After finally moving out of my parents’ house and having to fend for myself for my three square meals a day, I was happy to hear when a new Polynesian market had opened up in the area and served good ol’ island food. For years, my family and I had been going to the Vegetable Bin in South Seattle to get our fix of taro, lamb sausages and palusami (taro leaves with coconut cream, and corned beef).
Granted, I heard the great news from an inmate that I was finger printing at a local jail that I was working at the time; I high-fived the inmate then sent them off to their five-star accommodation for the next few days. It was my way of thanking them.
Anyway, Cynthia’s Polynesian Market is located in Burien in an unassuming green and blue building. If you weren’t looking for the place, you wouldn’t know it existed even with all of the bright colors. Inside, you will find Ron, the owner, who is always smiling and welcoming in typical Fijian style. As you walk in, you will see the kitchen area where Ron serves up some damn good Lamb curry which always hits the spot and tastes just like my dad made it. Another staple in my house hold was Fish and chips which is popular in the Fiji Islands being that it was once a British colony. Ron’s fish and chips are always a solid option if you’re not into eating lamb. The only difference between the fish and chips here and what we used to eat back in Fiji is that it comes in a styrofoam box and not wrapped up in a newspaper, ready to take to the nearest beach. Most people in the area would probably not be too happy if their food came out wrapped in old newspapers. Not me, I enjoyed reading Garfield cartoons while devouring my meal. Ron also makes a mean Kokonda, which is the Fijian version of ceviche (fish cooked with lime and coconut milk), and palusami.
Summer’s around the corner, fish and chips at Seahurst Park down the street will be the perfect reminder of your last trip to the Pacific Islands. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the store, for canned goods and frozen fish from the South Pacific. Cynthia’s Polynesian Market is truly a hidden gem, do yourself a favor and check them out!
Canned mackeral curry that I made. The canned mackeral was from Cynthia’s.