Christmas and New Year opening hours

From the team at Legends Cafe we wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Thank you for all your support in 2016. We look forward to an even better 2017!

Legends Cafe hours over the festive season:

Saturday, 24 December (Christmas Eve): Open
Sunday, 25 December (Christmas Day): Closed
Monday, 26 December (Boxing Day): Closed
Tuesday, 27 December: Closed

The week between Christmas and New Year we are open as usual.

Sunday, 1 January (New Year's Day): Closed
Monday, 2 January (New Year's Day Holiday): Closed
Tuesday, 3 January: Closed)

Groups are encouraged to make prior bookings so seating can be arranged before you arrive.

If you feel like having a delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch over the holidays come visit us!

Abiu: making something delicious from a prolific and under-used fruit

I have grown abiu trees in my small plantation at Siusega now for some years.

They bear abundant amounts of fruit and are heavily laden when the tree is very young.

When I tell people about abiu they look puzzled, as it’s not a widely used fruit but one that grows so well in Samoa.

The abiu (Pouteria caimito) is actually a fruit crop indigenous to the warm and also damp lowlands of South America.

Although it was brought to a number of other places around the world, the abiu remains fairly uncommon in the Southern Hemisphere.

In Samoa, we also grow other exotic fruits: soursop, rollinia, durian, mangosteen and rambutan. And these fruits find much greater favour with the general population.

Some cafés are now coming on board and using the flesh of some of these abundant yet seasonal fruits in smoothies.

Health Benefits

The Health benefits of abiu are many. 

  • A significant amount of Vitamin A, which is beneficial for eye health.
  • Vitamin C, which is beneficial for our immune system.
  • A high in fibre, which can assist with bowel and digestive health.
  • Rich in Vitamin B3, the abiu also helps with our skin health, central nervous system and digestive system. 

In Brazil, abiu is used to alleviate coughs and other respiratory diseases.

So with this abundance of abiu on my trees, I needed to find a way to use them one that would forgive the oxidisation or browning that occurs a few minutes after you open them.

Abiu dessert

I decided that we all love apple crumble so why not make an abiu crumble?

Using a fairly simple apple crumble recipe I prepared the crumble, spooned out the flesh of the abiu and quickly combined the two into the oven for 40 minutes and what came out was a lovely tasty abiu crumble.

The browning was minimal and rather the same as any apple crumble to look at.

Now the chefs and staff have all tasted it we are going to see if our customers agree with us!

Abiu Crumble is delicious served with nothing more than freshly whipped cream. The flesh of baked abiu is absolutely delicious: sweet, nutty and faintly fragrant. 

We are serving abiu crumble now at Legends. Be sure to ask for it next time you come to visit us. 

Legends Café wins bronze in the first Samoa Salon Culinaire

Chef Leon mixing the sauce of papaya and rose wine at Sheraton Hotel Apia

Chef Leon mixing the sauce of papaya and rose wine at Sheraton Hotel Apia

On Saturday, 29 October, Legends chefs Irako Tasi and Leon Tasi, along with our trainee Chef Lauili Tafa, participated in the first ever Samoan Salon Culinaire and were awarded bronze medals in the three categories for which they competed: the Live Fruit Display, Live Work and Live Dessert.

Chef Irako Tasi has had training with a Japanese Chef so one of his passions is making Sushi and Tempura. 

The Live Wok event required contestants to create an Asian-inspired wok dish. All cooked elements had to be cooked in the wok.

Chef Irako demonstrates his many skills, creating what we believe to be the most original dish in the competition

Chef Irako demonstrates his many skills, creating what we believe to be the most original dish in the competition

Initially, Irako had planned to wok the fresh vegetables as the tempura and make the sushi and serve it raw. However, because of the requirements Irako changed the original plan and placed the sushi into the wok as tempura as well.

The completed live dessert: the use of the cocoanut o'o or cotyledon is a unique touch with a rich avocado and chocolate moouse inside the o;o surrounded by caramelised local frutis a siamopoo and papaya rose sause 

The completed live dessert: the use of the cocoanut o'o or cotyledon is a unique touch with a rich avocado and chocolate moouse inside the o;o surrounded by caramelised local frutis a siamopoo and papaya rose sause 

The skills and complexity of his dish were not lost on the audience who were fascinated with the many elements he had to make and prepare and the precision of each step.

A version of the dish was served for the live wok challenge, with fresh rather than deep-fried sushi. Served with vegetable tempura and wasabi sauce. 

A version of the dish was served for the live wok challenge, with fresh rather than deep-fried sushi. Served with vegetable tempura and wasabi sauce. 

We are extremely proud of our chefs and extend them our warmest congratulations.

After eighteen months, Legends is still a newcomer in Samoa's food scene but our successes demonstrate not only the talent that we're fortunate enough to have in our kitchen, but also our commitment to food that's fresh, local and original. 

The Salon Culinaire is an exciting new event in the gastronomic life of Samoa. Chef Joe Lam, owner of Scalini’s, and Executive Chef of Tanoa Hotel, Michael Hardy, did the hard yards pulling this day together using their skills, connections and unending energy. 

Great kudos to the Samoa Culinary Association for driving forward yet another fabulous event that promotes Samoan food and chefs.

Coming up: Oceania Gas Salon Culinaire 2016

On the 29 October the Salon Culinaire will be held at the Aggies Sheraton Hotel in Apia.

This has been organised by the Samoa Culinary Association which is a very active organisation arranging Oka Festivals, Friendship Week Challenges and now the Salon Culinaire.

Restaurants, hotels and cafes enter their staff members to participate in various challenges enabling Junior and Senior Chefs the opportunity to create dishes in a limited kitchen with no fridge and ovens.

Legends is proud to announce that our chef de cuisine Irako Tasi will be entering two dishes in this competition: one for the live Wok main and one for the live dessert.

We are very excited and wish Irako the very best for the competition. We will let you know how he goes. 

Legends wins Samoan restaurant challenge

We are proud to announce that Legends Café has won the Best New Entrant Award at the New Zealand Friendship Challenge: a significant achievement only twelve months into our operations. This is a huge boost to our culinary profile.

Our chefs Leon and Irako, in consultation with Vanya, created the award- winning dish that consisted of both Samoan--tuna--and New Zealand--kiwi fruit and grapes--components. 

Our dish consisted of crispy seared tuna wrapped in Amaranth leaves and coated with fresh coconut scrapings served on a bed of fresh foraging green vegetables and with a fresh fruit salsa and kiwi-fruit sauce.

The New Zealand Friendship Week Challenge is open to all cafés and restaurants, the main criterion being that entrants create a unique main dish combining elements of both Samoan and New Zealand styles and ingredients. 

The Friendship Week Restaurant Challenge began five years ago and is a way of expressing the close relationship between New Zealand and Samoa: acknowledging sometimes difficult elements of a colonial past but celebrating the bonds of family and friendship that have only grown since Samoa's independence in 1962. 

The community interest in the Friendship Week Challenge indicates that Samoa is becoming a destination for food lovers and especially those who want authentic Samoan food experiences.

Legends Café food philosophy of Ocean Farm to Table cuisine fits in well with global trends.

Further information

 

A million stars to end violence

We love holding events and activities at Legends Café

Here we are showing off our stars after an afternoon of making stars for the Million Stars to End Violence Campaign.

One Million Stars to End Violence is a love and peace filled community project. These beautiful stars are symbols of light, courage and solidarity to end all forms of violence, including violence against women, bullying and racism.

Not only was this event a wonderful opportunity for us to engage with the wider community--we were also able to make some delicious food for the afternoon as well. 

Vanya Taule'alo Gallery re-opens

We're excited to announce the Vanya Taule'alo Gallery has re-opened next to Legends, after moving from its original location in Siusega.

Vanya Taule'alo, who also started Legends in 2015, is excited to see two concepts very close to her heart under the same roof: both expressions of creativity expressed through food and art respectively. 

The Vanya Taulealo Gallery is along the deck right next door to the cafe. It provides visitors and locals alike with a glimpse into Pacific Art, high-quality decorative art from the region and beautiful homewares by local and regional artisans.

Next time you come to Legends Vanya warmly invites you to wander into the gallery to have browse. You can look over the gallery while your order is being prepared--our waiters will tell you when your order is ready. 

Legends Café: thinking local

After only seven months in business, Legends Café is ready to take it to the next level. 

Soon customers will be able to enjoy the seaside dining experience in evenings too. 

Located on Taumeasina Drive near the soon-to-be-opened Taumeasina Island Resort, the café is adjacent to the Vanya Taulealo Gallery, and seating on the veranda area overlooks the sea. 

Owner of both the café and gallery, Dr. Vanya Taule’alo previously had her gallery situated in Si’usega.

However, after hearing that the proposed Taumeasina Island Resort should be opening in 2016, she decided to relocate and add a café to the gallery. 

Dr. Taule’alo recounted how she made the decision in 2014 and told her husband, Tuu’u Dr. Ieti.

“I said that we would bring the gallery down to the family land and I’m going to add a café. It was just like that, very spontaneous.”

It was in March 2015 that building began and on 15 June 2015, Legends Café was officially opened. 

The café’s culinary decisions were informed by Dr. Taule’alo’s environmental and health conscience. She explained that as well as past experience.

“My husband and I have been involved in the environment for a long time. A lot of my artwork is revolved around the protection of the environment and the special role that the environment plays in our lives and lives of all sorts of other creatures. 

“You could say that we were hippies so when we were in New Zealand, we had our own garden and produced our own food. I’ve always been interested in that sort of philosophy.”

This has led to the majority of the food being grown in Dr. Taule’alo’s garden in Siusega of the café gardens. Importing products is avoided at all costs.

“I have a big garden at the back of the café which unfortunately has been badly flooded. Up until we were flooded we supplied about seventy-five percent of our own vegetables,” said Dr. Taule’alo. 

“It has to be environmentally friendly, it has to have a low carbon footprint. I don’t see the point in bringing things from overseas at all. I mean there are basics, that of course, you have to like sugar, flour, butter. If my chefs can’t justify why they want something to me, then I say you’ve got to think of a local alternative.” 

Aside raising recognition of local produce, Dr. Taule’alo enjoys introducing customers to highly nutritious vegetables that they may not have previously encountered. These include the Drumstick Tamaligi tree, Kang Kong, creeping spinach and purslane. 

This is an excerpt of a longer article that was published in the Samoan Observer. Read the original article online