Mark Wiens: Fijian Street Food
Welcome to the beautiful islands of Fiji and today we’re on the main island and going on an ultimate Fijian food tour. Get ready for some of the tastiest local food in all of Fiji!
Here’s all the places we visited on this ultimate Fijian food tour:
- Nausori Market: We first walked around the main Nausori Market for a taste of all the local ingredients. We stopped to eat at Tee Totoka for their famous tea buns. And Finally met with Sera, who owns the greatest seafood stall at the market selling Kovu Kaikoso – Sea Clams in Coconut Milk!
- Elvis Kana Place (Nausori): One of the most delicious of all Fijian foods is rourou with mutton, raro leaves with mutton, and it was an honor to see the full cooking process before eating it.
- Namuka Village: Continuing our tour, we visited a village just outside Nausori that’s famous for making vakalolo – a cassava coconut dessert.
- Mokani Village: Something else you have to try when you visit Fiji is called bila – fermented cassava bread, and no one does it better than here.
- The Bar Belle, Suva: The food tour isn’t over, we drove on to Suva, the largest city in Fiji to eat at The Bar Belle, a laid back restaurant serving local Fijian seafood.
- Tasty BBQ, Nausori: This Fijian food tour wouldn’t be complete with some Fijian street food, and I’m talking about Fijian BBQ that includes lamb chops and sausage!
Mark Wiens: Indian Fijian Food
SUVA, FIJI – Today we’re learning about Indians in Fiji, many of whom have been here for generations. Most arrived as indentured servants working on sugar plantations, but they brought with them their culture, customs and of course their food. Today we’re going on an Indian Fijian food tour – we’ll see how it’s similar to Indian food in Indian, and yet has its own distinct taste to Fiji! Watch the Video
- Zamzam Restaurant, Suva: To begin this Indian food tour in Fiji we’re starting at one of the most popular restaurants in Suva, Zamzam. They serve over 40 different dishes a day, with a mix of Indian Fijian, even Chinese, and halal dishes. The food is outstanding and their rotis are insanely soft. Eating at Zamzam is a must when you’re in Suva, and will satisfy all of your curry needs.
- Babasiga Halal Bites, Nausori: We’re continuing this tour in Nausori, where Andhy is from and to Babasiga Halal Bites, that’s legendary across Fiji for their lamb bone curry. It’s famous for a reason, it’s so tasty with just the right amount of masala.
- Home Cooked duck masala: To finish off this Indian Fijian food tour we headed over to a friend of Andhy whose mother makes the greatest duck masala is all of Fiji! She used 2 fresh ducks, washed in turmeric, and stewed in no less than three of her own hand roasted masalas. The result was truly magical.
It was another delicious day in Fiji, learning a lot about the history of Indians and their amazing food in Fiji.
Mark Wiens: Unseen Fijian Food
LAU ISLANDS, FIJI – We’re in extremely remote Fiji, in the Lau group of islands, also some of the most beautiful and unvisited islands in Fiji. We had the special opportunity to go into a number of island Fijian villages to learn about the culture and especially cook and eat the local food. Watch the Video
- Vanua Balavu Island, Lau Islands: We arrived to our first island called Vanua Balavu. I love how Fiji is very traditional and when you arrive to a village they still have a protocol to respect the traditional land owners and ask the permission of the village Chief. To do so we brought kava with us to present to the Chief and once accepted we were able to be on the island and start filming. They prepared a dish called Vakasakera, moringa leaves with coconut milk, barracuda fish, and some local shellfish similar to abalone. After an amazing meal, we toured and swam around the Bay of Islands – spectacular!
- Fulaga Island, Lau Islands: We continued our cruise in Fiji to the Fulaga islands, sometimes regarded as the most beautiful islands in all of Fiji – maybe in the South Pacific. The island is famous for their local sea cockles, which looked quite a lot like huge blood cockles. They harvested them right out of the ocean then opened them up and marinated them with onions and lime juice and coconut milk. Freshest and most delicious cockles ever.
- Kabara Island, Lau Islands: Finally to continue this remote Fijian food tour we visited Kabara island where they prepared, along with Captain Cook Cruises, a Fijian lovo for 100 people! A lovo is the Fijian version of an underground hot rock oven which is common throughout Melanesia and Polynesia and in other cultures around the world. It was a fantastic process and the food was smoky and tender.
Mark Wiens: All you can Eat Buffet
FIJI – We’re on a cruise with Captain Cook Cruises to Fiji’s remote Lau Islands. Along with scenery, one of the best reasons to go on a cruise is for the food, so today I’m showing you a few of the delicious meals! Watch the Video
- Tivua Island: For our first meal we met with Head Chef Jackson from Captain Cook Cruises and we took a small boat to a private island. Unfortunately it was a little windy and rainy, but that didn’t stop us from having a local Fijian meal including Kokoda – raw fish in lime and coconut milk.
- Indian Food Buffet: The next day we sailed to Makogai Island known for its history and colony. But on the cruise it also happened to be Indian buffet day.
- Staff Meal: Not only do all the guests on Captain Cook Cruises eat well but so do the staff. One day I was invited to eat the staff meal on a day they ate a dish called Sui, which literally translates to Meaty Bones.
We ate a lot of food on Captain Cook Cruises, from morning to night, buffets and a la carte. It was an incredible experience.
Mark Wiens: Huge Coconut Crab
We docked near the uninhabited Vuaqava Island, Lau Islands, Fiji, which is known for its natural beauty, incredible seas, and also for being an island full of coconut crabs! Coconut crabs are definitely unique, and they are a huge delicacy in Fiji and for the local population on the Lau Islands.
They all mentioned that they coconut crabs are so tasty and so delicious that they don’t need any extra seasoning or cooking – all you have to do is boil them for about 10 – 15 minutes and eat. The crabs eat mostly a diet of coconut, so they have a sweet coconut taste to them, and the fat in the stomach (similar to the tomalley on other crabs), is like a natural coconut crab pudding with a complexity of flavor. It was an amazing experience to be with local Fijians on a remote island eating coconut crab.
Next up on this Fijian crab tour we visited another island – Totoya Island, Lau Islands, Fiji where we had the honor to cook and eat another Fijian food delicacy of land crabs, cooked in coconut milk. The crabs were boiled then fully deshelled, then mixed with onions and chiles, and lots of coconut milk, and re-filled back into their shells. They were boiled again until the coconut milk thickened into a creamy crab sauce. You eat them with a fresh squeeze of local lime and chili, and it’s something truly magically delicious.
What a day of Fijian food and the freshest crabs from the source!
Mark Wiens: Exotic Seafood
KADAVU ISLAND, FIJI – On our final day cruise to remote Fiji, we stopped for the day at Kadavu Island. It just happened to be just turning to sea urchin season and so we were treated to one of the greatest Fijian foods ever – fresh sea urchins smoked over dry coconut branches! Watch the Video
During the cruise we happened to meet up with Vince and Myra, and Vince is originally from Kadavu Island. He kindly invited us over to his relatives home, where we immediately went fishing for fresh sea urchins. After gathering a few dozen we headed back to the beach where they gathered dry coconut tree branches, placed the sea urchins on top of them, and then and then burned the entire pile. It was something definitely unique! The smoke just barely entered the sea urchins, giving them a fragrance but not cooking them. They were so pure, so sweet, so incredibly tasty with some Fiji limes and chilies.
Aunty also made a specialty called qiliqili with made from cassava balls and coconut boiled in lemon leaves.