Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text:
If you are visiting Tahiti, you must absolutely go and eat at the popular "roulottes" in Papeete, on the sea front. The atmosphere is nice, family oriented. It's good and not expensive.
See you on the seafront
Of course, I went there during my trip to Polynesia in 2012. The trailers, everyone goes there. Tahitians and tourists alike meet there for dinner without any fuss, with family or friends. As night falls, around 5:30 pm, the itinerant restaurateurs invade Vaiete Square in Papeete with their vans. They unpack their kitchens, deploy their stalls, light the braziers, have folding tables and plastic chairs.
The hardest part is choosing your trailer. Each one has its speciality and you can find everything: steaks-chips and pizzas, grills and seafood, Breton patties and Chinese fried noodles, without forgetting the Polynesian specialities, where fish, tubers and the flavour of coconut dominate.
The trailers animate the waterfront of Papeete until late at night. It's street food Polynesian style, hearty and cheap.
Marinated raw fish delicacy
The specialty I love, one of the most popular, served everywhere, in chic hotels like beach bouis-bouis, it's marinated raw fish salad. Like all dishes in Polynesia, it is served in huge portions, which are always a little difficult to finish. Yet, it's a delight!
The recipe is simple: fresh, slightly firm fish, tuna or sea bream, marinated in lime juice, then mixed with raw vegetables (cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, small white onions...) and topped with coconut milk. It is full of freshness and sweetness at the same time. To eat with rice or chips, drizzled with a Hinano beer!
The recipe is quite easy to reproduce at home, when you are nostalgic for the islands. And on other dishes, I sometimes have fun adding a little coconut milk here, a little lime there - on shrimps, chicken, rice - just to have a little taste of there!