As promised, here's my long-awaited review from a coveted far away Polynesian destination - Aito Restaurant – on the island of Moorea, Tahiti. Last week I went with a group of friends to splurge on local island favorites like Poisson Cru and a local Lobster, Seagal del Mar. Aito came highly recommended by their Tahitian-born friend, Heifara, who runs the popular Moorea Boat Tours. Having not researched any restaurants for the trip (something I've never done before, btw) I was very thankful and delighted for this gem perched on the water with swaying Palm trees sprouting through the sand.
The friendly, often "boozy"-labeled owner Jean Baptiste Cipriani from Corsica, greeted us with his adorable fluffy dogs at the door, then sat us down at a table on the beach. While my right leg continued to be YourNextBite of the Moorean mosquitoes, I was deeply perusing the menu when Jean startled me from behind with live Lobsters clawing at me. These babies were big, and I couldn't believe how bright their yellow spots and stripes were. I'd also never seen the smaller local favorite, Seagal del Mar, which kind of looked like a cross between a Lobster and a Crab. After deciding to share both, plus some other Coconut Creamy delights, Aito definitely proved to be The Best Bite on the island.
- like the dark meat of a Lobster, hearty and a little grainy Seagal del Mar
- abundant, plump, buttery 'n juicy Lobster
- a Tahitian classic, like a fresher creamier 'n sweeter version of tuna tartare Poisson Cru with Chopped Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion, and Coconut Milk
- mild spice, rich 'n creamy, succulent, to-die-for Coconut Shrimp Curry with Jasmine Rice
P.S. If it wasn't for the 1970's karaoke at super max volume, this restaurant would have pretty much took the Coconut Cake as Most Romantic from its beach location and even light tropical rain during dinner.
Next Week's Bite:
- Heifara's very own recipe for Poisson Cru (this stuff should be served internationally everywhere it's sooooooo good!)