Global Feast : the Marshall Islands

Aliang Restaurant
January 2012


The Marshall Islands is not a restaurant destination. In fact, there are only one or two restaurants that offer local Marshallese food that is not simply BBQ take-out. What there are more than anything are Chinese restaurants. I've been trying a few of these slowly but have not been too impressed. But like most of my friends, if I had to choose, I'd say Aliang Restaurant is probably my favorite. At a recent dinner there, the chef didn't miss a stroke.

Aliang Restaurant is the parent restaurant of Aliang tea room I wrote about before, but with a more traditional Chinese menu. Last week I was invited to a terrific dinner party there and had an opportunity to taste 12 different dishes. Some of the dishes that I had that night might be a special order but I am sure if you ask the cook, they would prepare it again for you.

cucumber spicy saladfried rice
Fried shrimp with chinese spicesteamed whole fish

Top left : Warm cucumber salad ; Top right : fried rice
Bottom left : Fried shrimp with salt and pepper ; bottom right : steamed whole fish with scallion and ginger

Braised prok bellysauteed eggplant
Brocorri and beef stirfryPrawn with sweet chili sauce

Top left : braised pork belly; Top right : sauteed eggplant
Bottom left : broccoli and beef stir fry; bottom right : prawn with red chili sauce

Sauteed letticeFive spice roast duck

left : sauteed lettuce; right : roasted five spice duck

There were twelve dishes and I have to say I liked every one. My favorite that night was the warm cucumber salad, the eggplant and the pork belly. We also had a wonderful soup with gourd and chicken and my favorite Chinese dessert, sesame balls.

The only thing I don't like about Aliang (or every other restaurant in Majuro) is the atmosphere. It bad lighting and absolutely no regard whatsoever to decoration. It would take someone an hour and $10 in cheap wallpaper, paint or posters to put some life into the place, but instead they leave it looking like a prison canteen. I recommend bringing a candle to take the edge off the room so that you can enjoy the effort they obviously reserve for cooking rather than decorating.

Aliang Restaurant
Uliga, Lagoon Side, Majuro Atoll,
Marshall Islands