Cook Islands Dining
Cook Islanders love their food and they sure know how to cook!
So treat yourself and make sure you leave your resort or your home made dinners and dine out at least one night during your stay in the Cook Islands.
Whether it be dinner at a beachside restaurant watching the sun go down, or listening to live music as your enjoy your meal, fine dining, island style cuisine, or even ethnic food, there is something to tempt everyone's taste buds. If you are not sure which restaurant to try, ask a local. They are sure to know the hottest spots.
Seafood features highly in island menus. Tuna, Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish) and Parrot fish are most popular. One island dish not to miss is Ika mata - raw fish marinated in lime juice and mixed with coconut cream.
Coconuts grow all year round, and you will find them used in many island dishes and coconut milk is a popular drink.
Along with fresh fish and vegetables, visitors should sample the tantalising tropical fruits. Pawpaw, mangoes and pineapples are particularly sweet and juicy, as are the star fruit, guavas and island passion fruit. Take a walk around your resort / bungalow and you are bound to see some of this fresh produce growing.
Umukai is a traditional Polynesian feast. It is prepared in an underground earth oven where food is wrapped in leaves and then steamed over hot stones. An island night of Polynesian dance and umukai is an experience not to be missed.
For food lovers a trip to the popular Punanga Nui Markets on Saturday mornings is a must. You will be amazed at what is on offer among the many food stalls. From waffles and icecream to island curries and BBQ feasts. The food is cheap and delicious. Make sure you buy some fresh fruit and veggies for later.
Dining with kids
While few restaurants have children's menu's, most are very happy to put together a meal to suit your fussy eater.
For the best kids menu on Rarotonga try Sandals Restaurant on the beach at Muri Lagoon. You get so much more than nuggets and fries to choose from.
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