Port Moresby’s din­ing revo­lu­tion

The eat­ing op­tions in Port Moresby have greatly im­proved.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Contents -

A boom in new restau­rants is im­prov­ing the qual­ity and va­ri­ety of din­ing op­tions in Pa­pua New Guinea’s cap­i­tal.

Aboom in new restau­rants is im­prov­ing the qual­ity and va­ri­ety of din­ing op­tions in Pa­pua New Guinea’s cap­i­tal. few years ago, din­ers had only a hand­ful of op­tions when eat­ing out in Port Moresby. The Royal Pa­pua Yacht Club and Aviat Club were so­cial hubs but oth­er­wise, if you wanted to eat out­side a ho­tel, you had lit­tle choice be­yond stal­warts like Asia Aro­mas in Town (the CBD) or Daikoku at what is now Har­bour City.

How times have changed. In the past year alone, over 20 new eater­ies have been opened across PNG’S cap­i­tal. The com­bi­na­tion of a ris­ing mid­dle class and a per­ma­nently en­larged ex­pa­tri­ate pop­u­la­tion—largely due to the ad­vent of the PNG LNG gas pro­ject—has en­cour­aged lo­cal in­vestors to open new eater­ies, up­grade their ex­ist­ing restau­rants, and ex­pand the tastes and qual­ity on of­fer. Har­bour­side leads the way The open­ing of Steamships’ high­pro­file Har­bour­side de­vel­op­ment in Town has pro­vided a fil­lip. The site is now home to five restau­rants, in­clud­ing the pop­u­lar Duffy café and the re­cently opened Ital­ian restau­rant, Sogno. Long­stand­ing favourite Asia Aro­mas has re­lo­cated there and Har­bour­side also of­fers qual­ity In­dian and seafood din­ing op­tions in the form of Tan­door on the Har­bour and The Naked Fish.

Har­bour­side’s wa­ter­front lo­ca­tion, with its un­in­ter­rupted views across the har­bour, is a ma­jor at­trac­tion. Din­ers are able to choose be­tween din­ing under the stars or en­joy­ing air­con­di­tioned com­fort.

With fur­ther ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment of the wa­ter­front planned for the com­ing years, as Port Moresby’s port is re­lo­cated to Mo­tukea Is­land and APEC Haus and the Paga Hill Es­tate are com­pleted, the din­ing revo­lu­tion in Town looks set to con­tinue.

A short dis­tance away, in Har­bour City in Kone­dobu, the Mediter­ranean food and drink at Mojo So­cial is

prov­ing pop­u­lar. The eatery opened in May 2016.

Waigani

While Town is un­der­go­ing its own re­vival, the largest growth in din­ing op­tions is hap­pen­ing else­where: in the gov­ern­ment precinct of Waigani. The open­ing of Port Moresby’s largest ho­tel, The Stan­ley, in July 2016, and the ex­pan­sion of the ad­ja­cent Vi­sion City shop­ping mall (both owned by R H Group) have been the ma­jor driv­ers.

The Stan­ley is home to five new eater­ies, in­clud­ing the Sil­ver Leaf Restau­rant (fine din­ing) and the Mon­soon Lounge (tapas). In-house guests can en­joy the bar­be­cue on the pool deck.

Stan­ley Ho­tel guests, and vis­i­tors to Vi­sion City, have three new up­mar­ket din­ing op­tions in­side the mall: Korean Gar­den (Korean), Hosi Ra­men ( Ja­panese) and Bel Cibo (Ital­ian). Add ex­ist­ing restau­rants such as the mas­sive Dy­nasty (Chi­nese), Ten ( Ja­panese) and an at­trac­tive food court, and it is ev­i­dent the lo­ca­tion has be­come a ma­jor hub for ‘food­ies’.

If R H Group has raised the bar for din­ing in Waigani, oth­ers in the area are show­ing they can rise to the chal­lenge. Shortly be­fore Christ­mas 2016, the ren­o­vated La­mana Ho­tel re-opened its pub­lic ar­eas, with four stylish new eater­ies: the classy Café Palazzo, The Ital­ian, Spices (In­dian) and Port Moresby’s first Brazil­ian restau­rant, Rio’s at the Tem­ple.

PNG’S first Hilton Ho­tel is due to open nearby in 2018. We can ex­pect even more din­ing op­tions in Waigani be­fore too long.

Six-mile/air­port

The build­ing of the Kumul Fly­over in the past 18 months has im­proved ac­cess to Jack­sons In­ter­na­tional Air­port and its precinct, from Waigani. That has meant an ex­pan­sion in the food on of­fer out at Six-mile.

The Gate­way Ho­tel, which is ad­ja­cent to the air­port and is part of the Steamships-owned Co­ral Sea Ho­tels chain, has opened three new af­ford­able food out­lets in 2016: Enzo’s (pizza), Jack­son’s Restau­rant (pizza, pasta and noo­dles) and Siz­zler’s fam­ilystyle grill.

Jack­son’s Restau­rant, in par­tic­u­lar, of­fers great views over­look­ing the air­port, as does the cel­e­brated Vue Restau­rant at Air­ways Ho­tel, which is just 500 me­tres up the road. The Vue re­cently re-opened after ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions. It looks a treat.

For din­ers, the greater va­ri­ety will be wel­comed. There are other ben­e­fits from an ex­panded restau­rant scene. More com­pe­ti­tion has al­ready led to ris­ing stan­dards of ser­vice and food prepa­ra­tion; there is a larger mar­ket for qual­ity lo­cally grown fruit, veg­eta­bles, seafood and meats; and there are more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal work­ers. 

Pic­ture: Steamships

Duffy cafe, one of sev­eral pop­u­lar food out­lets in Steamships’ Har­bour­side de­vel­op­ment in Port Moresby’s CBD.

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