“ABUNDANCE OF FISH”.
As is the meaning of its country name, Santa Catalina’s coastline is rich in resources of fish.
It is very common for Panamanians to grow mango, papaya, watermelon, oranges, limes, lemon, avocado, casava (yuca), pineapple, melon, and other fresh fruit and veggies in their home gardens, so these produce items are readily available in most parts of Panama.
Panamanians also enjoy a rich culinary heritage that stems from it’s Colombian and Spanish roots, yet thanks to the diversity of our people, Panamanian traditional dishes tend to include a blend of these historical roots with other tropical flares, some stemming from the Caribbean and others from European or North American cooking styles.
At the “Pescao” Restaurant at Hotel Santa Catalina, our philosophy is always to deliver our guests with the most healthy food, using local organic produce when available, with taste that satisfies the soul, through typical Panamanian seafood dishes with a tropical gourmet twist, in a comfortable and beautiful ocean front atmosphere.
In accordance with the typical Panamanian / Tropical / Spanish colonial style and design of our hotel, we believe in showcasing our Panamanian heritage in every aspect of our presentation, including our food. Our chef has devised a brilliant menu of healthy, indulgent local seafood dishes that stem from the culinary roots of our country’s heritage, with a twist of tropical Caribbean taste.
Our guests’ most memorable moments are usually while enjoying a delicious meal at our ocean front Pescao restaurant with their friends or family, having good conversation, while watching the waves on the point as the sun sets over Coiba Island just across the bay. Those are the times when relationships flourish, new “amigos” are made, and thankfulness fills our souls.
Established in 1981, the location of our ocean front Pescao restaurant was once “Kenny’s Surf Camp”, where surfers from around the world would camp out in a small rustic wooden house that had no electricity or running water. Fresh seafood meals would be cooked over a rustic brick wood fire bar-b-q, with daily fish catch and fresh lobster being traded with local fishermen for items like packaged sliced bologna brought from Panama City, which were considered delicacy items not available to the locals at that time (there were no stores in the village of Santa Catalina at that time).
Kenny’s Surf Camp was a social gathering place for the international community of surfers either visiting or living in Santa Catalina. Surfers would gather at Kenny’s because that was the best place to watch the surf, as it is directly in front of the paddle out channel facing the point break. Surfers would bring their beers, watch their friends surf, and talk about the waves they surfed that day. Not much has changed, the cool vibes still carry on, except that now those same friends gather at the Pescao restaurant at Hotel Santa Catalina (still referred to as “Kenny’s” by locals) with an infinity pool out front, and much better meals, drinks, music and great atmosphere.
Pescao restaurant is open to the public, not just hotel guests, and we welcome you to visit and enjoy a meal or drink in our little piece of paradise on the ocean front of Santa Catalina.