A luxury dining in Fiji experience on Denarau Island is spot on, writes Tina-Louise Jackson, who samples the freshest seafood at the Tatavu Grill & Bar.
Entering Tatavu Grill & Bar, it’s hard to move past the display of fresh, locally-caught seafood. Tonight’s selection includes huge mud crab from local mangroves, lobster from the outer reef and glistening snapper.
The restaurant is part of the multi-million-dollar renovated Sheraton Golf & Beach Resort on Fiji’s Denarau Island, where waves lap at the powdery shore, and water shimmers from reflective ponds – and where Tatavu sits as an open-air centrepiece.
Fine (sandy) luxury dining in Fiji
It’s not just what’s on the plate that makes this a luxury dining in Fiji experience of note. I dig my toes in the sand and scan the vista from my table over the renovated dining room. It’s a perfect a view as the dishes.
A custom-built woodfire grill is a first in Fiji with much of the menu cooked here from an open kitchen that creates a sensory experience, as flames rise in the air, and the aroma of barbecue permeates the space.
The cuisine, as executive chef Jose Dominguez explains, is “inspired around Mediterranean flavours infused with South American charm, combining locally sourced ingredients with the best-imported cuts of meat delivered to perfection”. Much of that is from Denarau Farm, a four-hectare organic fruit, vegetable and herb farm.
Dish to dine for
I dine on Cape Grim prime rib, which started its culinary journey many hours earlier – seared on the grill to give a smoky flavour, then slowly cooked for eight hours. The result is melt-in-the-mouth tenderness, perfectly paired with delicately flavoured seared scallops, silky potato mash and thyme-infused grilled wild mushrooms.
Next comes lobster halved and prepared on the grill served with indulgent garlic butter. It’s paired with artisan cocktails, expertly curated by passionate mixologist, Ralden. I choose a basil-infused strawberry daiquiri, the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, that adds a nice touch to the tropical setting.
While Tatavu Grill & Bar can seat 227, with three sittings each evening, the restaurant has been fully booked since opening – and it’s easy to understand why. Portions are generous, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the food is utterly delicious.
Five-star luxury in Fiji
After a $47 million renovation, Sheraton Fiji Beach & Golf Resort truly shines. From lush gardens littered with palm trees to sparkling interiors like the main foyer. This stunning open-plan space expands to crystal-watered pools and then on to the sandy beach beyond.
The expansive five-star resort has a vast array of luxury leisure amenities: from six swimming pools to golf and tennis, a gym and spa, plus several water sports and off-resort tours. Come evening, take out one of the resort’s glow-in-the-dark paddle boards for an unusual way to see the stars sparkle from above before setting in for the night over a fine meal part of the best luxury dining in Fiji that the South Pacific has to offer.