Port Moresby’s dining revolution
The eating options in Port Moresby have greatly improved.
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.
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.
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.
Duffy cafe, one of several popular food outlets in Steamships’ Harbourside development in Port Moresby’s CBD.