Eating Out in Rarotonga

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In addition to its peacefulness, however, Rarotonga offers plenty of excitement for those seeking dancing, music and good companionship. Cabarets, discos and restaurants flourish except late on Saturday night when the Sabbath starts. In the daytime, the main township, Avarua, provides a selection of cafés and bars for those seeking a caffeine fix. The Blue Note, in the same building which once housed the notorious Banana Court bar, serves local coffee and dishes from its wide verandah and offers an uninterrupted view of the harbor.

Seafood is a staple of Polynesian cuisine and Rarotonga's restaurants offer traditional as well as island-style dishes. A delicacy is grilled 'mai-mai', the dolphin fish, a speciality at Trader Jack's in Avarua. Eating out is not cheap in Rarotonga, at least not by New Zealand standards. Much of the fare is fairly ordinary but gourmet dining can be found at the Flame Tree in Muri, the Portofino in Tupapa and the Tumunu in Arorangi. The hotels also offer extensive menus and usually a traditional island feast or 'umu kai' with accompanying dancing and drumming. The 'umu kai' is cooked in an earth oven by radiant heat from hot stones. There are lunch and café establishments in Avarua which also provide European and Polynesian meals.

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