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Kahawa Coffee Shop in Suva
Posted 21 Jan 2015

From humble beginnings over 15 years ago, Kahawa Coffee Shop has grown to become one of Suva’s most popular havens for the astute diner. If you are looking for great coffee in Suva or a quick bite to eat, look no further than Kahawa.

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Sporting an appetizing menu of fresh produce and home-made pastries and sweets, the Kahawa Coffee Shop, located on Level Two of Suva Central Building, is a sanctuary of comfort and relaxation for a weary traveller amidst the hustle and bustle of Suva’s busy CBD. 

On my first visit, I found it difficult to choose from the numerous appetizing options, but soon settled on freshly squeezed fruit juice, a toasted Walu Panini and a visit to the popular salad bar.

I approached Suva’s only ‘make it yourself’ salad bar and filled my bowl with a variety of cold meat, capers, thinly sliced red onion, grated carrot, crisply green lettuce, sweet corn, marinated eggplant, hard-boiled eggs and fresh bean sprouts.

Whilst waiting for my freshly squeezed fruit juice and toasted Walu Panini to arrive, I admired the effectiveness and simplicity of Kahawa Coffee Shop’s business model. The venue has successfully managed to attract patrons from a wide demographic, from the professional elite to school children.

The delicious sweet juice was produced from all locally sourced ingredients and was the perfect healthy refreshment for a busy, humid Suva day. The toasted Walu Panini was served with a homemade creamy mustard sauce that seamlessly complemented the fish. 

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For those with a sweet tooth, Kahawa Coffee Shop doesn’t disappoint. There is a daily selection of mouthwatering homemade pastries and baked goods. The chocolate, carrot and walnut cupcakes definitely caught my attention, however sadly, my lunch hour was over and I had to hurry back to the office.

Next visit, I will satisfy my cupcake passion and top it off with a dairy-free seasonal fruit smoothie!

Kahawa is the perfect place to meet a special someone, read a great book, laugh with friends, get your daily caffeine fix, devour scrumptious sweets or enjoy a delicious, healthy meal. 

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Check out some of Suva’s other dining venues such as <Daikoku Japanese Restaurant> Suva’s vegetarian eatery: Highland Natural Foods.

Getting to Suva

Fly to Suva with Fiji Airways. From Suva Airport, head to Albert Park in the city centre to attend the Hibiscus festival. 

Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways. From Nadi airport, you can easily reach Koroivulo Park and Prince Charles Park for the Bula Festival and Lautoka for the Sugar festival.

Organise your Fiji holiday

Flights to Nadi -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadi,flights from Auckland to Nadiflights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

Flights to Suva - Fiji Airways operates flights to Suva regularly from many domestic and international ports including flights from Nadi to Suvaflights from Sydney to Suva and flights from Auckland to Suva.

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For Last Friday Bula, you will get exclusive, priority-access on the last Friday of every month to:

  • Fiji Airways sales fares
  • Limited time partner offers
  • Inspiring ideas to help plan your holiday
  • Exciting prizes and giveaways

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By RAJAN SAMI continue reading
Tagged: Activities, Family
Wasabi warning: Daikoku Japanese Restaurant in Suva
Posted 8 Jan 2015

In the 10 plus years I’ve been eating at Daikoku Restaurant in Suva, I’ve never had a bad meal.

First off, I must admit I have a major bias for Japanese from my university days in Tokyo. I developed a taste for quality Japanese cuisine and Daikoku, as Fiji’s premier Japanese restaurant, has managed to capture the essence of the land of the rising sun in many of its delicious dishes.

And it seems I’m not alone. Daikoku Restaurant was recently awarded a TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence and hold a 4.5 star rating on the independent website. 

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When I’m being good, I’ll order the sashimi platter (salmon, tuna and white snapper) along with miso soup, salad and rice. However, in my many moments of weakness, the vegetable tempura or the ton-katsu (crumbed, deep-fried pork cutlets) wins out.

And I love the wasabi ice cream to finish: it awakens the sinuses and cools the palate.

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Of course, Teppanyaki — essentially a Japanese BBQ — is what the iron chefs of Daikoku specialise and the spectacular show they put on is a big draw card making it a great place to bring family and friends.

What many restaurateurs in Fiji fail to grasp is that food is only a part of a much bigger story. Let the chefs at Daikoku Suva wow you with their extraordinary knife skills and watch the rice fly as they skillfully prepare your food. A must try is the teppanyaki shrimp in cream sauce, it’s a house specialty favourite.

As for beverages, Daikoku has a wide selection of Japanese beers and sake to choose from as well as Fiji Bitter and other wines.

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While it is not the cheapest place in Suva to catch a bite to eat, you will leave the restaurant feeling that you received value for money. The sushi and sashimi are freshly prepared and the teppanyaki is delicious.

When we want to eat well, we do it at home. Eating out is about good food, yes but also about service and atmosphere. Daikoku Suva has this down to a tee with its polite and efficient waitresses, authentic interior and excellent food.

Daikoku Restaurant is located near Dolphin Plaza on Victoria Parade in the heart of Suva City. There is also a second Daikoku Restaurant in Nadi on the corner of Northern Press Road and Queens Road.

Thinking about travelling to Suva? Discover more about Fiji’s vibrant capital with these articles: Secret Suva Fiji’s Fresh Food Safari

Getting to Suva

Fly to Suva with Fiji Airways. From Suva Airport, head to Albert Park in the city centre to attend the Hibiscus festival. 

Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways. From Nadi airport, you can easily reach Koroivulo Park and Prince Charles Park for the Bula Festival and Lautoka for the Sugar festival.

Organise your Fiji holiday

Flights to Nadi -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadi,flights from Auckland to Nadiflights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

Flights to Suva - Fiji Airways operates flights to Suva regularly from many domestic and international ports including flights from Nadi to Suvaflights from Sydney to Suva and flights from Auckland to Suva.

Join BulaMail

Be the FIRST to receive sale fare alerts and you will also have access to our monthly newsletter – Last Friday Bula!

For Last Friday Bula, you will get exclusive, priority-access on the last Friday of every month to:

  • Fiji Airways sales fares
  • Limited time partner offers
  • Inspiring ideas to help plan your holiday
  • Exciting prizes and giveaways

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By RAJAN SAMI continue reading
Tagged: Activities, Family, Relaxation
Suva's Vegetarian Eatery: Highland Natural Foods
Posted 6 Jan 2015

Whether it is the indigenous Fijian delicacies cooked with the root vegetable, taro, or the flavours of vegetarian Indo-Fijian cuisine wafting into the streets of Nadi and Suva, the locals of Fiji have always loved their vegetarian foods.

For the vegetarian traveller to Fiji’s capital, Suva, Highland Natural Foods is your one stop destination. Officially opening its doors earlier this year, the all vegan/vegetarian café/juice bar offers the public a fusion of global ‘health and wellness’ trends with the finest locally sourced ingredients.

Since the grand opening, Highland Natural Foods has received an extremely positive response from the public and is effectively achieving their aim to be Suva City’s ‘place to go’ for a healthy, vegetarian lifestyle. 

Highland Natural Foods Manager, Lesi Wong, describes the products on offer as feeling like “a hug from the inside”.

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Indeed, the store is an all-vegetarian Mecca for freshly squeezed juices, health-booster smoothies, herbal teas, a variety of nutritious salads, multigrain wraps, wholesome cereals, plant-based products, dried herbs, essential oils, homemade sauces, ‘wellness boosters’ and raw food produced from organic local produce.

All products on the menu are both meat-free and dairy-free. In addition, Highland Natural Foods produces its own butters, sauces and dressings primarily using locally produced products.

Smoothies include the Protein Power (pawpaw, banana, pineapple juice, and Whey protein) and the Green Activator (banana, vudi, pineapple and barley green). While the artisan juices include the Green Hornet (cucumber, carrot and green barley) and the Flu Buster (apples, lemon, ginger and a dash of cayenne).

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You can add ‘wellness booster’ super foods supplements to beverages to boost your nutritional consumption.

For those with an appetite, the lunch menu includes vegetable pattie wraps and club sandwiches as well as vegetable pattie pita bread and a selection of nutritious vegetable, bean curd and chickpea salads.

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Highland Natural Foods is a locally owned enterprise, passionately committed to the health and wellbeing of Fiji’s community. Highland Natural Foods provides easy accessibility to organic, wholesome, ethical food with excellent customer service in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

The establishment is the perfect option for the health-conscious individual, the backpacker on the run or the family on holiday.

Check out Highland Natural Foods at Parade Arcade, Scott Street, Suva.

Getting to Suva

Fly to Suva with Fiji Airways. From Suva Airport, head to Albert Park in the city centre to attend the Hibiscus festival. 

Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways. From Nadi airport, you can easily reach Koroivulo Park and Prince Charles Park for the Bula Festival and Lautoka for the Sugar festival.

Organise your Fiji holiday

Flights to Nadi -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadi,flights from Auckland to Nadiflights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

Flights to Suva - Fiji Airways operates flights to Suva regularly from many domestic and international ports including flights from Nadi to Suvaflights from Sydney to Suva and flights from Auckland to Suva.

Join BulaMail

Be the FIRST to receive sale fare alerts and you will also have access to our monthly newsletter – Last Friday Bula!

For Last Friday Bula, you will get exclusive, priority-access on the last Friday of every month to:

  • Fiji Airways sales fares
  • Limited time partner offers
  • Inspiring ideas to help plan your holiday
  • Exciting prizes and giveaways

Join BulaMail!

By SHANI REN WILLIAMS continue reading
Tagged: Family, Relaxation
The Eco Cafe La Dolce Vita on Fiji Time
Posted 31 Dec 2014

For those of you that remember Brooke Shields in the Fiji-shot 1980 film, The Blue Lagoon, the Eco Cafe on Queens Highway will transport you straight back to that hand-built beachside hut that had us all sinking our feet into the sand.

Located 30 minutes from the quaint town of Sigatoka, the Eco Café is an all-natural restaurant built in perfect harmony with its tropical surroundings. It practically begs the environmentally conscious traveller to make the right choice and step out onto its wooden balcony for lunch. Preaching eco-tourism before it was in vogue, this unique restaurant calls to those travellers that recognise the energy and serenity in places like the Eco Cafe and are convinced to settle - if only for a meal.

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We stopped at this establishment on a Sunday morning for a quick brunch during one of our rushed trips back from Nadi. As we step out of the car, the charismatic Degei and his beautiful Italian wife, Fabianna, the owners of Eco Cafe, warmly greet us as if they were expecting us.

One could see the satisfaction and happiness in their eyes, which resonated through their smiles as they proudly ushered us inside. I quickly realised that Degei (or Dangz as his friends like to call him), and Fabi were living their dream. We felt an instant connection.

Standing at the entrance, you are straddled between two very distinctively different places. The one behind you, a busy road that hosts many tired and weary travelers, like myself, speeding to their next meeting or engagement and the one in front is home to those who have the time to crawl onto a mat for a quiet time on the beach and bask in nature’s glory.

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As you walk in, you are overwhelmed with the peaceful atmosphere of the café. Dangz’s daughter leans over the counter with a friendly smile to shake our hands. The unique Fijian artifacts and shells on the wall behind her compliment the neatly woven bamboo carpeting on the floors and the colorful cushions that line up on the wooden bench in front of me. The finely-cut tables are situated in the middle of a hand-built bamboo and thatch gazebo overlooking the white sandy beach and the azure waters of the Coral Coast. As if on cue, the cool tropical breeze sweeps through the doors to keep us from feeling the heat of the Fijian sun.

Eco Café serves indigenous Fijian food as well Italian food such as pasta and wood-fired pizza. The menu ranges from Kokoda or Fijian Ceviche-a raw fish salad that is marinated in fresh coconut milk and lemon juice, served with chilies and garnished with fresh spring onions - to juicy burgers made from fresh local meat and garnished with produce that is grown in their farm or surrounding villages.

While alcohol isn't served at the cafe, guests are encouraged to bring their own at a small corkage price. Soft drinks however are strictly not allowed in the cafe.

Once we place our orders, it is time to explore this temporary escape a little more. I find Dangz and Fabi busy in their kitchen humming their favourite tunes as they cut and clean fruits and vegetables while the stone oven flickered in the background. Dangz and Fabi along with the kids built the stone oven six months ago. They explain that all their ingredients are locally grown, and cooked without gas, and electricity.

About five meters from their kitchen is the Lovo Bure, a wood and straw hut where Lovo is prepared. For those who aren’t familiar with Lovo, it is a traditional Fijian method of cooking usually with a pit dug on the ground and covered with hot stones to cook the greens, roots and meat that are wrapped in leaves. Eco Café is known for their traditional Lovo session where guests are encouraged to participate including the collection of greens and preparation of the food for the Lovo.

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Dangz explains that cafe prides itself on its eco-friendly methods, fresh food and its relaxing atmosphere. The couple’s philosophy is to work in harmony nature to lead a stress free life. “We have our own gardens, fish from the sea, hunt, use traditional methods of cooking and avoid disturbing nature. We have to be one with nature.”

The family operated café opened three years ago on the 100 metre beach front property that sees a modest number of guests who come to watch the iridescent waters lapping on its shores or the beautiful sunsets as they enjoy freshly made Fijian and Italian food.

When our lunch arrives, there is no talking. As we devour the hot plates in front of us, I can only hear those around me gesticulating something along the lines of “oh this is too good!” and “wow, it’s amazing”. The expressions on their face told me they were, at the very least, satisfied with their meal.

Sean Lees, an expat friend the United States working in Suva who happened to come to the Eco Cafe with his wife Melissa and daughter Sophia, was all praise about the wood fired pizza. He had called the Eco Café half an hour before arriving to place his orders so he was served on arrival.

“I was told to try the chicken pizza by a friend and I agree that it is the best – it is the real super thin crust Italian pizza that you would find in Italy,” said Sean.

“I would recommend that you have it with fresh lime juice. In the middle of the Queens road, is this super cute place with the best pizza I have ever had in Fiji and the United States. I would recommend Eco Café to everyone. Just don’t crowd it too much.”

Right next to the café is a bigger Bure, home to the couple and their children. Typical of a Bure, the single room home is a living room for the family by day and converts to a bedroom by night. Facing the sea it acts as a cooling room when it gets too hot outside.

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One would wonder what Fabi who comes from the fashion-conscience Milan would be doing in Fiji. Fabi travelled around the world in search of her “La Dolce Vita” and found it in Fiji. She fell in love with Fiji’s simplicity when she first came over a decade ago. She moved here permanently in a bid to live a in a natural environment that was free from pollution. She later met Dangz and they have an eight year old son. Fabi and Dangz are joined by Dangz children in their home that embodies the rugged beach shack with a sophisticated edge.

Out on the front, a child swings on a rope swing as a carefree spirit on the beach. The laughter of the little girl is infectious as she swings around the rope that is tied to a tree on one end and fastened between her toes on the other. I am instantly tempted to give it a try.

This experience is a shortcut back to childhood longing as I drown in the familiar sound of coconuts being scrapped in the backyard and Bob Marley’s music echoing through the kitchen. Kids’ laughter fills the air as they ride horses on the beach or splash in the water on this beautiful sunny day. We are all in a simple Fijian mirage, on a hut, in the sand, on holiday – our souls and body at liberty for the day.

And maybe in the end that’s what it’s about. The possibility that we can escape from our real lives even if just for a day and set up base somewhere else by the sea with almost nothing but ourselves and the food we love. A slice of pizza maybe?

Getting to Fiji for a holiday

Fly to Nadi with Fiji Airways. From Nadi airport,  Sigatoka is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes drive from Nadi Airport on the Queens Highway.  

Organise your Fiji holiday

Flights to Nadi -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadi,flights from Auckland to Nadiflights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

Join BulaMail

Be the FIRST to receive sale fare alerts and you will also have access to our monthly newsletter – Last Friday Bula!

For Last Friday Bula, you will get exclusive, priority-access on the last Friday of every month to:

  • Fiji Airways sales fares
  • Limited time partner offers
  • Inspiring ideas to help plan your holiday
  • Exciting prizes and giveaways

Join BulaMail!

By Naziah Ali continue reading
Tagged: Family, Leisure, Relaxation
5 ways Australian travelers are drawn to Fiji
Posted 29 Dec 2014

It’s no secret that Australians love Fiji. In fact data released by the Fijian Bureau of Statistics reveals the tropical archipelago attracted over 300,000 Australian tourists a year since 2010, making Aussie travellers and families one of Fiji’s main tourism demographics.

As two of the Pacific’s leading nations, Australia and Fiji share both a long history and a strong bond. There are is plenty of sporting and cultural ties that ensure Aussies travelling to Fiji feel right at home. Likewise, the tropical island archipelagos and Fiji’s warm hospitality feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Australia’s sprawling capital cities. For many Australian’s, flying to Fiji is like flying to their second home.

If you need a reason to visit Fiji, here are five revealing why Aussies keep coming back:

1. For the luxury hotels and resorts

When Australian’s look for a holiday, they often consider the sun, sand and surf beyond their borders and with Fiji being just a few hours’ flight from Brisbane and Sydney, the accessible destination is ideal for both singles and families of all budgets.

Visitors can choose to stay in rustic resorts, five-star hotels or everything in between, but those who want to holiday like a celebrity can take inspiration from the stars. Russell Crowe (an honorary Aussie) has reportedly had a break at Namale Resort on Vanua Levu and the private island Wakaya Club Luxury Resort; while Aussie supermodel Elle ‘The Body’ McPherson has stayed at private island Vomo.

Namale

2. For the water sports

Aussies and Fijians share a great love of the beach, surf and water. Fiji is world-famous for its soft coral reef snorkeling and scuba diving at sites such as Big W and Gotham City and surf fans should head to the Mamanuca islands beaches and the legendary Cloudbreak

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3. To get hitched

Thousands of Aussie couples get married or honeymoon in Fiji each year. And who can blame them? With tropical locations and luxurious resorts just a few hours’ flight away, a wedding in Fiji is a great choice for romantic nuptials. No doubt Elle McPherson would agree – she tied the knot with billionaire Jeffery Soffer at Laucala Resort off the coast of Taveuni in 2013. While the Luacala might be out of the price range for many engaged couples, resorts such as Castaway Island have amazing wedding packages for those looking to tie the knot.

Castaway

4. For the fresh Fijian cuisine

Blessed with a warm climate, an abundance of produce and locally harvested seafood, Fiji is a fresh food heaven. Little wonder top Aussie chefs Lance Seeto and Peter Kuruvita have each set up shop in Fiji.

Seeto is head chef at Castaway Island, home to Lali Sandbar, which has been awarded Fiji’s Restaurant of the Year with its signature 1808 concept menu. Another famous Aussie chef, Peter Kuruvita, heads up Flying Fish Fiji at the Sheraton on Denarau Island and the newly opened Steakhouse by Peter Kuruvita at The Westin, Denarau Island.

5. To keep active

Fijians are mighty athletes, as anyone who has seen Fiji’s rugby and sevens teams clash with Australia’s will know. Luckily things are more relaxed away from the international stage and Yasawa Island Resort’s beaches are a great location for a friendly game of touch rugby or volleyball with the locals. For the more adventurous visitor who wants to get their heart pumping, white water rafting on the Navua River is an exciting alternative.

Getting to Fiji for a holiday

- Fly to Nadi or Suva with Fiji Airways. Check out our great deals and Special offers with our partners 

Organise your Fiji holiday

Flights to Nadi -  Fiji Airways operates flights to Nadi daily from many international ports including flights from Sydney to Nadiflights from Auckland to Nadiflights from Los Angeles to Nadi and flights from Hong Kong to Nadi.

- Flights to Suva - Fiji Airways also operates flights from Sydney to Suva and Auckland to Suva.

Join BulaMail

Be the FIRST to receive sale fare alerts and you will also have access to our monthly newsletter – Last Friday Bula!

For Last Friday Bula, you will get exclusive, priority-access on the last Friday of every month to:

  • Fiji Airways sales fares
  • Limited time partner offers
  • Inspiring ideas to help plan your holiday
  • Exciting prizes and giveaways

Join BulaMail!

By Daniel Hochuli continue reading
Tagged: Activities, Adventure, Resorts, Leisure, Relaxation, Romance, Surf and Dive
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