Review: Bacchus Airways Hotel


Bacchus Restaurant at Airways Hotel is a much-esteemed institution that has reopened after renovations. Its menu has taught us that ‘in with the new, out with the old’ does not apply for already perfectly crafted concoctions.

The Wagyu fillet and baked lobster. Credit: Airways Hotels

Port Moresby’s iconic fine dining venue, Bacchus Restaurant at Airways Hotel, has reopened after renovations – one might even say it is Bacchus in style.

Bacchus was the Roman god of wine who had the distinction of being reborn after, in the words of one scribe, being ‘torn to bits’ in battle. Thankfully, the second coming of his namesake, Port Moresby’s iconic fine dining venue at Airways Hotel, has been less dramatic.

The management has opted for a slick renovation but carefully retained the old-world elegance that made this the go-to place for corporate functions and high-powered dining during the PNG LNG boom years.

Likewise, the menu has been refined rather than re-invented. So I just had to sample the classic ‘fresh locally caught’ tuna sashimi, which happily has not changed at all. It’s hard to imagine tuna, or indeed any fish, tasting better than this.

Bacchus has reopened after a slick renovation. Credit: Airways Hotel

For the purposes of this review (honestly) I thought I’d try the Tuscan white bean soup as well. Although it’s a favourite of mine, I was conscious it was rather a hearty choice for PNG’s tropical climate. So, I was pleased to find it had been processed into a smooth liquid (rather than containing whole beans) and had a rich, balanced taste.

Wagyu steaks stand out in a very wide-ranging main course menu.

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For the ultimate indulgence, order the duo of reverse-seared Wagyu fillet and baked lobster. I opted instead for the excellent star anise-spiced roasted duck breast, served with baby vegetables, roasted apple and blueberry gastrique (a sweet-and-sour sauce).

From the dessert menu, try the crepe Suzette at least once, just to see your pancake spectacularly flambeed at your table.

With a live pianist, extensive wine list and the luxurious Havanaba bar next door, Bacchus is the perfect venue for a special occasion, while the food remains divine.

The article ‘Bacchus Airways Hotel’ was first published in the February/March issue of PNG Now, Papua New Guinea’s leading lifestyle magazine.

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