Restaurant Recommendation: Capitano Cafe, Lami, Fiji

Capitano Cafe Lami Fiji

We were wowed this weekend by Capitano Cafe, a new restaurant in Lami, the next town over from Fiji’s capital city, Suva.

It’s owned by a Fijian from Savusavu, and it serves up classic Fijian cuisine.

The location is in an industrial area, so finding the place feels like a discovery; like when we would drive into some industrial strip in Vancouver and walk into a really cool local brewery.

Capitano has only been open for about a year, and I hope they’ve got staying power because it would be sad to lose such a great place in the local food scene.

The space is large and divided into several sections. There’s an outdoor lounge area at the entrance and an indoor lounge area to the left that’s set up like a living room. There’s a couch and chairs in front of a TV, and to the right of this space is the bar area.

Capitano Cafe indoor lounge

The bar area has a large map of the world on one wall, which gives the space a casual cosmopolitan vibe.

Capitano Cafe bar

The outdoor and indoor lounges and bar area are separated from the more family-dining-style space on the other side of the wall with the map of the world. There’s a covered balcony off this family-dining space that overlooks the river.

Capitano Cafe balcony

The second level houses a function room for big parties and government and business events.

Capitano is stylishly decorated. There are the obligatory nautical touches–a ship’s wheel, anchor art, rope–and the rest is boho chic. It’s a comfortable place to hang out.

Capitano Cafe decoration

We ordered a seafood platter, and when it arrived, we were amazed at the beautiful presentation. We could’ve been in an expensive foodie restaurant in New York from the look of it.

Capitano Cafe seafood platter

The platter is good for two people, and it features local products. There was the classic kokoda, which is a ceviche with coconut milk.

There were a lot of dishes on the platter that we hadn’t tried before, and that was a treat. I loved the sea grapes, sea cucumber, octopus and lumi, which is a dish of cubes made with seaweed and what I’m guessing is coconut milk and agar agar. The sauces varied with each dish, touching on sour, salt and sweet. The cassava fries were perfect: lightly battered with a smattering of salt.

After eating, we met the chef, Walter, and gave him our kudos on the excellent food.

Capitano Cafe chef

We look forward to returning.

Capitano Cafe