Do you dream about eating mangrove crab? Do oysters make your mouth water? New Caledonia is a genuine paradise for those who love seafood. And there's nothing like a natural dish to eat them from.
Shellfish and crustaceans
In New Caledonia, there are many coastal platforms. It's the perfect place to learn to fish for shellfish! You don't need to be on an organized tour. Watch out for low tide and follow the regulars, who will be delighted to explain their particular fishing technique to you.
They will advise you about the best specimens to fish for. In the north, the beaches on the islets are home to a culinary treasure: the clovis. Dig in the sand and catch these pretty triangular shellfish, which are savored in a simple casserole with pepper, salt and a little garlic. A delicacy.
Lobster – the queen of crustaceans
In New Caledonia, lobster is a prized delicacy for the end-of-year festivities. There's not a table at Christmas or New Year that isn't graced by lobster. Happily, you can also eat it all year round, too! A real must: lobster freshly caught that morning, grilled on a wood fire on the beach, and accompanied by garlic and cream dip [aïoli] or a simple vinaigrette dressing.
At Kougny on the Île des Pins you enjoy it with your feet in the sand, looking out onto the lagoon. Did you say paradise?
Crabs – the crustaceans of choice
The coconut crab is a must from the Loyalty Islands. Ouvéa has made them a culinary specialty. But you can go looking for them yourself. That's no joke! As its name implies, the coconut crab likes coconuts, which it feeds on at nightfall. The mangrove crab is more common but just as good, and is cooked in all kinds of ways, notably curried!
Where can you eat the best crab?
- Ouvéa, at the Beaupré boarding house
- La Foa, at Banu hotel
- Poingam, in the northern extremity of Grande Terre.
Shellfish on ice!
New Caledonians prefer their seafood in its natural state, accompanied by a vinaigrette dressing or mayonnaise. Several restaurants – notably in Nouméa – offer trays piled high with seafood served on a bed of ice to keep it absolutely fresh.
The best addresses
- Miretti Gascon, Nouméa
- Malabou Beach, Poum
- L’Essentiel, Nouméa
- Le Manuia, Nouméa