Café Kisimul on the Isle of Barra!
For those of you that are familiar with the Isle of Barra, we’re confident you’ve seen, dined or heard all about Café Kisimul. For those of you that haven’t been to Barra yet, you’ll find this little gem comes highly recommended and is located down ‘the street’ in Castlebay with views of the bay and Kisimul Castle, hence the name! This small restaurant offers up an array of delicious dishes including Indian, Italian and of course, local seafood!
Cafe Kisimul was founded in 2004 by husband and wife team Rohail and Pauline Bari. After moving to Vatersay in 2002 to escape the frantic pace of life in Glasgow, they found more and more interest in their cooking and eventually ran a curry night in the village hall with the local Vatersay Boys playing the tunes for the night. It was a great success and they decided to pursue cooking as a new family venture. Cafe Kisimul (formerly the Kisimul Galley) came up for sale and the rest is history!
The restaurant has gone from strength to strength over the years and has received much critical acclaim, including being nominated as a finalist for the UK-wide "Tiffin Cup" and being chosen as the top Scottish Curry (4th place overall) in the competition held in the Houses of Parliament.
But it doesn’t end there - Rohail and Pauline Bari’s eldest son, Harris followed in his parent’s footsteps and has taken over the running of the Café to continue his family’s legacy. Not only have they provided the Island with it’s first Indian/Italian cuisine but they also host folk music nights throughout the summer season. Oh and did we mention there’s plenty Barra Gin to be enjoyed as an accompaniment to your meal!
The popular folk music nights in the café with local musicians began in 2017. While a sudden power cut almost left the restaurant without music for the night, the team called Ingried Bousaroque, a Quebeqoise musician and resident of Barra to come and play some tunes for their guests. It went down so well that they decided to run it again, and now they have five local musicians who play at the Café with guests from as far as Norway coming to join in these nights!
We were in the midst of planning and working closely with Harris and his team at the Café to create exciting Gin events and evenings to collaborate on throughout the season this year which have had to go on hold unfortunately, like everything else. However, we look forward to the return of normality and getting to work closely with Kisimul Café in the near future!
But Harris hasn’t let COVID-19 stop him! He is supplying our small population with delicious take-away’s during the weekend to allow us a night off from cooking and a spectacular taste of normality!
We hope you have all had a relaxing weekend, unwinding from the real world and of course, have managed a few G&T’s to help with this!
Our online shop is still well and truly open and we have a small team working behind the scenes safely to ensure our Island Spirit makes it from Scotland’s most Westerly Distillery to your home!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have already supported our family business by purchasing a bottle of our Barra Atlantic Gin during this time.
Take care and all the very best from the Isle of Barra!