Tonga impressions - fresh seafood!
I have two main memories concerning our food in Tonga; the first
is the freshness of the fish and seafood. All of our dinners came from the
sea and was at most 24 hours out of the water. At the Sandy Beach Resort,
a boat would stop by each morning with fresh catch. One night we had a
parrot fish fillet that was quickly pan fried and then drizzled with garlic
butter - it practically melted in your mouth, as the parrot fish has light,
flaky white meat. (For those not familiar with tropical fish, the parrot
fish is one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean . . . I knew this before
Tonga, what I didn't know is that it is also one of the tastiest fish in the
ocean). Another great meal was a bunch of fresh lobsters that came in one
morning . . . nothing fancy, just fresh lobster.
The second thing that I particularly liked about the Sandy Beach
Resort was the dinner ambiance created by the German owners, Sigrid and Jurgen.
The resort has an open air bar that overlooks the ocean; they have placed
several small tables on the patio between the bar and the ocean. Every
evening the guests congregate on this patio and converse with each other and
Sigrid and Jurgen. Jurgen usually serves the drinks; one night I wasn't
sure if I liked the type of wine he was serving, so he poured me a glass (for
free) to test. This type of hospitality was consistent throughout the
Since everyone at the resort had traveled rather extensively (I
don't think many people make the long trip to Tonga without being travel lovers)
and had a love of the water, we all had plenty to talk about. After
several drinks everyone sat down for a four course dinner in their small dining
room. As I mentioned earlier, we all shared tables (4 to a table) but the
conversation was always fresh and lively. Everyone had just returned from
a day of diving or snorkeling and anxious to share their experiences. Also
most of the guests were professionals, so we could discuss jobs and careers.
These evening meals definitely added to our experience; and the
mood established by Sigrid and Jurgen is one that I have rarely seen in resorts.