Seeing as I was returning to Nauru I decided to see what the contemporary Nauru street food like had become over the last 4 years. Had it gotten better, or had it gotten worse? Overall it was mixed bag of tricks.
I was of course visited as part of the Least Visited Countries Tour, my first since 2019 and when I had last had the chance to write ~Nauru street food.
The former Nauru Street Food scene
Previously it had taken me almost 4 years to discover much of a Nauru street food scene, with the reasons for this being multi-faceted. Firstly the Chinese pretty much deal with all restaurants in Nauru.
The locals on the other hand are not only not all the entrepreneurial, but one might even argue a little communist.
There were though the odd place selling the odd dish, so it is far from a complete washout when it comes to street food in Nauru, but only just.
Street food recipes and dishes in Nauru
Probably the best street food I have had in Nauru was the coconut fish, which was tuna served raw with coconut and then “Nauruan” salt, or as we might call in Oxo. This dish is sheer class with the oxo cube being the real deal breaker.
The second dish maybe should not count towards the street food Nauru scene, but it is certainly a delicacy. This dish is Nauruan Noddy Bird, which gets captured from the top part of the island. We have had this in BBQ fashion and it was very gamey, a bit like duck and of course supposedly “good for the man”. Very nice, but not enough meat for your bone by me reckoning.
And lastly, for this section at least is Nauruan BBQ, which is Pacific BBQ, something you can get throughout the region, such as in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Atlas no Paiawara, but late night deliveries are a thing……., if y9ou know the right people.
Chinese restaurants and Street Food Nauru
I will give the Chinese restaurants of Nauru their own article at some point, maybe even today, but they cannot be ignored when it comes to the Nauru street food scene.
Many of these are extremely small hole in the wall street food type affairs, all with the same means. These are not fancy restaurants, but the kind of fried noodle holes in the wall wee would call street food in Asia, which to an extent means they dominate the street food Nauru scene. This is not to say that they are good though to be fair.
Sashimi in Nauru
And lastly there is the whole sashimi scene which is out of this world. This covers everything from high-end restaurants to holes in the wall and of course Nauruan street food vendors.
Usually it consists of tuna, but can also encompass mahi mahi and other fish. Ideally you get soy and wasabi, but I have had hot by Nauru airport with some weird Chinese hot sauce, as well as with Nauruan salt, AKA and Oxo cube, which equally knocked my socks off.
So, the Street Food Nauru scene might not be eclectic in 2024, but hey it is also not all that bad and the country certainly punch above their street food weight for a nation of just 13,000 people.