3 (Thu) July 2014
Mama Kokoda with Deep-Fried Dalo
at Tiko’s Floating Restaurant
-Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji-
Mission to Fiji + Personal Deviation (Day 5 of 8)
In Suva. Wednesday to Thursday, I was here with a WHO team to facilitate a government workshop on strengthening laws to address noncommunicable diseases. I’m heading to Nadi tonight, after dinner, to stay a couple extra days on my own dime and go diving on the weekend.
Tiko’s Floating Restaurant is a seafood restaurant. An actual boat floating in the ocean, moored directly off the coast near city central. Wide variety of seafoods, prepared in a variety of styles, including some Fijian. Current TripAdvisor ranking: 6 of 72 restaurants in Suva.
Mama is a type of emperor fish. Monotaxis grandoculis. Known in English under various names with variations/combinations of the terms “humpnose/big-eye/bream/emperor.”
Kokoda is a Fijian dish. Consists of raw fish, typically a firm white fish (e.g., swordfish, mahi mahi), cubed and marinated in lemon/lime juice and coconut milk to kinda “cook” it (i.e., in the same way as Peruvian ceviche or Filipino kilawin).
The food was good. The kokoda – at last, my first experience with an actual Fijian dish (not counting steamed taro root) – made from mama fish, didn’t taste like much, a hint of coconut, just sorta milky and tangy, squishy and creamy in texture. The taro was a bit better deep-fried, but still dry. Nevertheless, along with the other items that we ordered, it was the first fresh food that I’ve had for dinner on the island, so thank you. I should’ve eaten here every night.
Over the course of 16 days, through a combination of personal and professional travels, I will be in 12 localities across 7 countries, eating and documenting at least 1 meal in each of them.
Today is Day 13 / Locality 9 / Country 6.
(For additional posts, see 16/12/7.)
After the consultation had wrapped in the afternoon, I stuck around to have dinner with my old pal TL. I hadn’t seen her since she left WPRO back in April, the last shared meal in March (see 5.068 Stir-Fried Spinach). Although she’s currently working at the WHO office in Suva, she was out of town until today, so unfortunately we only had a single night to hang out, but I felt fortunate to have at least that.
I’ve often thought that WHO WPRO, and the Korean staff at WPRO in particular, tend be overly hospitable to guests, but this experience in Fiji was the opposite extreme. No welcome reception for the workshop participants, nary a single dinner/drink invitation from anyone at the local WHO office, some of whom I know fairly well. If not for TL, this would’ve been a lonely trip.
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)