The secret of Enigma

When you’re told that Enigma is designing a cocktail that’s going to cost in the hundreds of dollars you know you’re somewhere unique.

The bar/club/executive meeting space/karaoke/DJ hub is Cayman’s newest establishment. As you walk in, there’s a bar area which wouldn’t be out of place in a cool New York City location, with a host of backlit shelves and chrome and black decor, giving a sophisticated feel – particularly with the bar staff dressed to the nines including waistcoats. Deeper into Enigma is a dance floor and booth area where DJs and live musicians get the party going. Throughout the establishment the wave theme – derived from the Cayman Islands flag – is prevalent. So, yes, the walls really aren’t straight at the end of the night; some of ‘em started that way.

Behind closed doors
What really sets it apart, though, are the soundproofed private rooms, all of which feature multilingual karaoke, flat screen TVs, Nintendo Wii and an innovative touchscreen ordering system. Simply order here and the drinks – and food – will come to you literally through the walls. It’s a smart concept; party as hard as you like and nobody will know you’re there – or conduct business meetings in comfort.

Best of all, between 4.30pm and 7.30pm, drink specials are $3.50 beer and $5.50 for cocktails. The most popular drink is the Enigma cocktail, whose ingredients I can’t quite identify but include an intriguing blend of sour, citrus, mango and complex flavours that linger on the tongue – and mind – until, well, until the next one arrives in the private booth. Which won’t be long; it’s truly delicious.

The clientele at Enigma is, according to visionary Ishmael DaSilva, derived from a number of backgrounds, but given the pricing outside Happy Hour perhaps the place is geared toward a higher-income market.

“I don’t want it to be pegged as a locals place; I don’t want it to be pegged as an expat place; I want it to be pegged as simply the place to be,” said the boss.

Enigma’s staff come from around the globe, meaning there are several languages spoken, adding brilliantly to the cosmopolitan feel; in all honesty when we step back out the door, it’s a surprise to find ourselves in Cayman- Enigma could truly be located anywhere that people gather to enjoy some refined time together. Be it Barbados, Barcelona or the Bayshore Mall, there’s no mystery about that.   WH

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Stephen Clarke