17 (Fri) April 2015
at Tu’s Place
Personal Deviation + Mission to Nadi + Personal Deviation : Day 2 (see previously 6.100 Coconut Carrot Cream Soup).
Arrived this morning, here through next Friday to attend a conference — details to come.
This is my second visit to Fiji (see most recently 5.180 Mahi Mahi with Snake Beans…).
Tu’s Place is a Fijian restaurant–sort of. While certain ingredients (e.g., seafood, root vegetables) and seasonings (e.g., coconut, curry) are local, as are certain dishes (e.g. kokoda, rourou), the presentations tend to be westernized/modernized/stylized — what expats/tourists would imagine Fijian cuisine to be, though Fijians would probably never do it that way at home. Currently ranked #2 of 70 restaurants in Nadi on TripAdvisor (actually, the #1 restaurant has recently shut down, so Tu’s Place holds the top spot for establishments currently in operation).
The food was excellent.
If the opportunity arises, I would definitely go back to this restaurant to try other dishes.
In Manila, our division has begun an informal investigation into the potential health risks of kava consumption. Liver toxicity has been reported with heavy use as a concentrated extract in pharmaceutical products to treat anxiety, leading to bans in Australia and certain countries in Europe, which could be a big deal for certain countries in the Pacific that rely on kava exports for income. While the amounts of the active components don’t come close in the beverage, the drink has been anecdotally associated with other harmful behaviors, such as alcohol abuse and driving under the influence. Stay tuned.
While I had tasted the stuff before, I was curious to experience a full kava session, how the locals do it, so I took full advantage of the opportunity. As Fijians tend to be, they were warm and welcoming to my participation. I was the only non-local in the group; other hotel guests, for whatever reason, didn’t join, not even for a single cup. By the end, everyone was very mellow, nobody saying a word — that’s the point, apparently, just to shut up and relax. Otherwise, I didn’t really feel much beyond a slight numbness in the mouth and bloatedness in the belly from ingesting so much liquid. Somewhat disappointed, I said my goodbyes and went off to bed. I did have a great time bonding with the guys, very honored to have been a part of the session.