Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Island feast, fun, and family-time at the Melanesian

By Alcina Charlie, VTO - Senior Communications &eMarketing: Hubby got lucky again on Sunday 14th September, as it's only been 7 days after Father's Day and he got another surprise, a meal voucher for 2 at the Melanesian Hotel but I had to bring along the kids this time, for the extra special occasion - oh you luck things! It was sometime around Tok Tok week last month when I got an invitation to take the family out for a night of island feasting to experience the ambience of it all and oh yes! We were very satisfied with all that we absorbed; great food, wonderful island entertainment, good fun, and quality down-time for the family.  
We arrived at the hotel somewhere around 3.30 in the afternoon because the girls wanted to, in their words "go for a dip", but this ended up being a good long 3 hour swim and splashing around in the pool for my 10-year old water babies (twin daughters). Armed with "Rex" my precious digital Sony camera, I took waiting as a perfect photo opportunity to snap shots of the staff setting up the buffet, the girls playing in the pool, and hubby relaxing at the table with a cold tusker, a bowl of chips, salad, Seafood pizza, and Saturday's newspaper.

Yummy seafood pizza.
 I could see that the night was going to be a full-house as one of the waiters had RSVP placed on nearly all the tables, so this must be a popular Sunday do for both guests and day visitors. On and up went the flames as Chef had the barbie going, and a waitress had pretty flower baskets, cutlery, and BBQ sauces neatly laid out in the 'haus natangura' or locally built hut, where we self-served a fine range of mouthwatering lap-lap and bunia (local vegetables & spices baked in an earth-oven). 

Chef in action by the hot grills.
The local delicacies savored with juicy, grilled Vanuatu beef, steak, chicken, sausages, salads, pasta, potatoes, fried rice, bread, cakes and coffee eclairs for dessert . A school group had just checked into the hotel and as soon as the students arrived at the Poolside, they took a plunge, shared a few laughs, then head up to their rooms to get ready for the buffet. It made me feel good to see that this island had a special attraction towards making oneself be oneself so when they get here there's no such thing as the stresses of city life, clearly shown by these students. 

Simboro or grated banana wrapped in island cabbage/spinach, and boiled in coconut milk.
summoned my girls to get out of their very much loved pool, dry up, dress up, and look pretty for the feast, with mum's help of course. Shortly after, the Futuna community made a grand entrance as they mesmerized all of us, 60 plus guests, in their pandanus-woven galore, traditional outfits, shelly beads, and local instruments which resounded tropical island music throughout the entire evening. 

Futuna local band playing by the pool.
The entertainment blended well songs, custom dancing, displays and demonstrations of the cultural way of life, kava tasting and intriguing facts on Vanuatu traditions. I made sure I captured all these moments before my final shoot, which was to take a photograph of the plate of island delight sitting infront of me. A few more very happy snaps, then it was time to indulge on my aelan kaekae (island buffet), which was super along with the great service and wonderful staff! 

Big smiles, wonderful hospitality, and great service spell out "The Melanesian staff" :-)
I would like to thank management of the Melanesian Port Vila hotel for the invitation and we looking forward to working together to further promote Vanuatu abroad. Visit Melanesianportvila.com and view more photos.