Traveling around the least visited countries in the world with Young Pioneer Tours seems to have become my yearly rite of passage. Travelling and street food, as this blog would imply, are obviously two of my favourite things. Alas, whilst travelling around the Pacific might have given me my travel jollies, it is also an area not exactly known for its culinary prowess. But where there’s a will there’s a way; I was determined to find the best foods these often-unvisited islands had to offer.
Best eats in Nauru
If the subject of the best food in Nauru surfaces, then there really are only two non-Chinese restaurants: Bayview and the Menen Hotel. Every other restaurant offers fairly poor Chinese food.
But, like anything else, there’s some places better than others. My top two Chinese restaurants in Nauru are probably Anabare Restaurant, which is next to Bayview, and the Chinese restaurant at the end of the airport runway, Gabga Restaurant. Both of these offer the Nauru version of Tuna sashimi: no wasabi, but spiced up Chinese-style.
What are the best restaurants in Majuro?
Majuro has but two restaurants of a fine dining level: the Hotel Robert Reimers and the Marshall Islands Resort, with the latter offering what they call a Marshall Islands Poke. This is a sashimi/ceviche type thing in coconut milk. Very good. Street Food in Majuro is all over and includes Chinese and a good old-fashioned hamburger from Uncle Sam.
The best sashimi – Kiribati
You may have noticed that the twin pillars here are Chinese food and sashimi, and that’s pretty much the case. The two best tuna sashimis I have ever had were in Tarawa — namely at Abatao, an island we hung out at for the day. We also got to drink the coconut sap moonshine – definitely not for the fainthearted.
The best street food – Honiara
The best restaurant in Honiara is without doubt at the Honiara Hotel, but it is on the drive from Honiara to the sunken Japanese wreck where you get your street-food jollies. A whole street with rainbow fish, chicken and hot-dogs – but, alas, no cold drinks. Can’t have everything, eh?
The best kava – Vanuatu
In Vanuatu you drink kava at a bar called a nacumal, where after you drink you have snacks called “washemout” to clear the putrid taste of kava away pretty much. Fine-dining-wise we visited L’Houstelet restaurant and tried fruit bat/flying fox with escargot. The bat was very gamey and quite French. As was the restaurant.
In Fiji they love Korean food
We managed to end up eating Korean food in both Nadi and Suva. Decent quality with well-priced soju; sadly, the sashimi was not all that great.
Tuvalu has 3 restaurants, one of which is good
Outside of hotels you can find the following: 3T’s Chinese restaurant; the Chinese equivalent of the Soup Nazi; another one we didn’t even try; and a lovely café/local food restaurant that we ate in once. We subsequently had a barbecue with the staff, and they even made us a packed lunch. Real good people, real nice food; I just wish the restaurant had a name.
A conclusion on the food
Getting good food can be a struggle, but if you embrace sashimi, are prepared to eat Chinese, and are adventurous enough to think outside the box and really get out there, you can eat well in the least-visited countries on earth.
Join our next tour to this fascinating and under-explored region!