A birthday celebration in Fiji…Memorable for both of us!.. My faux pas at dinner!…

Tom in front of the tall Christmas tree at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour, Fiji on the evening of his 63rd birthday. 

Last evening at 6 pm, Alfaan picks us up for the short taxi ride to the Pearl Resort and Spa, a popular resort in Pacific Harbor known for excellent dining options including Seduce Restaurant, where we’d arranged an early  dinner reservation.

The lobby at the Pearl Resort.

It’s not that we prefer dining early as is typical for some seniors. We’ll easily wait to dine until 8 pm on cruise ships and when dining out with others. However, when we’re alone, with a goal of taking photos before dark, we often opt for an earlier reservation.

My amuse-bouche of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with truffle mayonnaise with dollops of balsamic sauce.

As has been the case over the past few weeks, it’s been raining almost every day, often all day and night with no sunny breaks in between. We haven’t used the pool in over a week when the sun peeked out on two extremely hot and humid days when only by lounging in the cool water did we experience a little relief.  

Tom’s amuse-bouche of sushi with raw fish and truffle mayonnaise.

Once we arrived at the resort, taking a few photos inside and out, we stopped for a drink at the main entry area bar for less than optimum service. It took 15 minutes for Tom to get his papaya Margarita after placing the order. I ordered bubbly water with lime. Fiji time. 

At this point we wondered if the Seduce Restaurant would be the five star establishment as claimed by many reviewers in TripAdvisor. As it turned out we weren’t disappointed at all. 

He ate two plates of bread.  I didn’t say a word.

As a matter of fact, we experienced some of the finest service we’ve had in a long time, readily leaving a generous tip for our server. Impeccable!  Perfect timing!  Warmth and kindness! Attention to detail!. All elements of great service by most diners standards.

Complimentary wines with dinner.

The food? With weekly menu changes, the options were limited with four starters (none of which worked for me or that Tom would like), four entrees and four sides. The entrees included small portions of potatoes of one variety or another which I swapped for a few cut spears of delicious crunchy asparagus.

We both selected the same entrée, a platter of garlic butter, grilled seafood including mussels on the half shell, prawns, lobster tail, scallops and local tender white fish. The portions of each item were small, although together the servings were adequate. 

My fresh plate of food after the previous lobster tail went flying off the plate.

Tom’s platter included the roasted potatoes and, get this, he ate eight slices of a baguette dipping it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Guess he’s had his bread fix until we head out again tomorrow for the Christmas lunch buffet back to the Pearl Resort for the buffet in the Riviera Restaurant.  

Tom’s similar seafood platter with roasted potatoes.

Our meal began with a complimentary amuse-bouche, Tom’s a sushi roll as shown in this photo (first time he tried sushi, didn’t love it, ate it anyway) and mine was tailor-made asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with a truffle mayonnaise…small…delicious. I could have made a meal of that alone.

The entrée was buttery and delicious. I’d handed over my phone for the food list before ordering leaving me unconcerned that my meal would be perfect, and it was.

Tom was served this flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis and a scoop of coffee-flavored ice cream. 

As soon as our plates arrived stacked with seafood, our waiter asked if we’d like a photo taken of the two of us.  Tom started to stand saying he’d come over to my chair and crouch down next to me for the photo while I grabbed the camera off the table. 

My rumpled lobster soiled clothes were a sight to see after dinner when our waiter took this photo.

As I picked up the camera to hand to the waiter, the strap caught the shell portion at the end of my lobster tail and alas…my lobster went flying in the air landing on the floor with pieces on my lap and upholstered chair.  Oh, my.

If we didn’t have an audience I’d surely have gone into hysterics. Tom surely would have joined me. After all, it was a precious lobster tail over which my mouth had been watering.

The commonly seen  Fijian lali bell, used to announce special events was located near the entrance to the resort.

Our kindly waiter wiped up the mess and brought me a totally fresh plate. I could tell it was an entirely new plate of food when I noticed the numbers of the items and the arrangement had changed.

Cleaning up my clothes luckily all dark with a moistened linen napkin, we proceeded to enjoy our meal and each other. Complimentary wines were included with the meal and my adorable piglet, drank both the red and white after downing his Margarita, leaving only a few sips in the sizable glass of white wine, once the beautiful complimentary birthday dessert arrived unbeknown to either of us.  He always stops drinking alcohol when he has a dessert.

Christmas décor near the entrance to the resort.

I’d mentioned it was his birthday upon making the reservation and once again as we were seated.  One never know what treats a fine restaurant may have in store for an unsuspecting birthday celebrant. He wasn’t disappointed when the luscious complimentary plate arrived after the table was cleared and cleaned. Chocolate cake. That had been a while.

He didn’t weigh himself today nor did he care. Once the Christmas buffet is over tomorrow, he’ll be back to eating low carb with me and will drop any gain in a matter of a few days. Last night, he fit into a dressy pair of shorts he hadn’t worn comfortably in a few years. 

Fresh flowers in a Christmas display in the lobby.

Back at home by 10 pm, we got comfortable and watched the finale of Survivor Cambodia, which we’ve saved for this particular evening. With Cambodia on our itinerary in less than seven months, it was particularly fun to watch that series. Not that we’ll be living as they do on that show. Ha.

With the humidity rampant making sleeping uncomfortable lately we’ve turned on the wall air con unit when we’ve gone to bed. With the comfortable bed, good blanket and cool room, we’ve managed to get some decent sleep these past nights, for the first time in many months after the heat in Savusavu.

Unusual display table in the lobby. Lots of legs.

OK, folks, that’s the story of the birthday celebration.  Tom expresses a heartfelt thanks to all of the good wishes through email, comments, and Facebook. He had a great time reading and responding, appreciating every birthday greeting. 

Today, Christmas Eve on this side of the world, we’re staying put in the pouring rain, sending Christmas greetings to family and friends. I’ll cook a lovely dinner, nothing special, just a nourishing good meal…minus bread, potatoes and dessert. 

For those on this side of the International Dateline, Merry Christmas!  For those celebrating Christmas Eve tomorrow, Merry Christmas!

Photo from one year ago today, December 24, 2014:

The photo was taken from our lanai in Pahoa on Christmas Eve day. With 12 of our family members having arrived on the Big Island, everyone busily scrambled to unpack, prepare for Christmas and partake in exciting Big Island adventures. Tom and I stayed home busily spending the day preparing home made pizza for Christmas Eve dinner and food to pack for the Christmas Day picnic at a beach park in Hilo. For more details, please click here.

Comments and responses A birthday celebration in Fiji…Memorable for both of us!.. My faux pas at dinner!…

  1. liz Reply

    Wow Tom look at those buckets of wine! I would be under the table after that- it only takes a thimbleful these days! The food looks amazing, along with your little tangle with the lobster truly a memorable experience!

  2. Jessica Reply

    Liz, he almost drank all of the wine! I'm impressed. He's not much of a wine drinker. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas. Don't work too hard.

    Lots of love,
    Jess & Tom

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