They say variety is the spice of life. Well, there’s plenty of variety to be had when it comes to eating out in Suva.
The capital city is home to numerous restaurants be it Fijian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean or Continental cuisine you’re after.
There are far too many restaurants to list all here but we’ve chosen the best middle to upper end restaurants in the hope that choosing a place to dine will be a little easier for you.
Fijian: Traditional Fijian food - delicious and unique to our islands - is surprising hard to come by when on holiday in Fiji.
While most hotels and restaurants will feature a dish or two (most likely Kokoda) on the menu as well as have “Lovo Nights” (food cooked over hot stones in an earth-oven) there are only a handful of restaurants that specialise in traditional Fijian cuisine.
This makes it a rare treat indeed for those who venture out in search of Fijian food. Suva has two restaurants specialising in Fijian food, Vakaviti Restaurant and the Fiji Indigenous Restaurant.
Both are located in Kadavu House on Renwick Road. Vakaviti Restaurant is the cheaper of the two, with most dishes costing $4 while Fiji Indigenous is slightly more upmarket with better atmosphere. Open Mon – Sat.
Chinese: Chinese restaurants greatly outnumber other restaurants in Suva. In fact, there was a time when it seemed as though the majority of restaurants were Chinese, interesting, given that the Chinese are an ethnic minority in Fiji.
However, this has changed in recent years with the opening of more Indian restaurants and the introduction of Japanese and Korean cuisine to the capital city.
The Great Wok of China, Peking and Lantern Palace are all long-established Chinese eateries, that offer a mix of Sichuan and Cantonese delicacies.
Both Fong Lee and Hai Kong, located side by side on Victoria Parade specialise in seafood – Chinese style. Asian Karaoke, opposite Fintel on Victoria Parade, if you are not bothered about atmosphere, serves good food in generous serves at a very good price. Vine Yard Palace (formerly Ming Palace) in the Old Town Hall, is the largest restaurant in the capital, seating up to 400 people. Capital Palace, located in an old cinema (The Regal) on Victoria Parade, comes in as the second largest, seating up to 300 people and does a mean Dim Sum.
Indian: Fiji’s Indian community is descended from different regions in India, with the two main groups being North and South Indians.
This diversity is reflected in the cuisine as well, with Fiji Indian cooking varying somewhat from food in India.
For local North Indian cuisine try Curry House on Cumming St or Singh’s Curry House on Gordon Street for spicy South Indian dishes.
For authentic cuisine from the Indian sub-continent (think Tandoori and Naan) Ashiyana in the Old Town Hall building on Victoria Parade is the place to head to.
Curry King restaurant on Waimanu Road near the CWM Hospital serves good Indian food at reasonable prices and is open seven days a week.
Vegetarians have a choice of two restaurants, Hare Krishna on Pratt Street (which does great home-made ice-cream and sweets) and Govinda on Cumming Street.
Japanese: Japan is Fiji’s third largest tourism market and perhaps as an indicator of this, there are now three Japanese restaurants in Suva alone.
Daikoku on Victoria Parade specialises in Teppan-Yaki – individually prepared at your Teppan table. Zen, located on Butt Street does Japanese favourites such as sushi and tempura as does Ikkyu, a new Japanese eatery on Stewart Street.
Korean: A few Korean restaurants have sprung up in recent years, perhaps to cater to the growing Korean population in Fiji. However, Korea House, on Waimanu Road, is the pioneer. It specialises in traditional Korean delicacies such as Bul Go Gy, Dak Do Ri Tang and Bi Bim Ba.
Continental: A number of high-end eateries serving continental cuisine are to be found in Suva. JJ’s On The Park is on the waterfront in the heart of Suva and is a casual restaurant that’s popular among movers and shakers.
Metal Ox is located in the back of the old Regal building and specialises in grilled cuisine - steaks and seafood.
Tiko’s is one of the more romantic places around, it is floating restaurant set on a boat that specialises in local and international seafood dishes. Zest, a new addition to Suva’s dining scene, is located at the Tanoa Plaza at the corner of Gordon and Malcolm St and creatively combines fresh local ingredients in its original menu.
Combination: The Old Mill Cottage Cafe on Carnarvon St, a Suva establishment, is housed in an old, wooden colonial building.
It serves up some of the best Fijian and Indian food around. Vikatoria at the Holiday Inn in Suva opens daily from 6am to 10.30pm and serves a combination of Indian, Fijian and Continental cuisine.
The Raintree Lodge at Colo-i-Suva is set in natural surroundings amidst a rainforest with a lake. It also serves up a combination of different cuisines with an emphasis on Continental food.