Practical Information

Although the restaurant scene has improved markedly in recent years, PNG is probably not going to excite the gourmet traveller.

Seafood If you like seafood you wont be disappointed. Most coastal resorts, and even some Highlands hotels (where the fresh reef fish are flown in) can put on a great seafood buffet.

Stables The traditional village diet consists largely of starchy vegetables. Which starchy vegetable is served depends on where you are. In the Highlands it will probably be tasty kaukau (sweet potato); on the islands, it’s taro or yam; and in the Sepik and other swampy areas of PNG saksak (sago) is all the rage. Rais (rice) is universally popular.

Meat Pigs are the main source of meat protein, although they are generally saved for feasts. Chicken (kakaruk) is also quite popular. A legacy of WWII is the prevalence and popularity of canned meat and fish. Locals often prefer tinned fish (tinpis) to fresh fish, and whole supermarket aisles are devoted to bully beef (buli).

Vegetables Produce available at markets is varied and excellent. You’ll see capsicums (bell peppers), tomatoes, peanuts, avocados and spectacular fresh tropical fruit. In the Highlands you can sometimes get strawberries, cauliflower and broccoli.

Where to Eat & Drink

Where you eat will depend on your budget. In towns and cities the ubiquitous kai bar will probably lure you in for a snack at least once. Kai bars look and taste like a greasy spoon; that is, they sell chips (fries), meat pies, sausage rolls, deep-fried dough balls and even crispy chicken heads. They're easy to find, just follow you nose and look for people milling around.

Outside of Port Moresby there are few stand-alone eateries, your best bets are usually the restaurants associated with hotels, which serve pizzas, hearty meat-and-three-veg pub-style meals or decent Chinese dishes. A few good Indian and Korean restaurants are recent and welcome additions to the PNG dining scene.

Price Ranges

Tipping is not required or expected in PNG and prices listed here include tax. The following price ranges refer to standard mains:

$ less than K20

$$ K20–40

$$$ more than K40