Foods unique to Fiji

Old Jan 26th, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Foods unique to Fiji

Please tell me what kinds of food are unique to Fiji.
Also are they any buffet style restaurants on Denarau Island which offer a variety of local cruisine?

Thank you.
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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Hi again Snazzy, its a while since I've been to Fiji but seeing no-one else has answered, I'll give it a go. Probably the best known local tourist dish is Kokoda, similar to the Mexican ceviche, raw fish or seafood marinated in lime juice, coconut milk, chilli, coriander. I haven't stayed at Denarau but other resorts offer variety of local seafood, buffets, etc. I didn't like the coconut crab, maybe I just got a tough, old one. There's a strong Indian influence in some parts, which makes for a great change - can't remember whether I ate flying fox (fruit bat) in Vanuatu or Fiji, it wasn't bad, but a bit dry. I do remember the Fijiians clubbing flying foxes to death at a resort (to my childrens' horror), so I guess they ended up on someone's table.
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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Thanks, Pat.
Hmm, none of those sound very good.
I've had coconut shrimp before and didn't care for it so I'll probably pass on the coconut crab. Raw fish is something we stay away from, too.
Several years ago, I got to see some of the varities of bats captured and released again. Up close, bat faces can be sort of cute.. Some were Teddy bearish looking.... Make any sense? Anyway, I don't think I can eat a bat.

I know there is a MacDonald's on the island, so maybe I'll have to break from my regional food hunt on Fiji.

Thank you for the information.
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 09:26 PM
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Snazzy - actually the Kokoda is good - the lime juice actually "cooks" the fish but agree its not for everyone. I now remember a village feast which featured a large suckling pig served with lots of taro and sweet yams. Very fatty! I don't know whatever induced me to eat that flying fox,the ones in my Cairns' backyard have sweet little faces with big round eyes, like a little dog.
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 05:17 AM
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Okay, I'll rethink the kokoda. Maybe it will "look good." The lime makes me feel better about it.

Thanks, Pat.
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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Yes, I too would definitely recommend the kokoda, it's very nice.
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 10:28 PM
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Hi Snazzy,

Something to keep your eys out for would be a Lovo night at a resort or someplace else you are staying.

On these nights there is local food prepared in earth ovens (similar to umu in Samoa and Hangi in New Zealand).

Last time I was in Fiji back in May we had a Lovo night on the island where we were staying. Very nice food. Pork, Taro, Taro leaves and potato cooked in the earth oven.

The foods above may sound a little stodgy and unappetising but in fact it is all in the preparation and condiments that came with them. Made for a very good meal.

On a Lovo night you also get a little of the culture too and have a bit of fun and laughs with the dancing.

BTW Kokoda (Pronounced kokonda) is fantastic. Especially if prepared using waloo (spanish mackeral sp?)

As an aside. Because Fiji has such a large Indian population there is often a very good selection of Indian dishes offered. Not strictly "Fijian" but since it is prepared by Fijian Indians it is kind of local.

Cheers

Steve
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 12:01 AM
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And Snazzy, when you're in Cairns (re your other posting) you'll find lots of Spanish Mackerel - nothing like ordinary mackerel - its a good eating fish, not expensive, and is used extensively in ordinary fish 'n' chip shops.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 07:06 AM
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Hi, Steve and Pat,
Thanks for the info.
Yes, Lovo night is on our list. It sounds similar to a Hawaiian luai.
Spanish mackrel. I'll have to try that. Thanks.

--- Have a question that is off the food topic but how many adults wear tennis shoes in this region? Does it scream, "tourist?"
If tennies are worn, does it matter what color is worn? (I don't want to pack black shoes if white is in or vice versa.)
Everyone says, "dress casual," but do adults wear jeans there? Or does casual mean cotton pants? (We don't wear shorts.)
Do fashions vary between AU and Fiji?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 09:57 AM
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Coconut Crab is a variety of crab. Coconut Shrimp is a method of preparation. Nothing alike and very tasty when done right.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Yes, Coconut prawns in our local Thai restaurant are a method of preparing prawns, nothing to do with the variety and are delicious.

Snazzy - clothes in Fiji - read as Tropo's advice for tropical Australia in your other post - Fiji is on about the same latitude as Cairns, North Queensland - very similar climate. Its full of Oz tourists and many businesses are owned and run by Australians, so you'll probably find an Aussie-style hamburger there as well, without having to resort to McDonalds.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:41 AM
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Hi Snazzy

If you are in Fiji on the Island resorts footwear is generally optional at dinner. They are VERY relaxed. Generally because of the heat people wear sandals if they are wearing footwear at all in Fiji.

In Fiji everything is very relaxed so basically wear whatever is comfortable. If you are not into shorts I would recommend light cotton pants as jeans would be too hot to wear except for the middle of winter (And even then it is still usually pretty warm).

Again if you are on and Island and also too a lesser extent on the mainland, it is fairly common to wear a sulu to dinner. That is for both men and women. You cane wear it as long as you like if you wish to keep your legs covered.

If you are visiting a native village as a sign of respect remember not to wear a hat but do cover your legs (For shorts wearing people this is were the sulu comes in handy again) and shoulders. Basically dress modestly. You will sees ome people ignoring this but Fijians are ofetn just too polite to say anything about it.

If you like wearing sneakers, then wear them. Don't be put off for looking like a tourist. In Fiji if you are white or East Asian chances are you will be taken for a tourist anyway. In Austalia, whatever ethnicity you are generally tourists tend to stand out. Not so much by what you wear but by where you are. i.e Blue Mountains, GBR, GOR, Kangaroo Island, Uluru etc. LizF et al will be able to help you more on the Aussie front though.

Dress wise from my experience Australia is not as relaxed as Fiji. In saying that though Aussies do not appear to be overly obsessed in dressing up. I was in Melbourne last December and ate out at a reasonably posh restaurant, Grossi Florentino, and there were people in there dressed very casually. That incuded one women who the guys at our table could not ignore. Dressing briefly would be an understatement. If she had sneezed she and Janet Jackson would have had a lot in common.

Hope some of this helps

Cheers

Steve
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Thanks for the information, folks.
I think I'll go pack now.
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