Tag Archives: Cook Islands

The Cook Islands’ Finest Fine-Dining Restaurants

Fresh Pacific island produce, white sandy beaches, endless sunsets . . . fine dining in the Cook Islands is a mesmerising sensory experience. Holidays to the Cook Islands would not be complete without it. A variety of dining options is available, from authentic Italian to Pacific-inspired menus to international cuisine. Many of them come with idyllic locations or breathtaking coastal views. Read on to find out all about the best places to indulge.

Cook Islands Beach

Cook Islands

Windjammer Restaurant, Arorangi, Rarotonga

Windjammer Restaurant is the fine dining experience offered by the highly romantic Crown Beach Resort and Spa. Italian chef Mr Carlo Poli presents an authentic approach to the cuisine of his home country. Favourites include ristotto ai funghi porcini tartufati (Italian arborio rice with wild mushroom, champignon, parmesan cheese and optional black truffle oil), gamberoni grigliati con caponatin al balmsamico (grilled jumbo prawns with balsamic ratatouille) and frittura di calamari e gamberi con verdurine croccanti (deep-fried shrimps and calamari with crispy vegetables and a spicy sauce).

Starters range from $NZ9-16, mains from $NZ20-35 and desserts from $NZ8-11. The Windjammer is open every evening, with the exception of Tuesday, from 6pm.

Tamarind House, Rarotonga

Situated three minutes’ drive from Rarotonga’s capital, Avarua, Tamarind House, Rarotonga is an utterly gorgeous restored home dating back to the colonial era. Two-and-a-half acres of beautifully-kept gardens and lawn stretch to the beach, meaning that the fine dining experience includes some rather dreamy views of the distant Pacific horizon.

The menu is fresh and innovative, with a focus on Pacific influences and high-quality seasonal produce. Frequent changes mean that something new and exciting is always on offer. Sample dishes include supreme chicken breast with a mascarpone and toasted cashew nut stuffing with mango sauce, fresh seared tuna on a broccoli salad with wasabi hollandaise and pacific fish curry with tomatoes, cumin, coriander and coconut. Tamarind House is open Monday to Friday for coffee from 10am, Thursday to Friday for lunch, between 11.30am and 2.30pm and Monday to Saturday for dinner, from 6pm.

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Sails Restaurant, Muri Beach, Rarotonga

Another restaurant affording breathtaking views is Sails Restaurant. Situated on the water’s edge on Muri Lagoon it offers modern cuisine, informed by a daily catch of fresh fish and handpicked seasonal fruits and vegetables. The regular menu is kept interesting and dynamic via the ever-changing chef’s specials.

Sample dishes include pan-seared prawns on a salad of pawpaw, mint, lime and cucumber ribbons with chilli palm sugar syrup and coconut; Moana Nui Trio (three deep ocean fish on crushed roasted kumara with rukau and ratatouille; and Muri Renga chicken curry (creamy coconut curry with Rarotongan turmeric, steamed rice, poppadom, kai nave chutney and yoghurt. Breakfast ranges from $NZ16-24, lunch from $NZ16-31, starters from $17-19 and mains from $NZ23-35. Sails Restaurant is open seven days a week, from 8am until late.

Bord de mer à Rarotonga, Cook Island
Rarotonga, Cook IslandAirflore / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND