Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is the farthest island from any populated land on the planet. There is one five star lodge on the island and it has the only proper fine dining restaurant available. Explora Rapa Nui, Posada de Mike Rapu has the most remote fine dining restaurant in the world.
P edro Ibáñez’ Explora is specialised in lodges located at remote places. The business is mainly held in Chile and it can not be more remote than Rapa Nui so a perfect place to establish a luxury lodge. People who are not living on the island are not allowed to fully own any property so a joint-venture was set up between Explora and the native Mike Rapu. He owns a local diving center and was one of the best free divers in the world with a personal record of 79 metres. Mike Rapu is also interested in the local cuisine and has written a cookbook about the island’s cuisine.
Posada de Mike Rapu opened in December 2007 and huge consideration has been taken with respect to the precious surroundings and sustainability. Architect José Cruz has done an impressive work of a perfect implementation of the lodge into the environment.
You do not travel all the way to Posada de Mike Rapu for its famous cuisine, but since the lodge is an exclusive all inclusive establishment the cuisine should offer the same high standard as the trekking tours and the property in general. Unfortunately it does not. The restaurant leaves a lot to be desired. The two young managing chefs lack wider experience and have spent most of their life in Chile and mainly at Rapa Nui. Explora has an Executive Chef for all their properties, the Peruvian Raul Gamarra, but he spends far too little time on the island. He should spend much more time in the kitchen to train the young chefs so they are fully capable of offering their guests a cuisine which is representative of the hefty price tag at the lodge.
The daily changed menu is quite healthy and adapted to the active stay the guests will have at Posada de Mike Rapu. A lot of the ingredients come from local produce and of course the emphasis of the cuisine is on fish. You can expect to have fish like kahi (big-eyed tuna), konzo, kana kana (similar to turbot) and toremo (yellowtail tuna). Fish, chicken and sweet potato are the most common ingredients at the Easter Island so you will have different combinations of it offered daily.
The flavours of most of the dishes are simply not there. They are feeble and you wish for more. The technical level of the cooking is low and there is hardly any innovation. Furthermore the local waiters are not trained enough for service at a lodge at this quote. You should expect the waiters to be able to talk English or at least some English so it could be sufficient for them to take an order, but no. You will have different waiters coming to your table asking what you would like to order repetitively as well as other annoyances on a daily basis and that is sad. Sufficient training of the complete restaurant staff will easily get rid of a lot of the problems the restaurant suffers from today.
Written by Andy