If variety is indeed the spice of life Fiji’s thriving dining scene delivers the goods. The island region is synonymous with farm fresh produce, ample seafood and a fine blend of modern international flavours, that strive to complement the tropical climate while also paying homage to Fiji’s authentic tastes. Recent years have seen a heightened focus on refining Pacific Rim cuisine to cater to the broadening global in-bound tourism market. A multitude of leading chefs at the helm of the following restaurants have effectively recreated Fiji as a holiday destination that will no doubt please the most discerning of food lovers.
Sheraton Restaurant, Denarau.
Upon entering the restaurant guests are transported into a bygone era of charm and class. Featuring authentic décor to represent the luxury of a classic ocean liner plus a resident pianist to all adding to the silver service theme. The Ports O’Call menu is a curation of classic dishes executed with both flair and ceremony. Many meals are prepared at the table in theatrical performance. Must try dishes; the Lobster Bisque and/or the Aged Grain Fed Prime Rib of Slow Roasted with garden peas, herb crumb onion rings, a celeriac puree and red wine jus. A 5-star dining experience indeed.
The Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, Natadola.
Discover elegant Fiji specialty dining overlooking the lagoon at Navo. Chef Leon Hatton-Jones offers a range of playful and flavoursome dishes that perfectly synchronise with their extensive range of new and old-world wines. Think, Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, Prawn Delicacies, Vuda Braised Pork Belly, Wild Mushroom Risotto and a selection of winning Surf and Turf combo’s. The glass walled kitchen means diners can watch their dishes be prepared with flair. That is, of course, only if you can tear your gaze away from the stunning seascape before your eyes.
The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, Coral Coast.
The award-winning IVI is heralded as the best fine dining establishment on the Coral Coast. The floor staff are exceptional with their warm and professional manner ensuring a seamless evening. The restaurant design beautifully reflects Fijian architecture with intricate wooden furnishings, native greenery and intimate candlelit enclaves. Fijian singers gently serenade guests as they feast on a range of impeccable dishes. Order the Kokoda (Fiji’s beloved national dish), the lime juice marinated is fish with coconut cream & a touch of chili is amazing. Same goes for the ‘Spices of Fiji’ Rubbed Rack of Lamb with local honey, ginger, a kumala puree & a fried baby okra & mint glaze – simply delightful.
The Sofitel Resort, Denarau.
The team at V restaurant serve pacific inspired food with a touch of French flair to the highest standard. Their innovative menu bursts with the likes of; a delectable Squid Ink Pappardelle, fresh Fijian style Mahi Mahi and an outstanding dish of Local Corn Fed Chicken with a tamarind glaze, beetroot relish, cauliflower & truffle puree and coconut verte.
Note; Bure Du Vin is the newly opened aperitif and appetiser venue adjacent to V. With perfectly executed canapes and high-end French wines its ideal for an intimate pre-diner gathering.
Fiji Marriot Resort, Momi Bay.
Fish Bar offers elegant dining by way of a clever yet not overtly complicated menu. With an abundance of local seafood including terrific Sashimi Platters plus, a selection of epic mix grilled meat dishes such as Wagyu Sirloin and Honey Glazed Pork Cutlet, choosing a favourite dish will be the hard part. Meals are expertly presented and the striking Fijian sunsets overlooking the Pacific Ocean make for a wonderful evening with an impressive view. Note; Lighter lunch options favour a languid afternoon spent with family and friends too.
Prince Albert Restaurant
Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva.
Located in a gorgeous heritage listed hotel, the Prince Albert promotes an evocative and polished setting. The Prince Albert is a premium venue for special occasion dining in Suva. The service here is very attentive and you’ll find all staff to be both knowledgeable and proud of their production. The Prince Albert offers a wide selection of appetite inducing fine food. Think modern flavours mixed with classic Fijian ingredients. Superb steaks and to-die-for desserts. Generous servings of perfectly executed dishes will easily convince you to return again and again.
Flying Fish Restaurants
The Sheraton Resort, Denarau & The Sheraton Tokoriki Island Resort.
The Flying Fish menus have been created by none other than international celebrity chef, Mr Peter Kurvita. Peter regularly divides his time between the ‘foodie’ destination hubs of Noosa, Sydney and naturally Fiji. The restaurants concept genuinely reflects Peter Kuruvita’s love for fresh seafood and the Pacific region. The Sheraton Tokoriki Island Resort location boasts panoramic views from every angle! Both restaurants are renowned internationally for their creative culinary dishes and stunning ambiance. Menus at each feature a real treat of inspirational flavors from across the world, cleverly merged with the freshest seafood in Fiji. Book early, as you don’t want to miss out on a magic mud crab dish brought to life with chili and spice and/or the best zesty soft fish taco’s around.
Castaway Island Resort, Mamanuca Islands.
This enigmatic restaurant sits upon prime beachfront at the irrepressibly beautiful Castaway Island. The menu is a zesty fusion between traditional Fijian fare and exotic Asian flavours and all the fruit and vegetables are sourced from organic farms throughout Fiji and its obvious a great deal of thought has gone into their sensational menu. Relax on the beach and take in the aromas of tropical spices and balmy nights. Hint; order the Catch of The Day, a side of wok fried Asian greens and a glass of NZ white and dine out island style.
The Warwick Resort & Spa, Coral Coast.
Wicked Walu is located on its own island and the sunset’s here are magic! Come evening time the sea life is lit up by spotlights over the water. Inside, this photogenic restaurant exudes a true Fijian ambience. The staff at Wicked Walu will go above and beyond to ensure your night is a memorable one. Keep it tropical and do yourself a favour by ordering one of their ever-popular seafood platter’s. Relax with a cocktail in hand and your feet in the sand. A fantastic venue for celebrations of all ilk’s.
Malamala Beach Club
Surrounded by Fiji’s famous crystal clear waters, Malamala Beach Club is the world’s first beach club located on a private island. This unique establishment is only a 25-minute scenic boat ride from Port Denarau. Relax in a private cabana and indulge in ambitious share plates, chilled salads and a la carte tapas. Tip; the Malamala cocktail list was created by a famed San Francisco-based mixologist.
That about rounds it out for now, I’ll be sure to update the list on my next visit to my favourite South Pacific destination.