu.

When we arrive, the club is abuzz with activity—young sailors and instructors from the youth sailing camp pad barefoot on the deck while inside the restaurant a meeting of the Marine Society hosts the movers and shakers in the yachting community. Flapping burgees overhead add to the festive feel of the restaurant.


The new menu has a few healthier options. Salads—Caribbean bean salad, Caesar or Club Med—can be topped with chicken, shrimp, steak or tuna. Also, there are more vegetarian choices including a Portobello, roasted red pepper and eggplant sandwich and veggie burgers. For those not so keen on healthy dining, popular lunchtime dishes like honey stung chicken and burgers and fries still grace the menu.

We order the “Homemade Crab Cake Minis” ($9 for members, $10 for non-members) as an appetizer for the table, and when they come out, we’re surprised that they are not mini at all. Instead, two adequately sized crab cakes arrive with a side of tartar sauce and a fresh, crisp side salad—romaine lettuce, red peppers, carrots and Vidalia onions— dressed in a sweet mango dressing. The dish would qualify as a meal instead of the appetizer we thought we’d ordered.

aLookingGlass designer Nick Cunha and director Colin Rathbun both choose the homemade meatloaf ($11/$12) from the specials menu. Three large slices of meatloaf topped in onion gravy are served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and a heap of roasted garden vegetables: zucchini, squash, carrots and cauliflower. Nick proclaims, “It’s better than my mom’s.” He washes down a bite with an Arnold Palmer, also known as a half and half—lemonade mixed with iced tea.


I decide to try the Portobello, roasted red pepper and eggplant sandwich ($10/$11). The bursting sandwich sits atop a bed of yacht club fries—perfectly seasoned, golden chips that are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I usually don’t love eggplant, but the grilled eggplant on this sandwich has been marinated in a balsamic dressing, making it tender and flavourful, and the dressing has soaked into the baguette. Yum.

Owen Waters, aLookingGlass editorial manager and promotional salesperson, and Maya Barbir, the accountant for Tortola Express, dig in to the generous helping of chicken curry ($12/$14). They pronounce it sweet, not spicy. “It’s a West Indian style curry,” Maya says. Between sips of pink lemonade, Owen adds that it has a coconutty flavour. Beside the curry is a bit of chutney sauce along with sides of roasted vegetables and rice. “They have the best rice here,” Owen says.

A homemade, hand-patted hamburger ($10/$11) inside a Kaiser roll is served to aLookingGlass office manager Françoise Frank. The ground beef is mixed with onions, parmesan cheese, rosemary, dill and other herbs and seasonings. The burger is available topped with lettuce, tomato and onion and comes with a pile of fries or a side salad. Bacon or cheese can be added for $1 each.

“I’m satisfied and full,” Colin says, looking down at his clean plate. “It was a hearty meal at a reasonable price. And really close to work.”

The Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club is located in Road Town in Road Reef Marina, just before Prospect Reef. They are closed on Mondays but offer lunch and dinner specials throughout the rest of the week, including Taco Tuesdays, Sushi Night on Thursdays and a Sunday Roast. (284) 494-8140.