Dine

Taumeasina Restaurant – A Hidden Gem

Taumeasina Restaurant is full of charming little surprises that are big on taste.

September 12, 2019
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Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca Murphy

September 12, 2019

The Taumeasina Restaurant & Bar hides in plain sight in the village of Moata’a on Upolu. Touted as ‘a hidden gem’ by the locals, it’s easy to see why when you walk through the seemingly ordinary façade to find yourself confronted by a view you weren’t expecting.

The kind that makes you smile and gives you the warm fuzzies as your view expands to take in the delightful splashes of colour in the décor and the large open deck with outdoor seating overlooking a picturesque waterfront lagoon and a close up view of Taumeasina Island Resort across the water.

 The restaurant is full of charming little surprises that are big on taste as I discovered after perusing the menu which boasted probably the largest number of Italian dishes I have seen in Samoa. However once you meet the lovely couple who own the hidden gem, you’ll understand why there is a heavy Italian influence on their menu. 

William and Losa Norrito moved to Samoa from Australia in 2017 and began setting up their semi-retirement plans of opening up an eatery in Losa’s homeland. With William being a native Sicilian who is passionate about food from his home country, there was always going to be a hearty serving of authentic Italian recipes on the menu.

Ditching my Keto diet plans for the rest of the evening, I decided to start off with the home made Potato Gnocchi for an entrée which I can only describe as decadent fluffy pillows of creamy bacon mushroom goodness. The added pumpkin in the potato dumplings gives it a delicate sweetness that balances the savoury and my only complaint was I should have ordered two. 

However after a large Sicilian Arancini ball was placed in front of me, I was relieved I didn’t order that extra potato gnocchi. Filled with ragu, mushrooms and mozzarella, the generous size arancini was crispy on the outside with a surprise meatball in the centre elevating the Sicilian ball to that fine line between a starter and a main.

Heading into the mains, I settled for a Mediterranean flavour meets Pacific seafood with the ‘Tono alla Marinara’ – a large fresh tuna steak in a lovely spicy, tart tomato sauce – capers, olives and tomatoes with plenty of basil freshened up the delicious but substantial dish. If you’re going to have a few starters before your main, I definitely recommend sharing this dish because it is very generous!

If you look at the reviews on TripAdvisor about this restaurant, you will see there are as many raves about the food as there are about the owners. These days, it’s becoming a rare thing to see the owners of any restaurant out on the floor greeting and hosting their customer which is something that Losa and William do so easily, treating everyone that walks into their restaurant as part of their family.

If you’re looking for a restaurant away from the main road in a relaxed open atmosphere with outdoor seating giving on to the water views of a private lagoon then put Taumeasina Restaurant & Bar on your food tour of Apia. 

Taumeasina Restaurant & Bar is open Tuesday through Saturday and is located on Taumeasina drive in the village of Moata’a. 

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