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Central American restaurant believed to be one-a-kind

Head Chef Randall Romero at RomeroJo's Costa Rican restaurant in Whitby, the only Costa Rican in the UK

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Head Chef Randall Romero at RomeroJo's Costa Rican restaurant in Whitby, the only Costa Rican in the UK w132709a

A Whitby restaurant is believed to be the only one of its kind in the UK.

RomeroJo’s on Golden Lion Bank is understood to be the country’s only genuine Costa Rican restaurant and owner Randall Romero said he only discovered this when he was contacted by the Costa Rican consulate in London.

He explained: “They said ‘are you Randall Romero?’

“First thing, I respect the call, secondly I said ‘what’s going on? I need to know’.”

Costa Rica has a history of unsettled politics and so Mr Romero said he was concerned about why the embassy would call him. However, his worries were soon alleviated, and he explained the consulate said: “We don’t want to scare you, we want to say well done on opening your restaurant because we don’t know of anyone else who has a Costa Rican restaurant in the country.”

With just 256 Costa Rican nationals living in the UK, and only one other Costa Rican chef, the consulate is confident that Mr Romero’s restaurant is one-of-a-kind.

RomeroJo’s has been open just three months and serves dishes from across Latin America. Some, such as the raw fish ‘ceviche’ will be unfamiliar to those raised with a traditional Whitby palate.

Mr Romero said: “I have had some people say ‘well it isn’t English’, so they just walk away. But mainly the response has been really exciting. Of 100 per cent of people who come here, 90 per cent like it. The fish ceviche is one, people try it and now every time they come they get it. They say ‘we love it because it’s really different’.”

Mr Romero met his wife, Joanne, while in Costa Rica.

The couple then moved to London, before making the huge leap of relocating to Whitby.

However, now they have found a new home by the coast, the couple intend to settle down and grow the business.

 

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