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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 06 Dishes to Try in Vanuatu – Servings of More than Culture and History
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Top 06 Dishes to Try in Vanuatu – Servings of More than Culture and History

In Vanuatu you will discover rich heritage and culture, much of it reflected through the cuisine. Restaurants offer an amalgamation of dishes influenced by European, Asian and Melanesian traditions.


Do Try the Santo Beef

A high-quality cut of beef, Santo beef is obtained from cows reared in Espiritu Santo; hence the cows are well bred on a diet rich in natural vitamins and nutrients. The beef from these animals offer a taste of these nutrients and is fast gaining popularity as lean and tender meat, across the world. Often used in gourmet dishes, the best classy Santo Beef is served at Port Villas Mangoes Restaurant, while the more budget conscious traveller can check out the small Vanuatu restaurants and little eateries in the downtown region.


Flying Fox For Something Exotic

Flying Fox may not be on the agenda of every foodie, but do give it a try and you will be mildly surprised by the exotic flavours. The foxes are caught from the fruit trees of Vanuatu and cooked in a delicious stew. Look to dine at the L’Housetalet Restaurant run by Clement Martinez a French chef. A secret of the local recipe is to marinate the meat in red wine for 12 hours and then cook it until tender for another two whole hours.


Fall for the Tastes of Wild Pigeon

A delicacy the L’Housetalet Restaurant is famous for is the wild pigeon. The dish comes to your table, smothered in a rich and creamy sauce, which only enhances the delicious flavour of the meat. The combination is a fine example of French culinary techniques making the most of local resources. It’s one dish you won’t want to miss.


Lap Lap for Local Flavours

This is the national dish of Vanuatu, and no visitor should leave the place without trying out Lap Lap. The dish contains yams, banana or manioc which is soaked in a thick coconut cream before being cooked in an earthen pot. The end result is a pudding-like meal which is sometimes accompanied with fish or chicken. This is no fancy meal, and loads of fun to try out while on the move. If you find the flavours of Lap Lap just right, check out Simboro; it is an alternative to Lap Lap, where the same ingredients are stuffed in banana leaves, and slowly simmered in thick coconut milk.


Poulet Fish a Firm Favourite

Poulet is a variety of local fish caught off the shores of Vanuatu. The meat is a tender white colour with few bones; hence it’s safe for kids. Poulet fish is served in many different variants; either way, you will not be disappointed. You can visit Vanuatu resort dining venues such as the Verandah Restaurant at Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu to try versions of this dish.


Coconut Crab, A Speciality

Coconut crab is a local favourite, which is disappearing off the menu, due to over-harvesting of the crab. It is still served though at a few restaurants and is packed with loads of flavour. Whether you give the environment a chance to recuperate or enjoy the crab is entirely a personal decision.