I arrived at the Crown Beach dripping wet, having been caught in a downpour. Push bikes are a fantastic way to travel in Rarotonga but perhaps not the best conveyance on a rainy evening despite the jacket I was wearing! The lovely folk at the resort, having ascertained I was there for dinner and not just taking shelter, provided me with a towel and a place for my bike. I am very grateful for their kindness.
During the 'drying process', Chef Carlo Poli happened by and I was able to introduce myself. I am a Chef Patissiere and am currently working at an Italian restaurant in Cambridge, NZ; 'Alpino Cucino e Vino'. I told him how excited I was to be coming to his restaurant as I had heard about him . . . and his food of course. It turned out we knew folk in common which is pretty special given he is in Rarotonga and I am from small-town Cambridge.
Anyway, in quick time I was seated at a lovely table in the elegant dining room. I felt perfectly comfortable being there as a solo woman diner - the lighting was intimate and each table was well appointed and presented.
The menu was extensive and the wine list carefully selected.
I chose a carpaccio entree, a lamb rack main and Chef had promised me a couple of his best for dessert. I actually forgot to order the soup I had intended - fish in saffron - but this was just as well as the 3 courses I had were ample!!
The carpaccio was beautifully balanced, 'creamy', delicate and wonderfully fresh. The lamb (medium rare) was tender, tasty and well complemented by dauphinois spuds and crispy, well seasoned vegetables. Despite being in salubrious surrounds I gnawed the bones 'til every scrap was gone. Then dessert; I had tiramisu and panna cotta. Without a word of a lie - the BEST panna cotta I have ever had. Silky, shiny, a perfect consistency with a delicacy of flavour. Stunning. The tiramisu was fabulous also.
It was lovely that Chef came into the dining room a couple of times during the evening and that he approached a number of tables. Carlo is a warm and discreet host, I liked his approach very much.
I strongly recommend Wind Jammer to all Italian food, and good food enthusiasts.
A word about the front of house service. Impeccable.
My meal cost $79 for 3 courses and a vodka martini.
Salute! Chef Carlo and his team! Thank you for a holiday highlight.
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