Sunset Bar & Cafe, Iririki Island

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Who does not enjoy a swim up bar? This area is part of the Iririki Island complex. At the opposite end of the island to the Bali Hai Bar & Micheners restaurant, this area of endless lagoon style pools, waterfalls, and seating areas are nested in among the swaying coconut trees and surrounded by the gym, cafe, tennis courts, games room and the bar.

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This area is aimed towards families, with a playground and poolside apartments incorporated into the area. Happy hour is in place down this end of the island too, between 4-5pm and 8-9pm daily.

I for one enjoyed sitting on one of the concrete stools in the pool, sipping a wine, very relaxing whilst one cools off from the humidity. If you are staying near the Bali Hai end, be sure to take a wander down this way, you won’t be disappointed!

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Micheners Restaurant-Iririki Island, Vanuatu

Micheners is part of the Bali Hai Bar complex. A balcony has been added to the front of the restaurant, overlooking the sea. Not only has this given the restaurant a much roomier feel, it has provided a wonderfully romantic style setting for dinners or a gorgeous sunny spot for breakfast.

Since breakfast is the first meal of the day, we’ll start with that one. There can be nothing better than being welcomed with the hugest smiles from the staff every day. It most certainly sets the tone for the day! Keep in mind too that breakfast is included as part of the accommodation package.

Breakfast is buffet style with a choice of breads (including gluten free and banana breads), selection of pastries, accompaniments for the breads, includes vegemite! Fruits, yogurts, muesli, cereals, juices, hot drinks, hot buffet, and at the end of the hot buffet, the always smiling beautifully natured Amos to cook your eggs or omelettes, or smiley Sam if Amos is away for the day. Either way you will enjoy eggs cooked the way you like them.

Should you prefer a barista coffee, this will be ordered for you by the lovely friendly staff and charged to your room. There is even a coffee card with the sixth coffee free. With a couple of coffees every day, hubby enjoyed the odd complimentary latte, without complaint!

Theme dinners are dotted throughout the week. Tuesday night is the dancing display, kava tasting and the Melanesian feast, where you taste lap lap and other local foods. Definitely worth the experience!

The Real Pasifik Banquet is held at Micheners whenever there is a function at Iririki’s Watermark Restaurant. This has been reviewed separately and is highly recommended to those looking for a full gastronomic experience, including drinks, market and cafe tours. Numbers are limited so you will need to book.

Friday night is a seafood feast, however the a la carte menu is also available. Still having a little issue uploading photos however they will be added soon. The feast for two was huge, we did however valiantly struggle through to end, to be rewarded with a superb coconut tart for dessert. Nice sweet to finish with.

We dined our last evening on Iririki, at Micheners to enjoy the a la carte menu. As this was Saturday night, you are treated to an awesome fire dancing display. Menu choice is certainly well rounded, catering for a wide variety of tastes. Food was once again, delicious. Not a restaurant we have ever had a bad meal or experience at. I’m sure you will enjoy as much as we did when you next visit Iririki!

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Real Pasifik banquet – Iririki Island

Wow! To join in this most awesome banquet experience, you do not need to be staying at Iririki. The day begins with a 10am food market tour to showcase the food which will be used in the banquet that night. Our tour was conducted by Stanley, Chef Amos and Bernie.

Chef Amos taught his small class of pupils the differences in many different types of food. For instance, we learned which varieties of bananas are for eating, whilst plantain bananas are for cooking only. The difference between the cooking and the eating peanuts, types of fruit and vegetables, all accompanied with an insight into the life of the locals. Bernie’s interjections along the way were received with much laughter and hilarity.

I do have some photos of the markets however will upload at a later time when Internet allows. Some have uploaded onto our Facebook page Dine Live Travel as well as dinelivetravel on Instagram.

We were the inaugural tour to be taken to Lapita Cafe after the markets. I would say this topped off the tour beautifully. A review of a Lapita Cafe has been provided separately however I really urge everyone to visit this beautiful lady and her staff.

After the cafe everyone dispersed to spend the day however they wished. That evening we came together for the most amazing evening. The group is limited to around 16 which was an ideal number. Drinks are included, now the best part here is it was any drink you were drinking. Certainly making a change from the usual basics only inclusions we have found at other restaurants who advertise all inclusive meals.

A large screen tv, played the show filmed in Vanuatu featuring Robert Oliver and the lovely lady from Lapita Cafe, whose name no one was sure how to spell!

First on the menu was a banana soup. Right now I totally understand if you are raising the eyebrows a little, however we were assured by Chef Amos and Bernie in the morning the soup was devine. There is no denying they were correct. One really does need to try this, a description does not it justice.

A copy of the full menu will follow later. We would encourage everyone to try this. Remember even a coeliac can eat everything on this menu. Internet restricts the upload at the moment, I will however add to this blog in a couple of days time. Enjoy the banquet !!

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Lapita Cafe

This tour was the inaugural visit to the cafe following a walk through the colourful markets. A delightful and interesting experience. This beautiful chef has worked alongside Robert Oliver, ( a NZ chef voted the top TV chef in the world only three weeks ago), to promote natural foods in Vanuatu.
Unfortunate photos will not upload at this time, will add some at a later date.

For those who are gluten intolerant, this may very well be one of the only caf├ęs you can eat everything. We tasted pizza, sausages and relishes, as well as some crunchy ginger cookies.

The flour here is manioc flour, produced directly from the manioc root. The flour is wheat & gluten free, high in fibre with no preservatives. It does not come any more natural than this. Not only that, finally we have tasted something which ensured the food tasted ‘normal’. The first small shipment if this flour was exported to Sydney last week. If anyone would like to know more, feel free to leave a comment or contact via Facebook Dine Live Travel page.

I will be the first to admit, I won’t spend extra $ on organic in Australia as I don’t believe it is organic. However in Vanuatu everything is. No sprays are used anywhere in the country. Pretty much as described to us, you dig a hole, plant a plant, then leave until it is matured. A cafe like Lapita is a place which needs a lot of promotion to showcase what they available.

There is the opportunity here to look through the small factory, or, you can check the local native kitchen which was used by Robert Oliver in the TV show he did in Vanuatu.

Photos will follow!

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Beef House Bar & Grill, Port Vila

Personally greeted, seated by Karlos, in this large and interesting restaurant, tucked away near the Duty Free in Port Vila. Karlos introduced himself, enquired as to our names, thereafter referring to each of us by name. A delightfully personal touch.

Complimentary fresh bread was delivered by Karlos, along with the menus. Right now I wish I could upload photos with this blog, the menu and everything about this quirky place was interesting and fabulous.

Hubby decided upon the lobster which, as described by Karlos, was fresh off the boat at 10.30pm last night. Half was to be grilled, whilst the other half mornay. At 5000vat, around AUD $50 this sounded like an awesome deal. I opted for the small sirloin which arrived with a baked potato and salad.

You need to hear about this lobster. This crustacean was huge, arriving on a big platter, more than twice the size of a normal plate. Decorated with shoestring fries, onions, battered banana, with a separate plate of mashed potato and salad. Now salad was mostly lettuce with a scattering of a dressing and cheese, however when are presented with a full lobster, whose body alone was longer than a footlong sub, who cares about the salad.

Like I said, I really wish I could post the photo of this unlucky crustacean, however I will update when back in Australia. I will try to upload this on Instagram – dinelivetravel and the Facebook page Dine Live Travel as the blog won’t accept photo uploads on the internet here.

The steak was to die for, but then the steak in Vanuatu generally is. They have amazing beef over here. Topped off with a few of the local Tusker beers and the alcohol infused ice creams, thank you Karlos we loved the whole experience.

Our mid morning lunch was devine and we cannot wait to return as per your invitations. Big hugs all round from Karlos before we left, and the invitation to return one evening, where after dinner we will be taken for a free drink with the locals at the owners nightclub. Sounds enticing, plus we are returning anyway Karlos, the snails and frogs legs on the menu are on our list to try. We shall return !

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