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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Dining in Palau- Taj Indian Restaurant

Goa Fish Curry

I had been looking forward to scuba diving in Palau with my friends for quite some time, since I’d heard a lot about the abundance of marine life in the area. So when the trip finally materialized through my friend and dive instructor Jan, I was totally psyched for it.

When I got to the tiny country, I realized that while I knew quite a bit about what to expect in terms of diving, I knew nothing about how dining was like in the 14-year-old country. (I did hear that one of their specialties was fruit bat soup, but I wasn’t particularly interested in trying that.)

Well, I found out soon enough that dining out in this diver’s paradise was quite expensive, especially for Filipino pockets. I figured that this was due to the fact that the place lured a lot of tourists (mostly Japanese divers, I'd heard), so a lot of the restaurants featured tourist-y prices. There was, as expected, a lot of seafood available. What I didn’t expect though, were the US-sized portions.

Tandoori Paratha

One of the restaurants I went to was an Indian restaurant called Taj, which was recommended by Bernard, the dive master of our group. Most members of our group (we were 17 divers in all) met up with him there after our second day of diving.

Another thing I quickly learned about dining in Palau, is that the food can take quite some time to be ready. I think we waited around an hour for our orders to arrive.

They served us a lot of spicy Papadum while we waited, which came with three different kinds of dip (hot, hotter, hottest). I ate so much of it because I was already so hungry, then I drank a lot of water to wash away the heat from my mouth. So, by the time my food arrived, I was halfway full already.

I had their Garlic Naan (Indian flatbread), and Goa Fish Curry, which were both good. I tried some cheese-filled Paneer Naan which my friend had, and I thought it was excellent. The restaurant also gave us free Tandoori Paratha (also a kind of flatbread) as a way of appeasing us after waiting so long for the food.

I didn't get to finish my food because, as I said, I didn't have much empty space left in my stomach after munching on the Papadum.

Though I liked the food, I thought the prices were pretty steep, probably in comparison to having a similar meal in the Philippines. I ended up paying around $30 for the meal in Taj. That was probably the most expensive meal I had during the trip though. Most of my other meals in Koror, Palau, probably ranged from $10-$15. Not that bad, but it could be pretty rough on the wallet if you had to shell it out for each and every meal.

Taj Indian Restaurant
Koror, Palau

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