Surprising meals in port - Sushi Omakase in Honolulu, Curry in Figi, Vietnamese fare in Nouméa
During our 36-night cruise across the Pacific Ocean, we have stopped in several ports. We've had our fair share of typical port fare - island drinks and shaved ice in Hawaii which was, admittedly, amazing with its special cream on top and macadamia nut ice cream center. Mine pictured here was pina and coconut flavors.
But there have been some surprising meals at some of the stops. In this post, I'll discuss an amazing sushi meal in Honolulu, a fabulous lunch of Indian curry with a Fijian flavor in Suva, a gastropub in Suva, and a little Vietnamese place in Nouméa, New Calendonia.
The biggest splurge was at Restaurant Suntory in Honolulu. Some of my colleagues had given me a generous gift to be used for a special meal on our trip. We chose Restaurant Suntory in Waikiki, choosing the sushi omakase meal. That means we had a sushi chef make us individual dishes in front of us. Rather than ordering off a menu, the chef chose what to make for us. He was very skilled, describing what he was making, where the food came from and how to enjoy it. We ordered Suntory beers to drink with the sushi. It lasted over 90 minutes and we savored every bite. Thanks to our friends who made this possible (you know who you are!)
In Suva, Figi, we had two nice meals. For lunch the first day, we ate at an Indian Curry place called Indiana Curry House. When the British ruled Figi, the colonial government brought in workers from India, and there is a sizable East Indian population there today. The curries are distinctly Indian, but with spices from Figi. The flavors were balanced and nice, plenty spicy, but a bit less intense than the Indian curries we had in London. I drank a local Figian beer (not understanding how big the "longneck" would be!) and Paul had a mango drink. Curry portions were large and satisfying. Very enjoyable!
The following day, we had lunch at a gastropub called Kanu. Owned by Chef Lance Seeto - an Australian born in Papua New Guinea - the restaurant reimagines Fijian food with modern influences. From what I have read, he has traveled extensively throughout Fiji, and teaches new chefs at university in Suva and supports local food producers. You can read more about the chef here. Menu items were definitely interesting and tasted delicious. Our drinks combined flavors in unique ways. I had something non-alcoholic with tamarind and other flavors I can't recall. Because they're a genuine foodie place, the menu has already changed (in a week!) so I can't look it up online. But the drinks were delicious. For lunch, Paul had a delicious stir-fry although not very spicy (he ordered a peppery sauce). But, he enjoyed it. I had shrimp linguini and it was terrific. Everything was super-fresh. We had a great dessert of a chocolate-caramel flourless tart with fantastic house-made nut brittle.
We had a few meals with delicious fresh fish. One was in Suva, Tiko's Floating Restaurant. The other was a little Vietnamese place on the Baies des Limons (Lemon Bay) in Nouméa, New Caledonia. In both, the restaurant served large portions of fresh fish. Paul had a spicy pork curry and I had fish with lemongrass and vegetables. Bottom line: you can't go wrong with fresh fish at a port! And, you can't beat the view!
Final thought: there are always little surprises along the way. Virtually every place we've eaten has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, so something for everyone. This cup of coco-coffee in Samoa was divine and served by such a nice waiter! The chocolate was rich but not overly sweet, and the coffee was strong. It really lifted our spirits in a hot, muggy climate and was a great way to start the day!