Here are the food adventures of Jitabug, Yellow Dumpling and I, as we explored the beautiful cuisines of Vanuatu. Here are my Top 5:
1. Le Jardin Des Saveurs $$$ French Cuisine
- Food: High quality local produce, beautifully presented, unique menu with a good variety of sides.
Mains: Seared Fish Poulet smothered in a rich vanilla cream sauce with a side of moorish ratoutille; Organic Beef Fillet with peppercorn sauce and market garlic green beans; Veal Tenderloin coated with breadcrumbs and served with French Green Peas.
Dessert: Apple tart; Crème Brulee shattered with a pristinely to reveal its smooth vanilla crème. Would have preferred a softer cream but the taste was aromatic nonetheless.
Food arrived punctually with complementary bread.
- Service: Excellent, as wished us bon appetit and frequently checked on us throughout the meal
- Atmosphere: Black and white interior complete with a grand piano as well as a beautiful view of tropical landscape and out to the sea
2. The Grand Hotel $$ International Cuisine
- Food: Friday Curry Night consisting of choice of one or all three curries – Prawn Thai Green Curry, Beef Massaman and Lamb Coriander Curry served with Samosas, Coconut Sambal, Green Papaya Salad, Poppadum, Prawn Crackers and a large serve of rice for the price of 2000 VT. Beautiful rich curry with an adequate serve of sides for a steal of a price. Easily shared between two. The Thai Green Curry had a fresh delicious coconut tone with a stark difference. Coconut sambal was unique, spicy and fresh.
- Service: Friendly, welcoming and helpful, efficient
- Atmosphere: High end, romantic evening
3. Breakas Beach Resort $$$ Local and International Cuisine
- Food: Beautifully presented, generous serving, fresh produce. Mains: Fish with Sautéed Vegetables and Mango Salsa; Thai Beef Salad; Coconut Prawn salad
- Service: friendly
- Atmosphere: Slouched wooden chairs overlooking the expansive clear waters and white sands, what’s not to love?
4. The Brewery $$ Bar, Pub Food
- Food: Decently priced with generous serving, good quality food. Mains: Chicken Pumpkin Lentil Salad; Salt and Pepper Squid; Falafel Wrap – deliciously fresh flat bread with moist falafel and refreshing cucumber, lettuce and carrot.
- Service: Prompt and welcoming
- Atmosphere: Best seats are outdoors to enjoy the tropical sun and view of the blue waters
5. Mango Restaurant $$ Local and International Cuisine
- Food: Well presented, adequate portions and good quality produce.
- Service: Attentive and friendly
- Atmosphere: Fresh, relaxed and clean.
Those that just missed the cut:
Bali Hai @ Irriki Island
- Excellent food across the board.
Watermark restaurant @ Irriki Island
- Interesting menu with the Sizzling Vegetable Thai Curry Noodles, portion size were decent and mains were above average. The desserts, however, were not up to par.
Hideaway Island Café
- Famous for its deliciously creamy Coconut Curry, the menu well varied and food was delicious. The only negative, was the slow service.
- Famous for its Flambe Prawns, this French menu is extensive and satisfying, but presentation was slightly lacking.
- Beautiful Indian food, highlight of dinner was the Fish Marsala – sweet, rich and full of spice.
The Food Markets
- Next to the Fruit and Veg Markets, serve generous local foods like Lap Lap, Toulek and Fish Curry, all prepared with motherly love and care.
Whilst enjoying the thriving reef and colourful fish, the white sands, the eggshell blue waters and the beautiful people, these food gems are worth the visit.