Next to the post office in Punda the ‘Old Market’ is situated, in other words: “Plasa Bieu”. Originally this was a covered market hall, but the market moved to the larger building Marshe Nobo: the covered “Round Market”, located at the opposite of the post office. Nowadays you can only eat at Plasa Bieu. But some special food: authentic, local, highly tasty and affordable food.
Two years ago the Minister of Economic Development announced that Plasa Bieu needed a ‘facelift’. The tenants already complained about the current situation, which included pest, broken floors and problems with electricity and ventilation. In cooperation with Fundashon Marshe – which in addition to the management of Plasa Bieu also manages the square in front of the building of the ‘Landsloterij’ in Otrobanda – the renovation plans were developed.
When I walk in, I see the six open kitchens, each with its own manager and its own specific menu. The dishes are all based on local cuisine, and as eclectic Curacao is itself, so varied is its cuisine. Besides the typical Antillean dishes, influences from Surinam, Asia and South America are reflected in the menus.
The building of Plasa Bieu is pretty simple, but that is of course not much of a surprise given the original destination. The covered market was indented to protect the market vendors and their customers from the sun and occasional rain. Ultimately it was renovated into a space which suits the current restaurant function. On one side of the hall there are six kitchens. Every eatery is next to the open kitchen and it has two or three rows of picnic tables to eat. Three of the four walls of Plasa Bieu consist of open panels, through which it almost seems like you are outside: you actually eat more in a sort of porch than you feel like eating inside. Through the openings in the walls, you see and hear what is happening on the street, which in my view really adds to the unique atmosphere. Personally, I like the structure of the roof. The lines of the supporting beams are robust and take you to the roof, with iron chandeliers as a special detail. The height of the construction ensures that the heat does not stay below.
The closer the lunch hour, the more people will walk inside to have lunch at Plasa Bieu. The clientele is unprecedented varied. Tourists, directors, secretaries, brokers and a blog photographer like me, anyone who loves good, fresh, local food eats at Plasa Bieu.
With thanks to Manon Hoefman