Our first full day (8/30) was spent touring Babeldaob (the largest island in Palau), we came back to the hotel in the afternoon and talked about where we should go for dinner.
Satoshi had talked to someone at a Japanese tour desk and found several options for dinner.
At about the time we were ready to leave for dinner, it began to pour! cats and dogs! (Luckily we had brought our foldable umbrellas, but the wind was quite strong too.)
Not wanting to eat at the only restaurant in the hotel, we decided to check out the closest restaurant to the hotel...Carp Restaurant.
Luckily we asked the front desk and a bell boy offered to walk with us in the rain, and it was a good thing too, we probably wouldn't have found it on our own.
This restaurant is a "hole in the wall" and we found out that only locals eat here.
Run by a Japanese lady (who I think grew up in Palau (we didn't get to speak with her directly)), she only spoke Japanese, even to the local ladies that were there--they were actually having a conversation, she in Japanese, they in Palau (or maybe Tagalog (a widely popular language)). She also runs the Carp Island Resort, which is on Carp Island (an outer island of Palau).
The menu at Carp restaurant was quite extensive mostly Japanese items but there were also some local items, like fruit bat soup (no we didn't try this)...
Instead we ordered shakogai (giant clam) sashimi, tapioca croquettes, fried shrimp and green papaya salad....total US$24 (US$6 a piece).
Satoshi also ordered Asahi beer...US$2 a can. (We found out from our guide later that they have a special import agreement, so beer is super cheap in Palau! no import taxes.)
The giant clam sashimi was delicious, chewy and some parts had a gelatinous crunch to them.
The tapioca croquettes were like deep fried mochi (rice cakes), they were also served with deep fried cooking banana. Each tapioca croquette was topped with some Kewpie mayonnaise (a Japanese brand) and some tonkatsu sauce.
The fried shrimp had a light crunchy coating and were served with some fried long beans.
The papaya salad was good, nice and crunchy served with a little pepper and vinegar, some palau lemon and some ripened watermelon papaya on the side. The sweet counter balanced the semi-tart salad.
One thing you will see a lot are slices of palau lemon placed along side of many dishes. They look like tiny limes but taste like a mix of orange and lemon. Most times all you need is a squeeze of this lemon and you are good to go, no other condiments needed.
Everything at Carp Restaurant was delicious, one thing that surprised us were the portions---they were huge! we ate up the papaya salad and giant clam since they were "raw" foods and took the leftover tapioca croquettes, fried banana and a couple of shrimp back to our room. The leftovers made for a great breakfast the next morning.
The next day, we found out from our guide that the giant clams are illegal to harvest from the ocean for fear of extinction and are now cultivated.
Despite the downpour before dinner, we were happy we got a taste of some local eats.
near the Malakal Harbor
p.s. there are no addresses in Palau, just descriptions of areas.