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Tauono's (Aitutaki)

If you ever are fortunate enough to find yourself a little hungry on the small island of Aitutaki during lunch hours on a week day, don't miss the opportunity to drop in on Tauono and his organic garden cafe.

It's a gorgeous setting that shows off the lush, fertile paradise of Aitutaki perfectly. Flowers bloom on every bush.

Wander the aisles of his garden and look at the crops while your lunch is prepared. I was amazed at the variety of plants he had growing. Every vine, tree and plant was bearing fruit...

Everywhere you look there is bright colour and lush, lush green. It makes you wonder if the Cook Islanders have as many words for green as the Eskimos have for white.

The setting you dine in has a roof held up by growing trees, it is picturesque in the extreme. Fruits of the garden sit in a coconut shell as the only decoration - with a place this beautiful who needs more?


When his 'Botanicals Omelette' arrives it will blow your mind. So fat and full of pumpkin flowers and garden herbs, it is the freshest omelette I have tried. It cost NZ$18 on the day I tried it, and it was worth every penny. The salad vegetables seem to be more intensely flavoured than our Australian offerings, it's like uber-capsicum and uber-cucumber.

Like many restaurants here, it is part of Tauono's home that you are welcomed into to dine. Thank you Tauono for a wonderful meal.

Aitutaki, The Cook Islands
Ph: 31 562


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Oh god, I am a sucker for veggie porn!

It must have been hard to come home (tho I'm sure you missed your furry friends).

Aug. 19th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
They looked amazing, every direction you turned, more abundance. We got some good replacement furries, but yes, I missed the fluffy brigade.
Aug. 19th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
Looks fresh, light, healthy, summer-y..... YES!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 20th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
The sound great, wonder if anyone has imported them?!
Jun. 12th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Tauonos Garden Cafe
Kia Orana,my name is Temata Tekii Raela Barrett...I have just finish reading your write up on Tauono's Cafe,and would like to say how lucky , you were to visit his place, in Aitutaki, Tauono is my dear father, and I havent had the pleasure to see his place as yet, but will be in August 2010. I would like to thank you for your words and am so happy that you got to talk to Dad and see his dream. As it was always his dream to go back home after leaving NZ. Unfortuantely I wont have the same pleasure of listening to his wealth of endless knowledge of his beloved land, Aitutaki, as he suffered a stroke while in Auckland, and passed on the 31 December 2009. My brother and Sonja took him back to Aitutaki on the 7th Jan 2010, and not long after Cyclone Pat hit,and unfortunately Dads place was one of the worst hit..Devastation,lost most of his plantation,100yr old trees...gone... but mulberry tree growing back. As for Sonja is trying hard to rebuild. Slowly but surely. On the 10th August 2010, we will be having an unvieling of Dads headstone. Hence my trip in August,and to help out as much as i can. Well thank you again for visiting Tauono's place, he could always turn a patch of grass into a buffet of vegies..glad you had the pleasure to have met him, take care and many blessings on your travels...Kia Manuia...
Jun. 13th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
Re: Tauonos Garden Cafe
Kia Orana Temata Tekii Raela Barrett, it is wonderful to hear from you, despite the sad news you share. I am saddened by your father's passing. He was a charming man and I remember the stories he told us well that day. He mentioned that one of his children (and their children) now live in Sydney (where we are from too), and spoke of a visit he had made. He was very impressed with The Bourbon in Kings Cross, and told us that he planned to visit it (and his child) again soon. He told us that people from all over the world come to visit him in Aitutaki and the place mats we dined over were gifts they had sent him. I always meant to send him some Australian ones to add to his collection. Please help yourself to the photos in this post, as they are of your father's garden in full bloom.

My husband and I both offer our condolences on your loss, and feel privileged to have met your late father before his death. Good luck with the unveiling of his headstone and the rebuilding of his garden. I hope to return to Aitutaki again soon, it touched me in a way most places do not.

Kia Manuia.
Jul. 10th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
Re: Tauonos Garden Cafe
Kia orana again. Thank you for your lovely words about dad. When he mentioned that one of his children lives in Sydney, that would be me. I live out west,(Glendenning)and have been in this country for a few years. And yes he did come to visit me twice. I knew there was something in the city that kept him from wanting to stay with me.(hehe) The Burbon at the Kings Cross. Wow I havent been to that bar since...ah never mind. Yeap and I bet he would have been impressed since he did change his drink from beer to bourbon,at the end there. hehe. Dad did mention a couple who were friends he had in Sydney and was wanting to catch up with them. If you like I could still take them placemats to Aitutaki with me when I travel next month. He use to say that he wanted me to meet some of his friends here in Sydney and Melbourne and he talked about them with such fondness. But I totally understand if this offer is a bit extreme and you decline the offer. As for his photos I think will take you up on that offer, he always was an excellent gardner.

Once again thank you so much on your kind words. Many blessing to you and your husband and I wish you all the luck on your endeavours.

Ka kite & Kia Manuia...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )