The bake and shark photo by Michaela Flonard

Sisserou’s a vibrant spot in Tulsa Arts District

The restaurant specializes in Caribbean and Cuban food, and while a bit pricey, offers something for everyone.

When I tell people from outside Oklahoma that Tulsa actually has a really good food scene, places like Sisserou’s are what I mean. Sisserou’s Caribbean Restaurant is located in the Tulsa Arts District, nestled unassumingly next to the blaringly loud Mexican restaurant whose name I can’t remember.

Specifically, Sisserou’s is inspired by the island of the Dominica, but takes influences from the larger Caribbean, as well as Europe and America. A brother-and-sister team own the restaurant.
Upon entering, the eatery comes off as very bright and inviting, with dark wood furniture, vibrant wall paint and paintings that harken back to the islands from which Sisserou’s is inspired. A bar is situated to the left of the main dining areas, with other seating scattered throughout. Inside, it’s a lot bigger than it seems.

I’ve been to Sisserou’s twice now, once for lunch and once for dinner. Lunch operates from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is definitely the better option for college students on a budget. The lunch and dinner menus are nearly identical, except that the lunch menu has fewer, different, but most importantly, cheaper entree options. Either of these menus can fit entirely on one page, with an additional page of desserts and drinks, primarily alcoholic. The rest of the menu consists of appetisers, soups/salads, sandwiches and entrees. Honestly, I would’ve eaten some of the appetisers for a regular meal, as they included beef patties and jerk chicken wings. The sandwiches range from your obligatory burger with a few twists, to a “bake and shark,” made of fried sandwich dough and fried shark. All come with some sort of side, making a sandwich a hearty meal for dinner or lunch. For entrees, most dinner options are a little pricey, all over $15 and most within the $20 range, but include stewed oxtail, jerk chicken and New York strip steak. The lunch entrees are all around $10, and include jerk chicken and curry chicken, but not as many seafood options as dinner.

Before our food came out, we were served some bread, which was, like any bread, amazing. It was a speciality of the islands, made with more sugar than flour, so a bit sweet. All the entrees, however, come out artfully displayed, with streaks of sauce or sprinkles of seasoning on top to emphasize the color contrast found in the cuisine. I’ve tried both the “bake and shark” and the jerk chicken sandwich.

The “bake and shark” was unique. For my side, I picked the Callaloo soup, a traditional Caribbean soup with coconut cream, crab meat and spices. Unfortunately, I’m not the biggest fan of crab meat, so I didn’t actually find the soup that appealing, but others who tried it liked it. Upon my next visit, I tried the butternut squash soup, which was creamy and warm, perfect for the fall weather. Others in the group tried the fries and plantains for their side. The fries were extremely crisp, with just the right amount of salt, so I was a huge fan, while the plantains were thin and fried, with a sprinkling of sugar that made them a delicious dessert-side hybrid.

The “bake and shark” itself, however, was great. The fried dough stays crispy no matter the sauce used. The shark itself, also deep-fried, came across as any other fish patty. The meat was noticeably different than, say tilapia, another white meat, as it was firm and flakey. Several sauces accompanied the meal to be added at your leisure; my favorite was the tamarind and cilantro aioli. For the jerk chicken sandwich, warm wheat bread sandwiched a chicken breast, with lettuce, tomato, onion and an avocado creamy sauce. With all these accompaniments, the spice of the jerk chicken was drowned out, although the chicken was noticeably moist. Without the toppings, it did have a nice kick.

Others in the group ordered the Cuban sandwich and the veggie burger. The Cuban sandwich was huge, leaving leftovers. The veggie burger, which had a lot of ingredients and toppings, was fuller in flavor than expected. The crab back appetiser was also ordered, which was crab meat with spices, rolled in breadcrumbs and baked. For the price, it was rather small, smaller than my fist, but, I was told it was good. I’m not the person to judge crab meat.

Overall, I’d recommend visiting Sisserou’s. Because the prices can creep up on you, lunch is probably the best time, but it’s got a wide range of food and drink.

Post Author: Michaela Flonard