MELBOURNE Cup day proved to be a boon for many restaurants and resorts with large crowds reported at a number of venues.
Bites enjoyed a magnificent three course feast at the Blue Marlin Club which was completely full, with everybody raving about the quality of Matt’s upmarket cuisine.
BBQs, frozen margaritas and tons of fun were the order of the day at the Wahoo Bar and restaurant at Havannah Harbour when the fun and games with live music went well into the evening.
At Iririki Island Resort, Bernie the Bookie was in hot demand as the bets rolled in, with more than 150 people in attendance for a super Cup day party.
Now that big day is past attention turns to Xmas parties, Xmas Day itself and News Year’s Eve. Bites will be looking at the menus of many venues in the coming weeks and some are already in circulation.
One chef with a bigger than average task ahead is Iririki’s new head chef Galo Raul Guerron Munoz, an Ecuadorian Rumanian with a fascinating and impressive CV.
Galo has to prepare a new standard menu for the island resort’s Azure restaurant as well as a special Xmas one as well.
Bites enjoyed a wonderful three course lunch at the resort’s signature restaurant Azure this week and have to say with a degree of confidence that this exciting chef is off to a flying start.
Galo, who speaks six languages, has brought some new ideas and vibrant styles to Vanuatu that will only enhance a restaurant that had already improved greatly in recent times.
Diners will see touches of Spanish, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine with many dishes not seen anywhere else in the country. And the use of great, fresh local produce – some of it grown on the island itself – makes for an enticing experience.
We began with a bowl of seafood chowder that was an absolute delight. Based on excellent homemade seafood stock and laced with diced fresh fish, prawns, scallops and more, it was brimming with flavour, enhanced with a dash of cinnamon and enriched with coconut milk.
Next up was a stunning dish of red snapper tail, crispy fried outside and flaky-white inside, served with savoury banana fritters, lemon butter sauce and crispy garden-fresh salad – this one should definitely be a favourite on the menu.
Dessert included rich and chewy chocolate brownies and superb mango ice cream, the perfect conclusion to a memorable meal and, Bites hopes, just the first of many to come. Can’t wait to see the whole new menu.
We will have a full interview with Chef Munoz in the near future and we will be asking about his time as a demi chef de partie at the fabled el Bulli three Michelin starred restaurant in Spain that reigned as the number one restaurant in the world for some time. He also did a course at a pizza school in Sicily, so we are pleased to welcome such an interesting and experienced chef into our culinary world in Vila.