La Mer, Efate, Vanuatu

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Tucked away in a remote location, around an hours drive from Port Vila, is restaurant La Mer. Access is via a grass track, whereupon a few minutes drive will bring you to this most idyllic spot, revealing the presence of a neat French restaurant, which sits proudly near the beach.

Driving down the track you pass some if the best looking beef cattle you have ever seen, possibly even the odd wild pig as we did. A rather huge porker eating at the side if the road, who was in no way intimidated by the passing close by.

Clean, tidy and most of all comfortable. This restaurant is quaint and interesting from the moment you arrive. Huge smiles from the staff as the menu is presented. Meals / drinks are all reasonably priced here. You will require vatu for payment. Our lunch, 2 meals and a few drinks came in just over 6000 vatu.

As the only customers on this particular day, it was delightful to have the restaurant to ourselves. After receiving a very reserved greeting by the resident dog, who then sloped off to sleep under another table and chairs, a cut up grapefruit was delivered to the table. For those who have not tasted Vanuatu fruit, this pink grapefruit was sweet enough to eat without any bitter aftertaste. Grapefruit here is very easy to eat.

The food was well presented and certainly didn’t disappoint with taste either. A beef salad had the lightest and most finely chopped salad possible, interspersed with potato bites and layered with beef. A mixture of flavours and spices which were balanced just right and in no way overpowering. Calamari was the best, without being over spiced and cooked naturally. I’m told the steak was tender melt in the mouth and the very best tasted.

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Coconut water does not come any fresher than this. No plastic bottles for this drink!

During lunch the only sounds you could hear, were the waves rolling into the beach, faint ceremonial noise from a local village and the odd clink and sizzle from the kitchen.

If you visit Vanuatu and have the opportunity to visit, or are taking a tour around the island, ask to visit this delightful restaurant. You will not be disappointed.

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