Papua New Guinea is very diverse in its cuisine, from fresh barramundi cod cooked in a wrapping of banana leaves, boiled and roasted chestnuts and fresh fruit that would make any mouth water. Great care has been taken to make sure that the food is abundant and good. Local villagers have been taught the art of bread making and food presentation by several visiting chefs.
Our new chefs have been able to bring their own unique list of ingredients and recipes to the table at Tawali. Local farmers raise the fruits and vegetables served at Tawali and we take great pride in the freshness and variety of the foods we serve. Breads are fresh made as well as desserts and snacks and beverages are easily available.
Besides the beautiful main dining room guests are able to dine outside on the veranda overlooking the rainforest. The dining room features 18 foot carved totems, beautiful hand-crafted wood details and a spectacular wall containing a collection of rare bottles found on dives in Samurai Bay.
Three buffet style meals are served daily. Snacks, juices, coffee and tea throughout the day are included. Canned sodas and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the Tawali bar.
Villagers in Milne Bay depend a great deal on what is found in the rainforest to feed their families, mango, papaya (paw paw), chestnuts and pineapple are abundant, as well as several varieties of banana and coconut. In fact there is a new variety of dwarf coconut in PNG and they are being planted so that the coconuts will be easier to pick and won't brain you if they fall on your head.
Tawali has six of them planted in the garden area. Then there are the garden vegetables grown here, eggplant, many different squash (all called pumpkin), limes (called lemons) and lemons (called limes), tomatoes, cucumber, lemongrass, herbs and of course, bettlenut. Because the ground is so rich and fertile and the growing season year round there is much opportunity for villagers to grow plenty of food for themselves and for market. One problem though has always been getting their vegetables to market.
The trip to the market in Alotau is expensive and unreliable, many times villagers will sit and wait for a public transport bus for a full day without being able to get to town. Many just take the time and walk to Alotau which can be a two day trek using mountain passes and trails.
Protein is more of a challenge, everyone knows how to fish by a very young age and a wide variety of fish is available, but villagers must fish daily. Then there are the pigs. By driving down the road it would seem that everyone in the villages must have at least 5 pigs, yet pigs are still a prize possession (just hit one with your car and you will find out how prized) and they have always been a sign of wealth, and as such you will see them depicted in all of PNG art forms.
Fish when not eaten fresh are smoked over open coals made from coconut husks. Pig is roasted in pits till the meat falls from the bones. If you want you can try this while at Tawali, it is always amusing for the locals to watch.