Ev­ery­one gets a piece of par­adise

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - A SPY’S LIFE -

A Fi­jian re­sort fea­tur­ing ‘adult-only’ ar­eas may have en­hanced its fa­cil­i­ties but it still of­fers ev­ery­thing a fam­ily needs for a top hol­i­day, writes Kim Cu­lyer

THE long­est, loud­est and proud­est “Bula” I heard – which sounded more like “Boooolarrr” – came from the gate­keeper at the Out­rig­ger on the La­goon.

He bel­lowed the tra­di­tional Fi­jian wel­come as each ve­hi­cle passed, then fell about laugh­ing with de­light at the guest re­ac­tions.

The Out­rig­ger on the La­goon is on the Coral Coast of Fiji, about an hour from the air­port. It takes up 16ha of man­i­cured trop­i­cal gar­dens and has been trans­formed since the “new” man­agers ar­rived from Aus­tralia.

The ad­di­tion of “adult only” ar­eas has changed the feel­ing of the re­sort. While it is still a fam­ily desti­na­tion,it now of­fers so much more. Last year it hosted nearly 300 wed­dings.

The new adults-only pool is set away from the main re­sort and has an ad­di­tional lap pool and swim-up bar. Wed­ding re­cep­tions are usu­ally held in the thatched-roof open-aired pavil­ion, with this pool and its sur­rounds in the back­ground, and there is a chapel high on a hill with the Coral Coast as a back­drop, pro­vid­ing spec­tac­u­lar wed­ding photography op­tions.

The Out­rig­ger has three adults-only din­ing venues. The Sun­downer Bar sits on the edge of the sand and each morn­ing I en­joyed break­fast here while watch­ing the lo­cal fish­er­men go about their busi­ness.

There is also the Ivi Restau­rant, which was voted Fiji’s best fine din­ing restau­rant in 2012. Head chef Priya re­cently won the Best Chef in Fiji ti­tle.

I couldn’t re­sist when she in­vited me to a pri­vate cook­ing course. We started with how to pre­pare reef lob­ster ce­viche (lob­ster mar­i­nated in lime juice), fol­lowed by seared sea snap­per, ku­mala cake and trop­i­cal salsa.

The snap­per is sauteed in co­conut milk with onion, tomato and spinach, while the ku­mala cake is sweet po­tato cooked and mixed with herbs and spices and made into pat­ties. The dish put to­gether with the salsa, mint and le­mon juice is sim­ply di­vine, and I won’t even be­gin to tell you how fan­tas­tic the lob­ster was.

I was full, or I thought I was, un­til Priya be­gan show­ing me her ba­nana vaku lolo – ba­nana, co­conut, su­gar and cas­sava (a car­bo­hy­drate dense tapi­oca) mixed to­gether, steamed in ba­nana leaves and served with co­conut caramel sauce. Yum!

The Day Spa, know as Kalokalo Bar, is the other adult­sonly area. This bar/lounge is

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