Caribbean street eats
At the other end of town, Guyanese-born chef Raymond Mohan opened LoLo’s Seafood Shack in Harlem in 2014 with his wife, whose father was born in Belize.
“We both worked in fine dining environs before and wanted to bring the acumen of balanced flavor profiles to the cuisine,” Mr. Mohan said. “We focused on seafood because it’s synonymous with the Caribbean and it’s a cravable item that many people are intimidated to prepare.”
The current penchant for tropical flavors is driven by diners looking for bold and spicy flavors with fresh ingredients, such as the restaurant’s selection of sauces: habanero hot sauce, ghost pepper sauce, pineapple chutney salsa and salsa verde.
“Condiments like these are the foundation of Caribbean cuisine where fresh fruits and vegetables are used to flavor food alongside cooking techniques such as smoking and jerking meats and seafood,” he explained. “We also serve our signature cocktail — LoLo’s punch — created with housemade sorrel and freshly grated ginger and coconut rum.”
LoLo’s makes frequent use of coconut in more than its signature drink.
“Coconut milk is in a number of our Caribbean dishes, from ‘durty’ rice to stews to curry,” he explained. “When people migrated to the Caribbean, it was one of the most versatile things they had to work with, and nothing goes to waste with a coconut. It has so many uses from sweet to savory.”