For a classy looking place, with excellent reviews, we were looking forward to a great night. Friday nights here are widely advertised throughout the island as a Pork and Prawn night. The whole night lacked class, from when we sat down and looked out at the beach via dirty windows, to the Greggs salt and pepper shakers straight from the supermaket, to the meal and drink order being taken at the same time, to the meals arriving within 5 minutes and well before the drinks, to the meals being on super hot sizzling cast iron plates which continued to overcook the food so much so we has to put it on the side plates to stop it cooking, to the obvious origin of the food straight from the freezers of an Auckland supermarket, to only 3 finger bowls for 5 of us, to the caked filth on top of the ceiling fans which were turned off, to the sporting equipment also stored in the Bar, sorry to say, totally lacking any class. This establishment is obviously managed and staffed by a majority of non Cook Islanders, including the cooks (not chefs), and it was easily the worst experience of an otherwise great holiday in Rarotonga.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to load this posting re. your experience at our SilverSands Restaurant, in your capacity as a casual diner. It is regrettable that you were not one of our in-house guests, as had this been the case, you may have had more opportunity to bring these matters to the attention of Senior Management directly during your stay.
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Our 'Pig and Prawn' as well as the 'Polynesian Seafood Island Nights' with live local entertainment, are indeed well known and have to date always received very positive comments from our in-house, as well as casual guests. We are therefore naturally very disappointed to read a report such as you have posted, and thank you for spending your effort in doing so nevertheless .
As SilverSands Restaurant is located in very close proximity to the Lagoon, we are required to adapt to the constant onslaught of salt water spray, erosion from wind-driven sand and [at times] high levels of humidity generated by our glorious Tropical Climate. The windows of the Restaurant are therefore cleaned every morning before breakfast, however, on the day of your visit there had been an unusual level of salty spray, which may by the time you had dinner built up on the windows somewhat. Due to these climatic conditions, and by the same token, we have purposefully chosen to use air-tight plastic salt and pepper grinders [rather than metal that rusts....]. Our guests also prefer to use grinders rather than those less suitable permeable paper sachets.
Pork Spare Ribs and Prawns are indeed served on sizzling cast iron inserts in wooden platters - and this lends to the appeal and ambiance of this style of food presentation. Our staff are therefore instructed to get the order to the table whilst still sizzling for maximum effect. There is little opportunity for the food to deteriorate on these platters, as they cool very quickly, thereby posing additional challenges to our staff who pride themselves on getting the food to our guest's table with that enticing sizzle-sound and puffs of steam.
With regards to your comment on the ceiling fans, these are cleaned regularly. The only explanation we can provide is that perhaps the ornate Cook Island design [tattoo-like] in dark yellow colour on a few of the fans may, on cursory inspection, have been mistaken for stains
With regards to the apparent swift speed of food service in relation to the drinks service; your order included a range of milk-shakes which, like cocktails, take some time to prepare. In addition to this, your food part of the order would have been placed at the kitchen first to mitigate the wait-time for food on the usually busy Pig and Prawn Nights. As far as your perception that the food's origin was "...straight from the freezers of an Auckland supermarket...", this could in reality not be further from the truth. Pork Spare Ribs take some 2 hours alone to prepare to the final caramalisation stage, after initially being charcoal-seared whilst being basted with our secret marinade, and thereafter slow baked in the Steam/ Combi Oven. They are then kept in a covered bain marie, and finally placed on the flame grill whilst again being basted with marinade to achieve that lovely 'caramel-crisp outside', and 'succulent/tender inside' quality. Our Prawns are indeed imported in a frozen state,[although their place of origin is not New Zealand ] as Prawns are not available here locally. These too require some considerable preparation in terms of de-veining, cleaning and preparing to order eg. grilled BBQ, flash-grilled Piri-Peri, and / or pan-seared garlic and lemon pepper.
As the only route for all guests from the central courtyard area to the sandy white beach along the Lagoon edge is past the entrance / bar area of SilverSands, this provides the perfect collection point for our in-house guests - who invariable head straight for the bar on their return from their snorkelling / kayaking/ sailing activities in the Lagoon anyway. In the evenings [dinnertime] this equipment is stored well out of the way and on the inside of the Lagoon-facing porch area, for security reasons. It is indeed visible when standing at the till, but this has a purpose - as many of our guests choose their gear at the end of the evening and take it to their rooms - ready for an early snorkel before returning for hearty Tropical Breakfast Buffet.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.