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Travel Dining Tips When Visiting Denarau
When we go out for a vacation, the first thing that comes to mind is what food we should try there. Every place has its intriguing dishes that we must give a try when we go there. For that, we will need dining places that will do them justice. In this article, we'll talk about the best dining places you can visit in Denarau.
Where Is Denarau?
If you have discovered this article, you might wonder where Denarau is! Denarau Island is a small private resort located on the western side of Viti Levu, which is in the Republic of Fiji. The resort is only 2.55 km square and is known for its hotels and resorts, with the 18-hole Denarau Golf Course as its centrepiece.
The island includes top international chains such as Hilton, Sheraton, Radisson, Westin, Sofitel, and Wyndham. There is also a shopping precinct, Port Denarau, containing Denarau Marina, with various restaurants, a supermarket, a bakery, hairdressers, and tour operators.
The Best Places To Eat In Denarau
When we first think of Fiji, the "culinary experiences" might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But after a holiday to Denarau, that will surely change. The resort island has fine dining experiences with its luxurious five-star resorts. When it comes to food, they have upped their game, so you will surely not be disappointed.
From mouth-watering Asian cuisine to fresh from the ocean seafood, traditional Fijian dishes, smoothies, and coffees, you name it, and Denarau has it. So, let's look at the best eats and restaurants in Denarau that will fit all your needs, like the charming Wet Edge restaurant, for instance.
But before we jump to the restaurants, let's review some tips for eating out there.
Tips for eating out in Denarau
- Don't just stick to the restaurants in your resorts. You don't have to hesitate to enjoy the restaurants at the other five-star resorts there either. Take a culinary journey as there are so many beautiful bars and cafes to enjoy around the island, especially near the Coral Coast.
- Schedule at least a few nights at the Port of Denarau and Denarau Marina. They are the hub for eateries and bars.
- If you are staying in Denarau on a budget, consider having a late lunch. Then you can enjoy large dinner-sized portions at half the price of dinner.
- If you are in Denarau, you can't miss out on the cultural dinner show on Denarau Island. So, ensure to book a spot at these wildly popular events.
- To see how the locals eat, you can get a taxi to Nadi and visit the places there.
Now let's dive into the restaurants!
Fijian restaurants in Denarau
When in Fiji, you can't miss out on Fijian food. To give an idea of Fijian food, it consists of fresh seafood from the surrounding waters that are prepared in many mouth-watering ways, from smoked fish to creamy coconut marinated delights. You can expect to see a few unfamiliar tropical vegetables that are worth educating your palette. Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant, situated at the Port Denarau Marina, is precisely that!
You can go there to try out the raw fish salad, Kokoda, or any other staple Fijian seafood dish. Also, at Port Denarau, there's more seafood to try out on the menu at Bone Fish Seafood Restaurant. Try out the freshest fish from the surrounding South Pacific Ocean for a real Fijian experience. Another must is the gigantic seafood platter to share with grilled tuna steak, prawns, calamari rings, tempura fish, and spiced mahi-mahi.
If you want to be expertly entertained while you eat, then go to Coco Palms at The Westin Resort. They offer a whole Fijian cultural show with Meke and Lovo nights every Wednesday and Saturday. While watching the revealing of the Lovo, food that has been slow cooking in the ground for hours, you can also learn about Fijian culture through the stories, songs, and dance.
The feast is typically enjoyed in a buffet style, so you can quickly get your favourites repeatedly. The Radisson Blu Resort also has a cultural dining experience that is at the Loma Ni Wai, which literally means "in the water." Yes, it's precisely what you think it is. You will experience dining in refreshing knee-high water as you enjoy cultural performers and indulge in a three-course barbecue meal. It's a unique way of dining in Fiji.
Asian restaurants in Denarau
It's not always been easy to find good Asian food in places like Denarau. But thanks to the Asian influence, mainly by Indians and Chinese, in Fiji, you can now bet that you'll find some fantastic Asian cuisine. Whether it's Indian, Thai, or Asian fusion, you will definitely find something to suit your palette in Denarau's marina and resorts.
To spice up your life and taste, going to the Indigo Indian & Asian Restaurant & Bar at Port Denarau is a must. Their menu contains Indo-Fijian specialities, including crab masala, lamb Rogan josh, and other Indian classics.
You can also go to the Chantara Thai Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Resort for a culinary journey. The dining starts with an a la carte breakfast menu, followed by an authentic Thai lunch and a dinner menu from a well-trained speciality Thai chef.
Located on the waterfront, Maravu at the Hilton Resort really awes everyone with its Asian dishes. Apart from the irresistible Pad Thai, it's also a place with a super laid-back atmosphere.
International restaurants in Denarau
We all enjoy some excellent international restaurants, don't we? You can find flavours from around the world in and out of the resorts in Denarau. You will indeed find something there no matter what international food you are craving. If you are craving Italian, take yourself to Amalfi Italian Restaurant in Port Denarau. They have an Italian chef and management, so you already know you're getting almost the complete Italian experience.
I said almost because they use some fresh Fijian produce to keep the Fijian vibe going. We all crave steak during a vacation, don't we? It's just that sometimes you can't resist a steak. Cardo's Seafood and Steakhouse in Port Denarau offers a global menu of New Zealand steaks, Fijian seafood, and Chinese dishes. So you are getting all these varieties under one roof. If you are a Hard Rock Cafe type of person, you're also in luck.
The Hard Rock Cafe Fiji in Port Denarau sells music collectables and merchandise. And not to mention, their food is pretty good, too, with customer pleasers such as nachos, barbecue grilled combos, grilled steaks, and gourmet burgers. You can enjoy an evening with a lively atmosphere and great music. For the pizza lovers out there, definitely try the Fijian favourite food chain, Mama's Pizza.
They are famous for their wood-fired delights but have other options as well, and this place is an excellent option to take the whole family for lunch or dinner. Also, if you are indecisive, head to Lulu's Bar and Restaurant. They have something for everyone: curry, steak, pasta, sushi, burgers, pizzas, and more. They also have a bar downstairs that serves drinks all night long and then big breakfasts the following day to cure the hangover.
Cafes in Denarau
Cafes have become a craze recently among the younger generations. If you need a cafe to meet someone, for a cup of coffee, or want some sweet eats, Denarau has a great selection of cafes too. You will most likely stumble upon a couple of them if you go on a morning walk.
The Bilo Lounge is situated in front of the fountain area at Port Denarau and is open for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. You can grab yourself a coffee and choose one of their fresh fruit smoothies or milkshakes from their juice bar on the way out. They also have a classic Western-style Cafe menu and are great for celebrating special occasions.
The sweet tooth people cannot miss the Snowy House Dessert Cafe, which is open all day till 10 pm. You can enjoy all the heavenly desserts with a wide range of options to suit any dietary requirements as they have everything from gluten-free cassava roll cakes to fresh and frozen fruit yoghurts. This is a place near Vanua Levu that you will regret not visiting once in Port Denarau.
Even though this place is not so much a cafe, The Hot Bread Kitchen in Port Denarau is a must-try bakery. They sell fresh and affordable pies, sausage rolls, bread, and sweet treats. It's a great choice if you decide to go for a quick snack or lunch.
Vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Denarau
Vegan restaurants have gained much popularity over the last few years due to more people going for the vegan lifestyle. As Denarau Island is a holiday destination for travellers from all over the world, a wide range of diets are considered when creating restaurant menus.
Vegetarian and vegan options will be easy to find on any menu. But there aren't any dedicated vegetarian restaurants there yet. Vegetarian and gluten-free options can be seen well marked on the menu of Chantara Thai Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Resort.
Among their highlights are the Phad Thai, Khao Phad sub pa roo, sizzling plates of tofu, and more. If you want to go for the Asian theme, you might want to try the Indigo Indian & Asian Restaurant at Port Denarau Marina. They have an extensive range of vegetarian curries and Indo-Fijian cuisine.
For light snacks, you can always count on cafes, which usually have vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. Bulaccino, located outside the Sheraton Resort, is famous for its quinoa salad, veggie rice noodles, vegan cookies, and more.
Finally, while you get your health fixed at the KORO complex at the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and the Waitui Beach Club at the Sofitel Fiji Resort, you can enjoy gluten-free vegan and vegetarian food in the restaurant in the adult-only area.
Cheap Restaurants And Cafes In Denarau
Now let's talk about the restaurants to choose from if you are on a budget. Surely not everyone can afford to go to a five-star restaurant and spend a fortune, and all the places mentioned before have an affordable option on their menu. So, let's go over the restaurants where you can enjoy a good meal on a budget.
- The steakhouse bar at the Port Denarau Marina has a few cheaper options worth trying. You can try out their breakfast menu ranging from FJ$7-$21. For lunch, you can try out FJ $10 pork belly roll, FJ$19 chicken bites, FJ$14 fish & chips, and a selection of FJ$19 small pizzas.
- Bonefish Seafood Restaurant at Port Denarau Marina is perfect for enjoying something fishy on a budget. There is plenty to choose from on their menu. For instance, the Fijian Kokoda for FJ$18 (AUD$11) or some of the salads for around FJ$22(AUD$15) each. The Fisherman's Basket at Bonefish is FJ$30(AUD$20) and is big enough to share between two for lunch.
- You can get amazing vegetarian curries at the Indigo Indian & Asian Restaurant on Port Denarau Marina for around FJ$19-$26(AUD$12-18).
- At the Heineken House Restaurant & Bar in Westin Resort, main meals range from FJ$19-$29(AUD$12-18) that include fish & chips, BBQ ribs, chicken parma, and all sorts of pub grub.
- Another handy option is to head to the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club Clubhouse, opposite the Sheraton Fiji Resort, for lunch or dinner. They have pub grub-style meals for FJ$20-$30(AUD$13-20). You can also check out their regular deals listed on their Facebook page.
- The Bulaccino Cafe, outside the Sheraton Fiji Resort, has plenty on the lunch menu for under FJ$20(AUD$13). You can try their wraps for FJ$15.50(AUD$10), fries for FJ$5(AUD$3), and a couple of killer gourmet sandwiches for around FJ$18.50(AUD$12), or spoil yourself with a burger for FJ$20.50(AUD$13).
- Another great lunch option is The Creperie Cafe, outside of the Sheraton Fiji Resort, which serves sweet crepes, savoury crepes, and sushi boards all around FJ$12-$15(AUD$8-10).
- Speaking of sushi, you can try a small assortment of 12 sushi rolls for about FJ$20(AUD$13) at the Umami Sushi Bar, which is part of the Lulu Bar & Cafe on Port Denarau Marina.
- For breakfast, you can go to Cafe O on The Palms for their scrambled egg, hotcakes, and quality kid meals for around FJ$15-18(AUD$10-12).
- Finally, for a sweet treat, you can go to the Snowy House Dessert Cafe to get delicious waffles for FJ$15(AUD$10) and under, as well as a wide selection of cakes for around FJ$12(AUD$8).
Get Your Taste Of Fijian Cuisine
Hopefully, this article has enlightened you about some of the best dining places in Denarau for your next trip there. So, if you plan your next trip, whether it's flying straight to your destination or booking a cruise to experience the finer side of travel, then consult with a cruise liner or professional travel consultants to experience the taste of Fijian cuisine.