Food Lover's Guide To Denarau Island, Fiji

Just west of the town of Nadi lies Denarau Island, home to most of Fiji's upscale resorts, million dollar houses, and the marina offering boats and ferries to the outer islands.

But Fiji offers more than just pristine beaches and world class snorkeling. There is also a bevy of flavors, including fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and a fusion of Asian and Indian cuisine.

Start the day at Taste Fiji, offering unique pastries; breakfast dishes; salads; fish, beef, chicken and pork plates; and sandwiches. Owners Lee and Louise Acreman utilize local ingredients to create tropical muesli, porridge with coconut cream, caramelized Vuda pork belly, coconut fish cakes, green papaya salad, and a wide variety of other menu items.

Island tourists can also head to the Fiji Rum Company store to sample its dark, spiced, honey, overproof, and white Bounty rums, as well as its eight varieties of delicious flavored rums that include coffee, coconut, and white chocolate.

The Adi Chocolate Factory, owned and operated by Tomo Zukushi, produces a variety of delectable small batch, hand-made artisan dark chocolates. The cacao used is purchased through local Fijian farmers and paired with raw cane sugar to make semi-sweet, bittersweet, and dark chocolate bars, and chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Port Denarau Marina offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants. For a taste of local Fijian cuisine, head to Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant at the end of the pier. Diners can choose to eat inside or al fresco overlooking the water. Menu highlights include prawns in coconut curry sauce; curried fish cakes; Kokoda, a raw fish ceviche in coconut milk; and kovu, a variety of fish, chicken and pork with ginger, onion and turmeric cooked in banana leaves.

Opened last May, Rhum Ba offers panoramic views of Denarau marina and an open, airy interior. Diners can enjoy a wide variety of seafood, pasta, beef, salads, sandwiches, and pizza. Rhum Ba also offers a large assortment of rum from all over the world, as well as a full wine and cocktail menu.

In addition to kokoda and kovu, diners should try Fijian specialties that include duruka, similar to asparagus; taro, a heavy root vegetable like the potato; and nama, or "sea grapes," which are small, salty beads similar to capers.

With the abundance of exciting and enticing dining options on Denarau Island, choosing a restaurant can be difficult. Finding a satisfying meal, on the other hand, is about as easy as it gets.