Order this... the friendly atmosphere of TigerFish

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 10:15pm

Coming in hot in its third year on the island, TigerFish has found its groove. The restaurant opens for happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. with a smaller menu of popular Asian snack foods (including amazing lobster rolls), then dinner is served until 9:30 p.m. Late night is when the place starts really hopping; Southeast Asian appetizers are served while the crowd enjoys karaoke on Thursdays and DJ Libré spins tunes on Friday nights. Soca Sunday brings Caribbean music to the island to the delight of island workers and tourists alike. TigerFish is one of the only places serving hot food after hours, so you’ll find the island workers hanging out here after finishing their restaurant shifts elsewhere. Take-out remains very popular, as it’s the only place to go when you’re jonesing for General Tso Chicken and Crab Rangoons, or some of TigerFish’s Udon noodles or Crack Fries (the description on the menu reads: “Just Trust Us”).

See This:

TigerFish has a hip, retro feel to it that will feel familiar to anyone who ever went to an American Chinese restaurant in the 70s or 80s. Old Bruce Lee movies play soundlessly on screens above the bar area, and the walls are similarly adorned with movie posters of martial arts movie starring Jackie Chan and others. A specials menu highlights items with local Block Island beef, just-caught tuna and other enticing dishes. Festive tablecloths add a pop of color to the interior and they bounce off the Tiki themed bar and lounge area. While the air conditioning is lovely on hot humid days, you also have two outdoor options for dining — one out back offering a sitting area and long table for more private dining, and the other out front on Corn Neck Road. Bright blue umbrellas provide shade while you sip on a drink, share some noodles and enjoy some of the best people-watching on the island. Owners Ross and Brenna Audino have operate the popular spot for the past three seasons.

Taste This:  

Southeast Fusion food meets the ocean in TigerFish’s presentation of Lobster Fried Rice. Served in a carved-out pineapple and brimming with flavor, color, and tender chunks of lobster, the dish has a nice heat from red curry tempered by cool thin slices of watermelon radish and sprouts. Chunks of fresh pineapple cut the spice while pieces of green and red pepper add crunch to the meal. We enjoyed the rice along with one of the locals’ favorite cocktails, 7th Chamber. Described to us as a “spicy watermelon margarita”, hints of citrus passion-fruit liquor and fresh watermelon juice elevate the beverage to a satisfying refreshing drink that tastes just perfect on a summer day. While the Lobster Fried Rice is a meal in itself, the restaurant is best known for small plates and often a group of four to eight will come in and order one of everything off the menu to share.  

What everyone is eating/drinking:

Locals Hank and Samantha come to Tiger Fish frequently for food and drink. They order Pina Coladas and prefer the menu board specials — this night it was a blackened local bigeye tuna with chow mein noodles over greens with a mango vinaigrette.  They said “everything here tastes really really good” and Samantha pronounced the vegetable spring rolls “fantastic.” Hank says that “since I never go off the island, I can get my fix of Chinese food here — the Crab Rangoons are great, the pork friend rice is made with pork belly, and the Umami  Burgers are the best on the island.” A group of women sitting in the back of the restaurant outside at a long table were walking by the restaurant, saw the menu and came right in. They were drawn by the small plates and ordered most of them to share with the group. Sisters and friends from South Kingston, Jocelyn, Megan, Rebecca, Andrea, Olivia, Kathryn, Joanna and Bri had two Scorpion Bowls between them and said all the food looked “really really good.” Thai Ice Tea was a favorite for Jodi and Helen from Connecticut, who said the drink was “fabulous” and “perfect with the make-your-own Lobster spring rolls with pickles, spicy noodles, Thai chilis and mayo.” Like the group above, they found the restaurant by strolling by it, looking at the menu and grabbing a seat out front. “This is our first time here but we’ll definitely be back.” Jonathon from Providence works on the island this summer, and says “I come here every day. It’s relaxing, chilling and I give it a 10 out of 10.” His favorite is the late night General Tso chicken with fried rice — “I love this good Chinese food. It’s quick, good portions, and it’s great food for the money.” Kathleen and Jay from Block Island come in nearly daily for the Tiki Coffee — Polynesian coffee with Jameson’s. “It’s the best ice coffee I’ve had” says Kathleen, who also likes the coconut pineapple pork for a dinner and the General Tso Chicken and Crab Rangoons off the late-night menu.

Sometimes you just want to have something different on vacation, but you still want that island vibe. TigerFish is the place to get it, with local specials, fresh twists on familiar dishes as well as pure comfort food after a long day on the beach or at work.  

It’s easy to find good seafood on the island, but TigerFish is the only place you can have it in a Pho dish, and while you can get sandwiches and pizzas from many other restaurants, this is the only place you can get spicy noodles to take to the beach for a bonfire snack. Take-out or late night, karaoke or Sunday Soca, TigerFish is a great place to relax, eat and enjoy that island vibe.