The Cook Islands are known for their picturesque beaches, friendly hospitality and laid back island style. They are also big on their cuisine. Rarotonga boasts an array of mouthwatering dining opportunities for all those who venture to the holiday hotspot. One place that shines through surprisingly is the local fish and chip shop called The Pacific Fish & Chip Shop. Located just an 18 minutes drive from Muri, or just on the doorstep if you are staying in Arorangi, is this well-known eatery that serves fresh fish and chips daily. the opening times vary from this store so make sure you check the board out the front their shop or their social media page. During the time I was holidaying in Rarotonga the opening times seemed to be later around 5-10pm. The Pacific Fish & Chip Shop is an affordable option for locals and tourists alike and serves also a variety of sides including squid, pineapple, hotdogs and desserts of the indulgent nature, yep you guessed it, fried Mars, Bounty or Snickers bars just to top you off. For locals, the delicacy of Ika Mata is also on the menu (fresh fish cooked in lime with coconut cream) and this sells out quite quickly. The drawcard is, of course, the fresh catch of the day fish and having this cooked to your liking (either grilled, battered or crumbed) it's easy to see why there are long lines out the door for this tourist and local hotspot.
My partner and I came across this shop when we were scootering from our accommodation in Arorangi (Castaway Resort) to Muri Beach. Most of the time we found it to be closed but when it was open we decided to stop by and see what all the fuss was about. We put in our order for fresh fish battered and crumbed and a scoop of chips. Condiments are included for a small cost of $1 with the option of garlic butter (an option I had never come across when eating fish and chips) as well as homemade tartar sauce and vinegar (the stuff British people love on their chips).
Crumbed and battered fish of the day with scoop of chips @ The Pacific Fish & Chip Shop (photo by Praneel Lal)
The wait was about 30 minutes, which may have seemed long to the average customer, however, we had great satisfaction in knowing that our meals were being made from scratch meaning the finished product would be of a high standard. While you are waiting there is a vintage style game in the corner which I think is Street Fighter, which you can play, or otherwise if there is a long wait, chill out on one of the bright yellow benches outside and watch the traffic go by.
When our meal did come out with our sauces we realised firstly the portions were great value for money and secondly, both fishes, battered for my partner and my crumbed fish (caught that morning was a Mahi Mahi) were both cooked to perfection. The garlic butter was a great pairing for the hot fish and just melted and gave the fish a delicious buttery tang.
We dined at The Pacific Fish & Chip Shop on two occasions, the second time we ordered quite later in the evening which I would suggest was a big mistake. The wait was an hour and a half, but at the end of the day you cannot fault the food and the quality is worth the wait. I would highly recommend this as a prime cheap dinner option that really satisfies after a day of snorkeling.