Raw tuna quickly became my favorite food when I was in Cayman Islands where I first discovered I liked my steak very rare and still mooing in fact. When I discovered that I liked my steak very rare, it drew me to Beef and Tuna Carpaccio and eventually onto the whole sushi gravy train. And something I would spend the next 15 years searching for wherever I went.
Knowing that the Young Pioneer Tours, Least Visited Countries tour would be taking me to 4 Pacific Island nations and 6 islands in total. I was hopeful of a bit of raw tuna action along the way.
My personal first point of call was the Republic of the Solomon Islands. In which we explored the local market (a real highlight), with the fish and tuna. In particular, being abundant. It was a bit of shock that evening to find out the hotel did not have any tuna in stock specifically, the raw tuna…… The sashimi and ceviche they provided were still fresh and decent though.
On the first night of the actual tour, we were in Majuro. The capital island/city of the Marshall Islands is a pseudo-independent country that is heavily dominated by the USA and with using the dollar. We were staying in the Robert Reimers Hotel (whose menu was extremely diverse). But decided to head to the Marshall Islands Resort (MIR) whose sea-view and buffet came highly recommended. The buffet cost $25 but was probably one of the best value meals I have ever had. With the cuts of extremely fresh raw tuna sashimi being some of the best I have ever tasted.
Our next stop was Nauru which is an article in itself. Its food, it is extremely influenced by the refugees, migrants, and guest workers. With about 60% of the culinary options of Nauru being Chinese food.
The one (kind of) exception to this is the Menen Hotel or Nauru Hotel. Where we spent our last night and New Year’s Eve. On the last night, I went for the large Tuna Sashimi. Not the freshest I have ever had. They didn’t have wasabi (welcome to the food of Nauru). But it was decent and an interesting combo with soy and Tabasco…
My last indulgence into tuna heaven was in a random restaurant in Tarawa. The capital city of the beautiful Republic of Kiribati. The menu said, “raw fish”, enough of a red rag to my menu bull.
I was happy to learn that said fish was tuna. I declined the rice it could have come with and was served with glistening red supremely fresh tuna, soy, and wasabi to be eaten with a cocktail sword. And it cost AUD $9.50, with the beers only costing $3.50, and the friendly staff even letting me go behind the bar and get my serving jollies. Kiribati, great country, great scenery, and amazing sashimi!
Our final port of call on the tour had us going back for two days in Honiara, Solomon Islands, at the Hotel Honiara. We were greeted immediately by the 75 years old Chinese (although he had spent his whole life in the Solomon Islands) owner, and after a bit of a chinwag in Mandarin found out that he was not only a little bit eccentric but pretty kind, with a free extra room, and a complimentary beer being delivered right away by the pool (as well as complimentary WiFi and massage).
To say I already liked the Hotel Honiara would be an understatement. He informed us that that night there would be a buffet, inclusive of sashimi. No need to tell me twice.
Surprisingly after seeing the HUGE tuna at Honiara market, the sashimi that night did include tuna, but instead snapper, which was decent.
Overall 4 Pacific Island nations, all served a great sashimi. I was a happy G!