Wednesday, January 15, 2014

That Unforgettable Taste of Tahiti

Our favorite cruises are those in which the ship arrives early into a port and leaves late. . .you can experience much in a 12-hour time period. We had such a stop in Pape’ete, Tahiti and it afforded us a real taste of the town:

DSCF0302

Our evening at Place Vaiete Roulottes – in the shadow of our cruise ship -- may have been one of the best experiences we had while sailing across the Pacific Ocean en route to Sydney, Australia from Honolulu last fall.

DSCF0304

Place Vaiete Roulottes, is the most amazing collection of mobile food trucks and food stalls we’ve ever experienced (yes, even better than Portland, Oregon for you Northwest foodie fans out there). Roulotte is French for caravan – and what a culinary caravan circled up to serve an array of dishes. 

A couple dozen chefs rolled in as the sun dipped below the horizon (about 6 p.m.) and the once empty lot, known as Vaiete Square, near the cruise ship dock came to life as colorful tables, chairs and plastic stools stretched in every direction.

DSCF0305

It was an aromatherapy treatment for foodies as smells from grills mixed with the pungent smells of spicy stir fry and the sweet scents of crepes.

DSCF0322

We circled the area several times before we could get focused on just what we would eat – think children in a candy store – because that was what we were as we strolled, our heads swiveling back and forth, competing with each other to find the next temptation.

DSCF0317

Even after we had selected the place where we would dine I couldn’t sit still and  had to watch my dinner being hand made by this culinary artist.

DSCF0318

While The Scout dined on Steak Frites, I ate those delightful stuffed morsels you see on the right side of the above photo.  We could have been tempted to eat more, to sample the many more flavors that were seducing us with their scents – but it would have been, sadly, shear gluttony.

DSCF0315

Now there are probably some of you reading this thinking, “But was it safe to eat at those places?” and the answer is a resounding, ‘YES!’  They are all licensed and everything was as spotlessly clean as it appears in this photo. (Sadly, we watched many fellow cruisers who walked past this culinary haven as they returned to the ship to ‘eat on board’ because they weren’t up to the adventure or they wanted to get that meal that came with the price of the cruise ticket.)

DSCF0303
The food was so good and inexpensive that we could have eaten there every night for a week (or longer) and never have tired of it. It is one reason, we agreed, to put a return to Tahiti on our ‘bucket list’.

DSCF0306

Should you find yourself in Tahiti – don’t miss this experience.  Do remember to bring cash – they don’t take credit cards.

DSCF0329

The Food Fest on shore was still going strong as we pulled away from the dock at 9 p.m.  And they say that often times music plays on weekend nights – we were so on sensor overload that I can’t recall whether we heard music or not. . .I’ll have to ask The Scout what he remembers beyond the food. . .

That is it for today.  We thank you for the time you’ve spent with us and hope you will be back soon to share in our tips and tales.

We are linking up with:
Nancie McKinnon’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday
Marcia Mayne’s Inside Journey’s Foodie Tuesday
Kent Weakley’s Sweet Shot Tuesday

33 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by today! (It was yummy!)

      Delete
  2. I definitely think we are rewarded for our culinary street adventures, and I'm always up to try new things. These street stalls look as if they are producing wonderful grub :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love these kinds of culinary adventures. . .even more than the fine dining restaurants that offer award-winning food. Thanks for visiting today!

      Delete
  3. I'm surprised your fellow passengers walked past the food market with the aromas you describe wafting around them. I'd be tempted to try quite a few of the stalls! Planning to return is an even better idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've found that many cruise passengers feel that if they paid for a cruise and the food that comes with it, they are going to get 'their money's worth' and sadly, many are afraid to immerse themselves in the local culture -- fine to look at, but don't let me try it, kind of attitude.

      Delete
  4. Jackie,

    I would have been right there with you for a chance to experience such tasty and traditional treats! I'm SURE the food on the cruise was fine, but definitely NOT what you got by the proud locals who cooked it up for you on the spot! Isn't it part of the whole cruise philosophy to venture out and experience the culture, even if it is for a short time? As you said, it is enough time to get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the people, their culture and their passions.

    xo
    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poppy, once again you nailed it. . .yes, getting out and experiencing the culture is such a plus for cruising. Sadly, not everyone approaches it that way. We've met some in our travels who never leave the ship! Their taste of a culture is that which they gave from gazing at the port from the elevated deck.

      Delete
  5. I've heard about this place...oh yes this is my kind of eating and done so well...I think I would also eat there every night of the week to try out everything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would love this place, Noel. And your camera (and you) would work miracles with the photo possibilities here!

      Delete
  6. Yea, another Tahiti post! You know of my incredible love for my bucket list destination, Jackie! I would have gone crazy like a kid in a candy store with all of those food trucks. I just ate banana before reading this and now I'm craving something far more substantial! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Mike, you would have been dizzy from the possibilities. . .the recipes, the smells and tastes here. . .when you do get to the South Pacific -- and I know you will, one day -- you must come here, eat, and eat, and eat, and then post about it time and time again!!!

      Delete
  7. Looks fantastic. Do you think the caravans set up there because of the cruise ships, or is it a locals hangout? Wouldn't it be nice to eat there every night for a week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, this wasn't a cruise ship inspired activity. Guide books list it as a 'must do' for all visitors here -- it just is luckily in a perfect spot for those of us who've arrived by cruise ship!

      Delete
  8. Food trucks seem to be "the place to eat" in many locations these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are correct, Dick. The food truck has invaded the US and other places, but I have to admit this one topped anything, anywhere. Tahiti has so far surpassed anything I've seen in the land of red, white and blue!

      Delete
  9. Now you make me really wish we had eaten here, instead of on the ship, but we had spent a couple days driving around the island like crazy people and were exhausted by the time we boarded (or cruise started here) and too tired to get off again for dinner. Dang. We blew it! (Which we suspected.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, if you had spent days traveling around the island you have a good excuse for not stopping to eat -- exhaustion! You are our kind of cruiser! Let's connect in the blogosphere. . .

      Delete
  10. What a jolly time! I would've joined you eating from the food trucks for sure. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea! You are back! You've been so missed!!! Thanks for the comments.

      Delete
  11. And from Marcia Mayne at Inside Journeys (who Blogger is still keeping from adding comments): "I'd be one who'd be eating from the truck too, Jackie. I can just imagine how delicious the food was.

    Good point about cash. Sometimes we forget these little things."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Better than Portland??!! I am a big fan of food trucks, so I think I'd be right next to you chowing down instead of returning to the cruise ship to dine. After visiting so many hawker stalls in Malaysia, I'm not too concerned about food safety, but it's good to know that this place looked hygienic to you. Were the other diners mostly locals or is this set up for the benefit for the cruisers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No - not for the cruise ship, this one is for locals and goes on all the time. Luckily it takes place in the waterfront park near where the cruise ships dock! Thanks for stopping by. (I remember eating at some of the food stalls in Malaysia. . .good food and great prices! Thanks for stopping by. . .

      Delete
  13. We love food trucks and we chase them around LA when we're up there. Who would have thought they'd have such a vibrant mobile food truck scene in paradise? I would have been there with you chowing on all that delicious local food instead of the mass produced cruise food (despite hearing Celebrity having great food). What a great experience. Hoping to visit Tahiti next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hope you get there and if you do be sure to eat once, twice or more at this wonderful food fest!

      Delete
  14. I love market food - we always look for local food hawkers when we travel.
    Happy travels, have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for stopping by my blog this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is the best way to 'taste' a culture; eating with locals at places run by locals. See you next week at TPT and thanks for visiting us as well ~ always appreciated.

      Delete
  15. Looks fantastic - I'm hungry now! I took my first cruise in November and was surprised how casual the dress code was. Loved the cruise :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really isn't as 'stuffy' as some people like to make it sound. Even the 'formal nights' we've found to be more 'dressier' but not evening gowns and tuxedos these days. Glad you had a great cruise. And thanks for stopping by today! Hope you'll come back soon. I will be visiting Travel Bunny as well.

      Delete
  16. Hi Jackie,
    I read about Place Vaiete Roulottes and how delicious and gourmet-ish the food are. I'm so glad you've confirmed. We definitely try it one of the evenings. We're excited. We'll be there three weeks from now:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You two will LOVE this!! Only problem is that there were way too many temptations to limit ourselves to just one evening of eating there. Go hungry! Can hardly wait to read about your travels here!

      Delete
  17. I'm curious. What type of ship brought you here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Irene, Our ship (pictured in the first photo) was the Celebrity Solstice, repositioning from its Seattle summer base to its Sydney summer base.

      Delete

So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...