Fiji: A taste of the tropics

If you're having a island break in Fiji, here are a few places worth visiting.
Choose from more than 100 rums at The Rhum-ba, Denarau Yacht Club.
Choose from more than 100 rums at The Rhum-ba, Denarau Yacht Club.

EAT LOCAL

Serving up the best local produce and seasonal ingredients is the focus of Louise and Lee Acreman's Taste Fiji eatery, which you'll find about 10 minutes from Nadi Airport. The couple - Fijian-born Louise and Englishman Lee - have worked hard to replace imported ingredients with local equivalents, and also stock Fijian-made products, from handmade jams and jellies to handicrafts. You can't go wrong with anything from the carefully crafted menu: think coconut fish cakes with wasabi mayonnaise, herb salad and pickled radish or the green papaya salad with mint, basil, coriander, and palm sugar dressing. Beautifully decorated wedding cakes are also a passion for chef Lee - check out some of the pictures on their website at tastefiji.com.

Another gem in Nadi is Tu's Place, opened in 2005 by Kiwi Ian and Fijian Ratu (Tu), which serves a range of both Fijian and European-style dishes. Go hungry - the portions are generous - and make sure you try their spin on local delicacy kokoda, Fiji's raw fish salad. tusplace.webs.com

RUM-TASTIC

One of the newest places in town is The Rhum-ba, which is part of the Denarau Yacht Club. Here, you'll find more than 100 rums, ice-cold beer, excellent service and a cracking menu (try the Savusavu Bugs Warm Salad) set in a slick building overlooking the marina. rhum-ba.com

For something a little more beachy, all of the resorts have multiple eateries to choose from, depending on your mood.

Maravu at the Hilton Fiji Resort Beach and Spa, located on the beachfront, serves Southeast Asian cuisine with Chinese influences: think Bun Bo Xao - Vietnamese wok-fried beef-and-noodle salad with pickled carrot and radish, toasted peanuts and mint from the Hilton's own garden; or Yum Hua Plee - a Thai banana blossom salad with chicken, prawns, young coconut, chilli and palm sugar dressing.

FOODIE PARADISE

Being situated on the outlying islands isn't an impediment to finding good food. In fact, the dining is one of the best things about staying at Paradise Cove on the Yasawa Islands.

Unlike Denarau, you don't have a choice of restaurants. Meal plans are separate to accommodation costs.

Dinner is a five-course extravaganza. Starting with an amuse bouche, it moves on to an entree, sorbet, main course and dessert, and, if you're looking for something to wash it down with, kava on a mat with locals.

It's quality fare and what makes it even better for many is the fact kids club is open until 9pm so you can fob the little people off. Bliss.

- NZ Herald

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