Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dinner in the Cook Islands

Hold on, not ME cooking dinner (although that would be noteworthy).

I am talking about the little known Progressive Dinner in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Here's how this works.  The bus comes and picks you up at your resort/hotel/motel/call-it-what-you-will around 5:15.  You are driven to the first house which is appetizers.  Danny greets you coming off the bus and you grab a glass of sparkling wine.  Then Danny begins a tour of his tropical property.  Umm, watch out for the little ant hills - those teeny tiny little suckers can BITE!

Following the tour, and the fresh coconut and fruit picked right off the tree (it's a bay leaf when he asks you what plant it is :) ), we sat down to eat.  Now, I'm not a fish person (I know, tropical island, wrong food not to like) but I tried the marinated tuna in lime and coconut juice.  Did I mention the raw part?  No, well it was, but holy heck - it was fantastic!  I went back for seconds which is unheard of! I mean raw fish.  Anyway, step out of your comfort zone and try it!

After the appetizer we boarded the bus again, with Danny and his ukulele, and headed off for the main course.  We took the inner road and went up the hill above the Nikao Indoor Sports Complex built by the Chinese.  We arrived at the home of Temu and his wife (although Temu was "HouseBoy").  Temu is one of the black pearl farmers and our contact person for the reservations.  Dinner consisted of chicken, fish, bread, taro, wine and more.

We then loaded up with Danny and his ukulele and headed for the house of Dessert.  This was hosted by Lorrainne and Tom Masters (Tom being a descendant of the missionary Marsters clan).  I know there was ice cream and fresh salads, but the Pavlova or  Meringue was where I landed.  I had at least three (it was my birthday three days before!).

The price seemed high at first, until you factored in the fact that it was pretty much what you'd be paying at any of the other restaurants.   Then it became a bargain!

The Progressive Dinner was a great way to explore the local customs, meet some people from different countries and get fed!

The Dinner and Wine tour runs Mondays and Thursday evenings.  Cost per person is $89NZD and $65NZD per child under 12 years.

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