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Fiji Restaurants

Banyan Restaurant
Royal Davui
Royal Davui , Beqa Island
Tel: 679 336 1624

The Banyan restaurant at the Royal Davui resort takes its name from a large, flowering banyan tree that spreads its branches over the main open-air dining pavilion. Since it overlooks the spectacular Beqa Lagoon, the setting couldn't be more scenic. But the restaurant's allure isn't just in its vistas; the menu is a sophisticated mix of European and Pacific Rim cuisine. There are no standard dishes; the menu changes daily to take advantage of the freshest and best in the markets and the catch of the day.

Guests only.

Chefs Restaurant
Port Denarau
Denarau Island
Tel: 679 670 3131

Chefs, located right on Port Denarau Marina, is the best restaurant in town and it knows it (thus the smug white tablecloths and formal European decor). They jump for local VIPs (the bread and butter of their business), so don't be surprised if you are stonewalled for dinner because visiting diplomats or the Bank of Fiji have rented out the entire joint. It's worth coming however to chow down on excellent dishes with local flavors such as the filet of ulavi (reef fish) in herb and potato crust with grain mustard sauce and vegetable medley, or coral trout baked in banana leaf with lemon grass, lime, and coconut. Of course, wealthy Fijians like European standards that are difficult to find elsewhere like beef tartare and tiger prawns in parmesan, pesto, and red pepper roulie with homemade pasta and banana crepes. Lunch is more lighthearted, with the excellent lamb korma burger garnished with mint and gardens greens, or the marinated walu (a.k.a. butterfish), lime, and salad. But lunch or dinner, do not skip dessert: opt for the passion-fruit crème brûlée with honey wafer and fresh fruit or the Fiji coconut cream pie on pineapple coulis with vanilla ice cream.

Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.

Dolphin Island
Dolphin Island , Dolphin Island
Tel: 64 7 378 5791

Chef Dawn Simpson serves a hearty and varied mix of dishes that she learned at her mother and grandmother's sides, along with recipes influenced by these multicultural islands. That means one day the Dolphin Island hotel might serve perfect fish and chips, and on another day, curried prawns and roti. Meals are served in a traditional Fijian open-air bure with large verandas for lounging afterward. Guests can sit back with a cocktail and while away the evening, surrounded by the rustle of flora and the sounds of the sea.

Guests only.

Fijiana Restaurant
Liku Liku Lagoon Resort
Malolo Island , Mamanuca Islands
Tel: 679 672 4275

Fijiana's executive chef, Shane Watson, certainly knows how to provide a memorable meal at Liku Liku Resort. There are no rules here. Even at lunch you start with an amuse bouche, maybe a seared ocean scallop with cured bush lemon and tomato salt; then a choice of three main courses like seared coral trout with green pea puree, crisp prosciutto, and balsamic, or grilled fillet steak sandwich with bacon, brie, rocket, and onion marmalade. Desserts include standouts like a carpaccio of pineapple with kaffir lime ice cream. Be sure to request a table on the patio for the best views.

Guests only.

Nukubati Island
Nukubati Island , North of Vanua Levu
Tel: 881 3901
Fax: 881 3914

The Pavilion Restaurant at this low-key, authentically Fijian resort also displays the Fijian culture in meals. There's a sensational kokoda—raw fish marinated in lime and served in coconut cream—along with dishes brimming with freshly caught fish and just-plucked tropical fruits. In addition to what's on offer, the chefs will cook anything you want as long as the ingredients are available. This accommodating attitude extends to mealtimes and locations; they'll serve you whenever you feel like it and at any spot on the island that you choose.

Palm Grove Restaurant at the Wakaya Club
Wakaya Island
Tel: 647 344 8128

This open-air bure, with its soaring cathedral ceiling, is a restful setting for some of the best food in Fiji. The menu was already a sophisticated mix of international preparations (New Zealand rack of lamb with roast pumpkin and hummus, Thai chicken and peanut salad, and spicy Indian prawn curry), but then frequent guest Nobu Matsuhisa, master chef of the restaurants bearing his name in New York, Los Angeles, and London, did a little consulting. Now, some of his signatures—such as ceviche and sashimi—are on the menu. The vivid flavors and imaginative presentations are of the highest standard, as you'd expect at a place that's located in the supremely deluxe Wakaya Club resort.

Guests only.

Plantation Restaurant
Sonaisali Resort
Sonaisali Island
Tel: 679 670 6011

The Plantation Restaurant is the fine dining establishment at Sonaisali Resort, located on a private island just a three minute boat ride from the mainland of Viti Levu. One of their beach bures is a lovely place to start or end your Fijian vacation if you need to transit one night near Nadi, but even non-guests can take advantage of the generously portioned four-course European-style dinners or the extravagant 14-course degustation menu. The food is simple, tasty, and ample, as it caters to the Aussie palate. Start with the Caesar salad made fresh at the table. Then move on to hearty main courses like the whole oven-baked fresh coconut filled with scallops, prawns, lobster, fish, and squid morsels in Pernod cream, or the Japanese tea-smoked beef. Pace yourself, as the main course is followed by a dessert like the Belgium chocolate terrine with champagne sabayon and followed up with a plate of creamy New Zealand cheeses. The restaurant, which is really more like a private dining room with ten tables, is not quite as stiff and formal as they seem to want it to be, but then again, neither are the prices. Non-guests must make reservations in advance.

Opens nightly at 6:30 pm.

Queens Road
Nadi , Viti Levu
Tel: 679 670 1233

Blasting Hindi pop music makes for a festive vibe at this delicious but nothing-to-look-at Indian restaurant next door to Jack's of Nadi (and run by the same owners). The cheap eats—no dish tops $20—draw an interesting mix of visiting Bollywood stars, locals, and Japanese tourists. Most of the curry standards are on the menu, but more delightful are the hybrid dishes evolved among the Indo-Fijian community (now almost 50 percent of the population in Fiji). Mud Crab Masala is a simmering dish of the local whole crab stewed in onion tomato gravy with coconut cream, curry leaves, and mustard seeds. Corn and chorai ki bhaji is a spicy blend of corn and local spinach in a tomato curry with rye seeds, perfect with a missi roti (warm whole wheat tortilla-like bread). And possibly the best dish on the menu is kachche kele and daruca kofta, soft fritters of raw banana and local roots (duruka, taro, cassava) in lahsuni coconut (a kind of chutney) with light almond and onion gravy. If you dont like your food hot, youre out of luck here: even mild is spicy. And dont be surprised if you are offered a welcome stick-on bindi in lime green, turquoise, or purple when you sit down. We suggest you go with it. When in Rome…

Open daily 11 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 11 pm.

Turtle Island
Turtle Island , Yasawa Islands
Tel: 800 255 4347 (toll-free)

Meals at this private-island resort start with vegetables from the three-acre organic garden, and seafood such as crab or lobster caught in its waters. Jacques Reymond, the French-born chef who has become a star in Australia, oversees the kitchen as a consultant and has designed the menus to reflect local ingredients, simply prepared. There is an Asian influence in the Pacific Rim dishes: Slipper lobsters come encased in buckwheat noodles, for example, and a grilled fish is served Mongolian-BBQ style. But what truly distinguishes these meals is that the dining room often changes locations—dinners are served on the beach, on top of a mountain, or in a garden. Oenophiles can choose a Riesling, champagne, or Shiraz from the resort's astounding 10,000-bottle wine cellar.

Guests only.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.