Eating out or eating in? A simple choice. Takeaways and informal restaurants offer a variety of tempting tastes for everyone if you’re eating en masse. Enjoy the fun of a cook up at home? The local produce is bountiful with fresh fish , crisp vegetables and perfectly ripe fruit.
Or there’s the island style progressive dinner where the locals prepare authentic Cook Islands dishes – all you have to do is jump on the Raro Tours bus and be there. The infamous umukai – with everything cooked underground resulting in a deliciously smokey flavour is often accompanied by succulent crisply crackled pork on the spit; plus an absolute disregard for calories when it comes to desserts and cakes. A favourite family outing for everyone who enjoys learning about the traditional way of island life and mixing with the locals.
Eating out costs about the same as it does back at home and the supermarkets stock many familiar products - great for ravenous kids. There are some great cheap places to eat at the markets and the fresh tropical fruit is plentiful, healthy and totally addictive. You can use New Zealand dollars in Rarotonga, with many places accepting Visa or other major credit cards.
Dinners for the family are easy and fun, with many hotels and resorts having their own restaurants and others around the island featuring ‘feet in the sand’ dining – where the kids can play on the beach while you enjoy a nice cold drink. Some resorts also offer romantic beachfront dining by candlelight, and if this appeals, babysitters are available. There’s plenty of good, family places to eat and you can always find good fish and chips to eat right on the beach.
Older kids (over five) will love experiencing an “Island Night”, offered by most resorts, or cultural villages such as Highland Paradise or Te Vara Nui. The show and umu cooked dinner of Cook Island cuisine features music, singing and dancing. It’s infectious, interesting and fun for everyone.
Love Fresh Food?
The multitude of cafes and restaurants around the island just have to be experienced, the food is so good. From a casual fish sandwich to a complete gourmet meal, there’s something for everyone.