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Eating Big at Little Polynesian

Poolside dining.

In the windy town of Titikaveka, there is a restaurant called Little Polynesian, that also doubles as a hotel. Just like nearly every spot on Rarotonga, Little Polynesian offers amazing views of the ocean and numerous palm trees. While fine views are usually followed by only decent dining, Little Polynesian was supposed to be quite good, and we hoped the meal would be half as good as the view.

Just as we had done at Windjammer, a quick look at the menu made us realize that this was a meal for splitting. We ordered two dishes and an appetizer, then sit back, relaxed and soaked up our evening of Little Polynesian.

Not quite as white as Texas.

The appetizer was simply garlic bread, and Little Polynesian managed to keep it simply good. It started with some thick-as-Texas toast, but this bread was no plain white. It was dense, with a flavor and texture kind of similar to rye. But of course, the true flavor was in the buttery garlic upon the bread that was strong enough to keep pace with the heavy bread while not being overwhelming.

Polynesian surf and turf.

As for our main courses, the first was the Fillet of Beef & Garlic Prawns. This came with some stir-fried veggies, potato mash and merlot jus. The dish was pretty beautiful, and starting with the prawns, the flavor lived up to the beauty. As with the garlic bread, these had the perfect balance of garlic to prawn and were fresh as the day they were born (probably recently). The beef, though, was nothing amazing. Yeah, it was good, and the merlot jus gave it a nice, sweet kick, but overall the prawns were the king of this dish. Oh, and the mash was also delicious.

Give me more sauce, I don’t care what’s in it.

Yet, while the prawns were the king of that dish, our other dish was the king of Little Polynesian. This was the Seafood Gratin, which contained scallops, prawns and calimari, cooked in a white wine, butter, herb and havarti cheese sauce. It came with a side of coconut steamed rice and bread, to take care of the leftover sauce after all the seafood was gone. This seafood gratin may be the best dish that the Cook Islands have to offer. Every bite was incredible, and while the seafood was fresh and delicious, my shoe would have tasted amazing in that crack sauce.

Little Polynesian was an awesome meal, and mostly due to that delectable seafood gratin. If we hadn’t run out of that sauce eventually, I’m pretty I would have eaten it until my stomach burst. And I mean that in the most literal sense. It would have gotten ugly. As it was, this was definitely a worthwhile meal, even if it did mean driving the motor scooter down to windy Titikaveka.