Fiji is, understandably, a favourite destination for Kiwis fleeing the New Zealand winter. And just a short 25 minutes journey from the resort-dotted coastline of Denarau near Nadi is the world’s first beach club, which nestles on its very own island.
A relaxing South Sea Cruises catamaran ride from Port Denarau to the iconic Malamala pier, a short stroll later and you find yourself among swaying palms beside an azure sea lapping the white sand beach. A barefoot meander around the island takes about 20 minutes but it can feel like your own deserted paradise.
Malamala Beach Club is fully equipped for fun, food and chilling out. There’s complimentary use of water sports equipment for snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding. There are beachside cabanas and an infinity edge pool with views across to the Mamanucas. But an unexpected delight is the fusion food prepared by renowned chef, Lance Seeto.
An Australian chef of Chinese heritage, Lance has sparked a culinary renaissance across the Fiji islands. He’s recognised as the country’s most prominent chef specializing in regional Fijian cuisine. He travels and films throughout the islands gaining knowledge of local traditional cuisine and the medicinal benefits of the South Pacific diet. Lance is the only culinary professional to be awarded Fiji’s top tourism culinary award two years in a row.
Lance works closely with tourism agencies to promote Fiji as a new food destination. His award-winning television series ‘Taste of Paradise’ is a prime showcase. Lance also mentors the new generation cordon bleu hopefuls through his work for the National Trade Test committee for chefs at Fiji’s national university.
At Malalala, his food fuses South Pacific and international flavours in beautifully presented dishes with vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo-friendly and vegan options. The modern menu features unheard of ingredients in unusual combinations such as pearl meat and coconut palm heart with seaweed ponzu, dishes drizzled with sea urchin aioli, and fried chicken with pickled ginger and roasted sesame paste.
Malamala Beach Club offers a delicious a-la-carte menu and a variety of unique cocktails and a party-like atmosphere all day long.
There is no accommodation on the island but if you want to return just show your used ticket another day to the South Sea Cruise operators and enjoy discounted travel.
Malamala — the sun fun escape.
For more info visit: www.malamalabeachclub.com
South Seas Cruises: www.ssc.com.fj