Situated on the grounds of the Crown Beach Resort is a nice, large thatch-roofed building with a restaurant inside. The restaurant is called Windjammer and in the town of Arorangi on the island of Rarotonga, the thatch roof fits right in. As with much of the food I would encounter in Rarotonga (which relies heavily upon imported food from New Zealand), eating out doesn’t come cheaply, with main courses hanging out around 30 New Zealand Dollars. Rather than settling on one dish, the girlfriend and I decided to go splitsies on two.
The first was “Oven baked chicken breast filled with feta, basil and avocado mousse served with warmed roasted local pumpkin, fresh beetroot & asparagus finished with an olive and tomato tapenade.” While, I would typically be asking for vegetable substitutes, I kept the dish as is, which is my custom in foreign countries. When it arrived, I was thankful this was a dish I was splitting. The chicken was pretty small compared to its friends on the plate, but it sure was tasty. The chicken itself was perfectly juicy and feta/basil/avocado stuffing had a creamy texture not usually associated with feta and great taste. Fortunately, the taste was not at all overwhelming and maintained a good balance with the chicken. The vegetables were left to fend for themselves with my girlfriend.
The other dish was “Chefs [sic] special seafood risotto with a selection of fresh sauteed seafood, shell fish then scented with vanilla, citrus and fresh herbs & capped off with a homemade basil dressing.” And it was with this dish that I rapidly fell in love with the seafood of Rarotonga. It was so damn fresh, but it wasn’t just the freshness that did it for me. The sauce it was in was also pretty amazing. I always have a soft spot for vanilla, but would never think to use it with seafood (or any other non-dessert food at that), but Windjammer made it work like a charm. I think it could have used a little more salt to balance out the vanilla, but it is always better to be under-salted than over.
Windjammer was a great introduction to the delicious seafood of Rarotonga and one of the few times in my life where I preferred a dish from the sea over one from the land/air. For anyone staying in the town of Arorangi, Windjammer is not to be missed.