Papua New Guinea’s Best Local Restaurants And Gourmet Eats
Papua New Guinea is at a crossroads of cultures and culinary traditions. Part of the Commonwealth and with a diverse local population, the country’s cuisine has been highly influenced by European and Asian food. From local eats to exotic dishes, Papua New Guinea’s restaurants offer good meals surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery. Here is a selection of the best you can find on some of the main islands.
Located on the ground floor of the Grand Papuan hotel, the Grand Brasserie will surprise you with its modern interior, as well as its diverse menu of Asian and Pacific Rim specialties. The Chef Trenton Brennan’s innovative dishes use local produce in an elegant and original way; the seafood buffet on Friday night guarantees fresh and local seafood caught on the day. You can start with some cocktails before dinner, along with exotic tapas to whet your appetite. The Grand Brasserie brings a fresh, luxurious yet quirky touch to the island’s food scene.
The Royal Papua Yacht Club is just the ticket, if you’re looking for something rather exclusive. For members only, it is the place to meet expats (you must find one who will invite you along to gain access to the venue) and to enjoy a nice cocktail overlooking the marina. On the menu is Western cuisine, such as steaks and salads. The Yachtie, as it is known, also serves a buffet on Sundays for breakfast, as well as on other nights of the week, usually with a theme such as ‘noodle Tuesdays’ and Friday’s roast carvery. Eat indoors if you want to enjoy their air-conditioned dining room on a very hot day, or choose to stay outside on the balcony for the best sunsets around.
Fusion Bistro is a staple in Port Moresby. At the back of the Harbour City Shopping Complex, the restaurant offers a variety of Asian food types in a nice and clean environment. The crab and lobster are delicious, as well as the beef rendang. Go there for a good lunch or for a great dinner, with lots of options on the menu. The owners make a point of greeting their guests and the rest of the staff is always impeccable. You can bring your own wine or take away leftover food if you wish.
Lae Yacht Club is a great option with a fantastic view. It has an extensive a la carte and pizza menu, as well as plenty of choice for a hearty breakfast. A mix of Western and Asian foods, you will find a wide range of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and Lae Yacht Club is considered to be the best place to eat on the island.
Located inside the Lae Golf Club, Bunga Raya (Hibiscus flower in Malay) is the only Chinese restaurant in the city. It is also one of the few restaurants that are smoking free, except for the outdoor dining area that overlooks the fairways. Despite being hidden amongst the golf club’s large rain trees, it is open to all. The food is a blend of Chinese and Malaysian, with a large selection of delicious stir-fries. Try the lunch specials for a good value meal.
This restaurant, located in the Madang Resort, was built over 60 years ago in the traditional architectural style of the island. Modernized since then, it has a stunning location on the waterfront by the entrance of the Madang Lagoon and its tropical islands, boasting a wonderful view from its windows. The restaurant offers traditional dishes, as well as excellent seafood and meat options that can be matched with a bottle from their very good wine list. It specializes in Chinese and Western cuisine but you can also find pizzas on the menu. The restaurant makes a point of entertaining its guests, with three large aquariums where you can spot sea life and corals from the area as enjoy live local music in the evening. The ambiance is not overpowering however, and service is friendly and efficient.
Only a few minutes away from the airport, Banz Kofi is a hidden treasure. The powerful coffee smell will guide you to the large metal fence and gate behind which you will find a lovely restaurant with a back garden and pond. This place is known by all the locals and popular with the expat community. The highlight is definitely the coffee, which is roasted on the premises and locally grown, making it the best cup in town by far. The food is Western, although they do have some exotic options on the menu, such as salt-water crocodile; and the atmosphere is relaxed. You can stop by for lunch or coffee and cake on your way to the airport. Either way, Banz Kofi is not to be missed.
Located on Nusa Island off the coast of Kavieng, New Ireland Province, the Nusa Island Retreat is a place that seeks to bring visitors a taste of Papua New Guinea’s natural environment in a respectful way. The complex is built in traditional style, with eco-sensitive bungalows that sit by the water. Needless to say, the view is stunning and it is a wonderful place to experience unspoilt nature, as well as the heritage of the country where one can see WWII ship and plane wrecks, which are still visible today. Visitors are welcome at the all day restaurant, which serves a fabulous buffet from 7pm every evening for a set price, where you will find exotic fruit and vegetables and fresh seafood aplenty.