White Swan Restaurant in Simpson Bay is a little difficult to find when you’re driving on the main road, but a hidden jewel with great Chinese food on the island. For the past few years, White Swan has won the Daily Herald Award for the Best Chinese Restaurant category, held every year by the Daily Herald, the newspaper of St. Maarten.
Throughout the week, White Swan offers a large menu that includes more traditionally Chinese dishes like Ho-fen (河粉) and Peking Duck (北京脆皮烤鴨) as well as more international favorites like Sweet and Sour Chicken or Szechuan Shrimp. I’ve been there a few times and so far have enjoyed my meals every time I’ve gone.
Every Sunday, White Swan also offers dim sum, a Cantonese tradition similar to Spanish tapas with small delicate dishes shared among a table. Dim sum is a very social tradition, and is traditionally served with Chinese hot tea and takes place during midday (tea time). For dim sum, White Swan offers traditional favorites like siu mai, shrimp dumplings, congee, pork ribs, sponge cake, bean curd rolls, char-siu buns, phoenix claws, radish cake, scallion pancake, fun-gor dumplings, and much more. Make sure to go on Sundays from 11am to 4pm and request their special Sunday dim sum menu (not the regular menu, although there regular menu does show a limited selection of dim sum).
The family-owned restaurant is small and simple, but nevertheless they keep the place nice and tidy. They have a cute little koi pool outside.
The waitstaff is nice in giving recommendations, and bring food promptly.
The food is good, and some of the best Chinese I’ve had on the island. I love the beef ho-fen (which are thick, flat, chewy, rice noodles) and the peking duck (with the crispy skin, served with flat rice pancakes scallions, and hoisin sauce to wrap it up in), and the dim sum is pretty good too. The prices at White Swan are a little higher than some of the other Chinese restaurants around St. Maarten I’ve been to, but the food is enjoyable nevertheless. Expect dishes to be around $10-$12, and the dim sum items to be $3-$4 per dish.
If you are coming from AUC or the airport, drive towards Simpson Bay to get to White Swan. You’ll pass the gas station on the left, and Van Dorp on the right. Turn to the road on the right just before you get to the Banco di Carib building on the right (an orange and yellow building). White Swan will be on your immediate right.
View Larger Map