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Saturday, September 13, 2003
Last night we went to have dinner at the Fiji Malthouse again, we shared a Pizza and had 2 side salads. The salads are big, with very nice lettuce (other stuff than iceberg), but the dressing was too much oil and not enough vinegar ... that would be nice if they's offer different dressings.
As for the pizza we did a half half again, half "Pacific" (which is basically a "Hawaii" with ham and pineapple, but has some onions too) and half BBQ prawn / seafood. The Pacific was great, the BBQ prawns were a bit funny, first they used what I usually call salad shrimp, tiny critters they probably get frozen from Const-U-Less, not sure what so BBQ is on them. But again, the crust is fantastic, the staff was very nice, the beer was great. Really nice place, finally we found good pizza (now we just have to find out which toping we like best)
Then this morning, instead of going to church (yeah, right) we went to the movie theater to watch a movie that we had NO clue about, other than the title is "romance", the ad depicts a half naked lady and it is rated R18. With a title like that I could not find any info on the IMDB, but later I found out that it was this French movie from 1999. Why they would show that one in Fiji is still a riddle to me ... as is the whole movie ... weird, strange, totally unsexy, lots of bla bla bla. Some obvious / silly cuts (hiding a felatio, but later giving a full frontal detail view of a woman giving birth!). I am still not sure if the movie had a plot, a point or a deeper meaning.
We just returned from a fun trip organized by the Rucksack Club. First was a visit to a local potter and learn about fijian pottery. The drive to the place was an adventure already (thanks to the fantastic road conditions and funny directions, but we found it.) The potters, Paula & Onarina Nawalu were very welcoming, we all got some flower thingies to wear, some kava to drink (that actually took half of the time) and then they showed us how they turn clay into beautiful vases or other vessels. People could participate and Ritsu got her hands dirty by creating a cute little piggy.
That took all in all 2.5 hours and then we headed to a landing at the Rewa River and hopped in boats that would take us down to the delta, a region called Matai-I-Suva, a beautiful, deserted beach (so THIS is where the beach is!) and we spent 2 hours enjoying. The boat trip was about 30 minutes, and in both cases we managed to pick the boat that would leave first, but arrive last. One amazing sight along the river was a stone cathedral somewhere in the middle of knowhere, and as we heard, it was built 150 years ago by french missionaries (no wonder it reminded me of Notre Dame in Paris.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to get a nice slideshow (1.9 MB, Quicktime required.
For those wanting a more standard website with thumbnails and pictures .. please click here
Most people were way better prepared for the picnic lunch, including bottles of wine and nice things, but we had nice sandwiches and skickers. We took a long stroll along that empty beach and it was wonderful.
And here shall be the entry for the Malthouse Experience a bit later ... new restaurant, ownded by a nice guy named paul, GREAT pizza ... more later
Ok, here now: We heard about this place for the first time a few days ago at the wine tasting (see below) and were surprised that we had never heard about it yet. It is not in the heart of Suva, it is actually a bit off, on the way to Nausori Airport, i'd say a 10 - 15 minute drive from our house.
It does not look like a restaurant from the outside, but inside it great. One half is a bar / bistro area, and the other half is the restaurant. There was a private function just finishing so was spent some time at the bar. They brew 3 different beers themselves, and after indicating that we have never been there, we both got 3 shot glasses to taste the 3 kinds, #1 is a very blonde, pale beer, which I liked best, #3 is on the other end of the spectrum, it is dark and not my flavor, and #2 is somewhat in the middle and Ritsu liked that one best.
Soon we sat down and only 10 minutes later we spotted Wade, Araly and friends walking in, and we all sat together on one table and had dinner together. This restaurant has a great pizza oven and they are now my favourites for pizza in Suva. I still need to do some more taste rounds ... but the crust is great and they are quite fancy with their toppings creations ... but that is also maybe the only (totally fixable) drawback. Some are too fancy and some seems a bit overloaded. I wish they would also offer a classic "tomato, basil, mozzarella" pizza. Also, they offer only one size, which could be changed easily. What is great is that they give you the option to say "i want half this and half that" ... so that may have created some confusion.
Anyways, we enjoyed the pizza, beer and surprise company a lot. We are planning on going there very soon.
Cats are getting used now to eating together ... on this pic Nietzsche is still using an old ashtray ... we bought him now his own nice bowl ... how do other people with 2 cats do it? Not sure if they would eat from one bowl.
We just got back from a wine tasting at Victoria Wines and it was a fun time.
The tasting is held at a restaurant space adjacent to the store (Kakana Talei, which was supposed to have been a great fijian restaurant, but it has closed, and now the space is used for functions like this tasting). 10FJ$ gets you in, reservation is highly recommended, as the place filled up quickly and I would estimate 50-60 happy wine people were there. The crowd is dominated by expats (in fact, I cannot recall having seen any fijian or indo-fijian) and we saw many familiar faces. The 10$ gets you lots of wine, 12 tasting wines (6 white / 6 red) 2 'mystery' wines for a guessing game and a glass of wine just as a happy starter. They also offer some nice platters, we had one cheese and then one anti-pasto platter, which for 10 / 8.50 $ were very nice, and they had nice cheeses on the cheese platter, together with fruit and bread.
The 'show' started with owner Liam presenting the 2 mystery wines. After tasting the first, we were all to stand up and he would ask questions (like "is that a 'new world' or 'old world' wine?", which was a term I had never heard before), and if you are wrong, you sit down, if right you remain standing. So, the winner is the last person standing and gets a bottle of wine.
I somehow got that wrong initially, i though the last person standing did it all wrong.
The actual tasting comes in 3s. You have 3 glasses which you assign letters too ... and again, they play it as a guessing game. You have the list of wines in front of you and now you can try if you can taste which of the 3 is which (of the 3 first ones, not out of all 12). Liam gives some clues and the sheet reveals information as to region, price, alcohol content and name of course. (Yesterday was all chardonnays and merlots). And then the revelation and again you can see how close you got and I think only one person got all 12 right.
I was totally confused when it came to redwine, I think I burnt my pallet with those spicy olives from our anti-pasto platter. And after all that wine (and helping Ritsu with hers) it was getting harder to taste the differences. But it was a fun time, it was also great that Brian and Sue (a british couple, we had met her before at that fijian cooking workshop) asked us to join them on their table, so we had someone to enlighten us as to how to play the game and don't mix up our glasses.
Still want to explain the below picture and recap the weekend:
Friday was graduation of the USP at the new multi-purpose hall. It was quite interesting, a nice mix between the conventional / expected .. peppered with south pacific flavor ... Our friend Marly was one of the graduants and got us tickets for the 'show', but only I could make it timewise. Afterwards we went to JJ's for some snack and drinks.
Saturday was shopping day, we found some new great brand of instant noodles which became our new favourite in an instant (pun intended) ...
Sunday was even more mellow, more noodles, and dinner at Great Wok .. what a great lazy weekend. Nietzsche was MIA for 2 days, but showed up again.