By Jackie Eager
The French restaurant, officially known as Club Havannah, is easily one of the fanciest places to dine in Honiara. Located at the Honiara Hotel in China Town, it’s the kind of place you go for a very special occasion: an anniversary, a birthday, or perhaps the ever-frequent Solomon Islands expat occasion of the Go Finis. I was there on Friday night and can report back that our group of fifteen was treated to an exceptional meal.
The atmosphere is one of relaxation and indulgence, lovely after a hard week. It’s a mixture of posh tropical resort and an ‘under the sea’ adventure park. The giant clam and fish at the entrance were quite a surprise. Although I’m not normally a photo person, I had a sudden craving to stand in front of them for a picture, as if I were a ten year old in Disneyland. I imagine the kids love it.
Another special feature is the glass panel that separates the kitchen and the dining area. This allows you to see all the action, including flames from the stove, as the chef cooks up a storm. Ambiance and sea creatures aside, the real treasure of the restaurant is of course the food.
The menu is a mix of seafood, beef, duck, lamb, chicken, with a vegetarian lasagna option as well. I chose the snapper cooked inside a banana leaf with tomatoes, shallots, fresh basil, lime and olive oil served with a lime butter sauce. And yes, before you ask, it was as amazing as it sounds. Never have I before had lime butter sauce, but from now on, I think I’ll be putting it on my cereal in the mornings. It was exquisite. Just the right amount of butter and the right amount of tang from the lime.
My husband decided to go with the grilled scotch fillet, served with a blue cheese sauce. During the meal he sat back in his chair and proclaimed ‘the secret to a great meal is ample love, butter and salt. This meal is not short on these’. He then gave his dinner some romantic eyes, tucked his napkin into his collar, and finished it off in delight. While the rich blue cheese sauce was definitely a winner, you can also choose a green peppercorn or a black peppercorn sauce.
Entrees were priced between $25 for garlic bread up to $115 for the smoked salmon. We had the raw beef in balsamic vinegar as an entrée and highly recommend it. Mains ranged between $120 to $365, with desserts around $80 each. Please note that the tax is on top of the menu prices.
There is plenty of seating at the restaurant but if you’re bringing a large group, I would make a booking in advance so they can cater for your numbers. Be aware that the menu can change somewhat depending on what ingredients are available on the day but that there will always be something delicious to try.
You can contact the restaurant on 21737 or 23412