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You won't be stuck eating only island-style food cooked in an earth oven, nor will you be limited by New Zealanders' and Australians' traditionally bland tastes, which until recently predominated at many restaurants in Fiji. The Indians brought curries to Fiji, and exciting new restaurants are offering cuisine from around the world.

Here are some of my favorites.

  • Indigo (Denarau Island; tel. 675 0026): In the Port Denarau shopping and dining complex, Indigo is the second-best Indian restaurant in Fiji, behind Saffron , but it also pulls from Southeast Asian culinary tradition with Thai-style crab and Rendang curry. Most dining is alfresco.

  • Bullacino (Nadi Town; tel. 672 8638): I've had terrific breakfasts and lunches at this sophisticated coffee shop beside the Nadi River. Unfortunately, it is not open for dinner.

  • Chefs The Restaurant (Nadi Town; tel. 670 3131): Along with Indigo, this formal restaurant is the creation of Chef Eugene Gomes, who came here from Goa, India. The service is attentive, and the international fare is very good.

  • Saffron (Nadi Town; tel. 670 1233): Another Eugene Gomes creation, Saffron consistently serves Fiji's best northern Indian cuisine, and it's tops for vegetarians, too.

  • Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant (Queen's Rd., Martintar, Nadi; tel. 672 7313): While most resorts serve native food only on the buffets at their nighttime island feasts, this little restaurant serves great Fijian fare -- such as the luscious ota miti, the tender young shoots of the wood fern served with coconut milk -- round-the-clock.

  • The Outer Reef Seafood Cafe/Sandbar Restaurant (Queen's Rd., Martintar, Nadi; tel. 672 7201): No other restaurant has as wide an array of seafood as this stylish outdoor cafe. Much of it is flown in fresh from Australia.

  • Vilisite's Seafood Restaurant (The Coral Coast; tel. 653 0054): This seaside restaurant, owned and operated by a friendly Fijian woman named Vilisite, doesn't look like much from the outside, but it offers a handful of excellent seafood meals to augment a terrific view along the Coral Coast.

  • Hare Krishna Restaurant (16 Pratt St., Suva; tel. 331 4154): I always have at least one lunch at this clean, casual vegetarian restaurant. Choosing is easy, since everything is presented cafeteria-style.

  • Maya Dhaba (281 Victoria Parade, Suva; tel. 331 0045): Although inexpensive, Maya Dhaba is Suva's most sophisticated restaurant, offering authentic Indian cuisine at extraordinarily reasonable prices in a hip, urbane environment. Both meat and vegetarian dishes appear here.

  • Old Mill Cottage (47-49 Carnavon St., Suva; tel. 331 2134): Diplomats and government workers pack this old colonial cottage at breakfast and lunch for some of the region's best and least expensive local fare. Offerings range from English-style roast chicken with mashed potatoes and peas to Fijian-style palusami (fresh fish wrapped in taro leaves and steamed in coconut milk).

  • Surf 'n' Turf (Copra Shed, Savusavu; tel. 881 0966): A veteran of Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, Chef Vijendra Kumar is very good with tropical lobsters, and he often accompanies them with ota miti, my favorite Fijian vegetable.

  • Coconut Grove Restaurant (Matei, Taveuni; tel. 888 0328): I love the fresh banana bread and the Thai fish at Ronna Goldstein's little hotel on Taveuni. Adding to the enjoyment is the view from her veranda of the rocky islets off Taveuni.

  • Tramontu Bar & Grill (Matei, Taveuni; tel. 888 2224): The pizzas and other fare at this local restaurant aren't that great, but it has a million-dollar view of the Somosomo Strait from its clifftop perch.

  • Vunibokoi Restaurant (Matei, Taveuni; tel. 888 0560): This plain restaurant on the front porch of the inexpensive Tovu Tovu Resort has one of the best Friday night buffets of Fijian lovo food (cooked in an underground oven).

  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.