Trader Jack's is a Cook Islands establishment. It is also a restaurant you must eat at while on Rarotonga, the country's main island. Centrally located on Avarua's waterfront, the restaurant and bar impressed me with a wide range of seafood (and pizza and pasta dishes for those less inclined towards kai-moana), a reasonably priced menu (beer on tap for NZ$4! - very competitive compared to other locations around the island), and service that would put many restaurants in Auckland to shame!
A senior waitress, concerned that a junior colleague had let me order a pan-grilled Tuna steak, took time to explain to me why this was a bad way to have tuna cooked like that. I was impressed. Patrons were greeted by waiting staff and efficiently looked after. The place was packed the night we ate there, with a queue out the door! It pays to make a reservation, as we did! Meals are generous and the seafood is fresh and well cooked. The fact that the serving staff were as knowlegable as the cooking staff, as evidenced by the senior waitress's concerns over my order, makes one feel one is in a place that knows its stuff about food!
To top off the restaurant experience, trapped by a topical downpour, we stuck aroound in the bar to listen to a great Cook Islands band called 'Blackwater' playing live in the bar. Man, were they good! Trader Jack's got 10/10 from me! Could this be one of the top South Pacific Island restaurants?
Samade's sits right on Aitutaki lagoon. Couldn't be any closer to the water. Casual? Any more laid back and you'll fall into the lagoon. Which means you might sometimes wait a little longer than you think you should for your order to appear.
The restaurant is open on all sides, affording breathtaking views of the famous lagoon. Local food, wraps, sandwiches, etc during the day. Each week they also take a turn at Island Night when it's overrun by a tamure dance and drum troupe, and a local buffet spread is put on.
Cool contemporary Pacific music always blares from the speakers and the staff are happy to show you the CD covers so you can go and hunt it down for yourself back in Raro.
Favorite Dish: Nothing especially. Just feels right.
The Cafe is a the best coffe house in town . The internet cafe is connected right next door They are really popular for breakfast . the food is good, plentiful and well priced!
I loved the coffee too! Beware ! The latte's are really huge.
We had a great time here . The food was great and so was the live entertainment. We really enjoyed it.. dancing too.
There was a good crowd , even though it was off season There was a mix of tourists and locals.
The view over looking the water was wonderful!
Favorite Dish: The had the seafood platter for two. It was wonderful!! It had oysters, mussels , lobster ,fried fish and calamari.
This place is popular with the locals . A few tourists make there way here too. It's typical bar food . Not bad and a good price. The wine is terrible however so best to stick to beer or rum. Its an out of the way place and the entrance is behind the building.
The view is great , overlooking the water.
Sunday night the Paw Paw Patch has a pretty good barbecue. They grill , fish sausage and steak and have an all you can eat buffet. It's not gourmet but the food was good and nice desserts. There was a local string band as well . Beer was $4.00 and wine $5.00.
It was raining hard when we were there but in nice weather they have it outdoors,
You need a reservation ...its pretty popular.
Our last night in Rarotonga we had a wonderful dinner at the Sail Club . We saved it special for the last night . The food is great and so is the view . I definitely can recommend it.
We stopped here one afternoon as well ...just for a glass of wine . It's really nice on their overlooking the beach!
Most of the main courses are around $26.00 to $30.00 .Big servings .Starters are a little pricey at $14.00.
Favorite Dish: WE had the lamb shank!!! It was wonderful!!
We spotted this restaurant and admired its coziness and pretty decor! We weren't disappointed. We were in the mood for pizza ...even though the other menu items looked tempting as well . The service was great ...and the owners...who came , a talked with us are from Canada!
Oh and the house wine for $14.00 and half litre was really nice!
This place was probably our favorite!! The fish and chips are melt in your mouth good!!! And they give you tons. You eat outside at picnic tables and enjoy a million dollar ocean view!! We went twice ...in the evening the sunset is wonderful from here!
Favorite Dish: Fish and chips for two--- $27.00. Grad a beer next door at the fishing club!
The setting - a smallish waterfront house with extensive covered verandahs and some outside tables in a beachside garden - is spectacular, if a little overblown (spotlights on palm trees seem a little gratuitous and slightly spoil the sea view) and the waiting staff are pleasant and attentive.
The food, on the other hand, is - contrary to past reviews - decidedly ordinary at best and actively unpleasant at worst. Even allowing for the difficulties of obtaining some ingredients on Rarotonga, there's no excuse for using obviously defrosted fish a few kilometres from an active fishing port, particularly when pricing at the higher end. Mains, entrees and desserts were almost all mundane and unimaginative.
The cafe in the CITC mall has changed hands since last I was there and I was impressed with the quality of food and presentation of the meals served there this time. The cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch and is a popular spot. The service is typical of the island which is friendly enough but slow and sporatic. Prices are a little on the high side for a "cafe" but worth it for a decent salad. It's also a great people watching spot if you just want to have a cup of coffee and watch the world go by.
Favorite Dish: Roasted vegetables and salad for lunch. Delicious and exactly what I needed that day. I also had an omlette for breakfast one morning which was cooked perfectly.
This little beachside restaurant is fairly underrated in my opinion. The restaurant has two covered patios, a main dining area and a bar area as well as a picnic table right on the beach. The patio overlooking the beach is usually reserved for tables of two but with a reservation/request, they will set up a table for four (it's a small patio). Although the menu's fairly limited there are daily board specials and the food is quite good. The seafood chowder is delicious - rich and creamy - and the seafood catch of the day is always fresh. The service excellent and the atmospher is warm and welcoming. The owner, Shannon, will welcome you at the door and her husband, Junior, presides over the kitchen.
The Pacific Hotel is a rather exclusive and totally beautiful resort on the western side of Aitutaki, about 30 minutes walk north of Arutanga town centre. Luckily they're not too exclusive and on our last night in beautiful Aitutaki, we decided to splurge on our dinner. The menu is expensive, but I am pleased to report that the food is delicious. The poolside restaurant has fine views out to sea, over the nicely landscaped pool and gardens.
Favorite Dish: A bit dubious about the price of the food, I was weary of my "fresh" crab salad when it arrived on the table in front of me. Oh my. I needn't have been so concerned and my aprehension evaporated! It was a truly fresh crab salad and absolutely mouthwatering from start to finish. This was followed up with a Marlin steak. I should have the pan-fried sea-perch - that was just brilliant (my friend let me try a bit of hers). I also have to say that I tasted the best squid I have ever had anywhere at this place. It melted in my mouth and this is a sign of not only fresh squid, but squid prepared by someone who knows how to prepare squid!
The food here surprised me and was worth every precious cent I paid.
Kai is the Maori word for food. At the Blue Nun Cafe, on the Arutanga waterfront on Aitutaki Island, you can get cheap hamburgers and delicious chips (fries if you're American). The fish burger goes down well with a cold Cooks Lager! It's not flash, but it is good!
On our first night in the Cook Islands, nobody felt like cooking, so we walked down to the Rarotongan Beach Resort for dinner. We happened to catch barbecue night. For $36 one could feast on the BBQ buffet. There was a nice range of salads, soft, fresh, mouthwatering bread rolls and BBQ fish steaks, lamb, and succulent island pork. It was all delicious. The desserts were also yummy! I loved the coconut cake.
The a la carte menu was extensive and, I thought, very well priced for a resort. My friend had a delicious island style fish'n'chip meal, with fried arrowroot and taro chips! I tasted a bit of her dinner and it was good! To top everything off there was a show after dinner with modern takes on Rarotongan music. It was a very nice evening and a great way to start out holiday!
PO Box 700, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Good for: Business
This place is amazing! The service is top notch. The resort is very nice. We were greeted by...more
Main Road, Rarotonga, Titikaveka, Cook Islands
Good for: Families