When pangs of hunger strikes at lunch time on Aitutaki, there are not many places that can match Cafe Koru. It's located on the way to Ootu Beach, so there's the long ride beside the little runway to work up a real need for food. We did a fair bit of swimming and snorkeling at this end of the island, so I didn't always have my camera with me at lunch time.
More's the pity when the food looks as good as this plate of Salt and Pepper Calamari (NZ$17.50). This dish is a benchmark dish for me, I eat it often and in a variety of places, but this version was the best I have had in ages. The batter was quite ethereal batter and the paw paw dipping sauce was a delight. Note that here, the lemons are orange, which lead to me thinking they were there more as a palate cleanser, so I left eating on until the end of the meal, very confusing!
Craig has a Wahoo Burger (another big game fish). It's great too. The chips are also a particular delight, lovely clean oil, crunchy chips, soft, fluffy potato inside. My photo scales this down, it was a huge plate of food.
On one visit (we came here at least three times) I gave up my all fish diet for a rather excellent Koru Steak Sandwich (NZ$21.50). It has an island free range egg on it - they're vibrantly orange, very fresh, and taste great. The beaten minute steak is also lovely. Immense portion.
On a non-camera day I tried the Pancakes (NZ$12.00) topped with fried bananas, maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar and they were the best pancakes on the island - fat, fluffy and golden brown. The specials are well worth keeping an eye on too, my dining companion enjoyed a curry on one occasion.
Best of all here are the creamy Milkshakes (NZ$5.00). I tried them in Strawberry, Raspberry, Vanilla, Banana and Spearmint, and they were all great! Banana ended up being my favourite, but then, while on Aitutaki I was all about tasty Cook Island bananas.
The nicely-dimpled hostess and her young staff were always smiling, and they recognise you on your second visit, making you feel very welcome. If you run out of things to read on the island, there are even a few books and souvenirs available here too. Wine and beer are also available.