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Feb 4, 2010 09:41 AM

unfindable cuisines

I've posted on here before about a similar topic (my still unsuccessful bid to find a Saudi Arabian restaurant in NYC), but I've come across another difficult country: Papua New Guinea. Any advice on where to find this food?

Some background: My new year's resolution was to eat at restaurants from 150+ different countries without leaving New York City (i.e. those with over 1 million residents).
I've made my way through about 15 so far - and captured the memories at

As a side note, if anyone would like to join me for one of the meals, I am always looking for dining companions on this 'journey.'

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  1. Im not even sure if NY has any restaurants from the South Pacific (excluding Australia and possibly Hawaii - not sure what the current state on this is).
    Would be interested if you find any.

    1. Are you aware of any Saudi specialties that differ from other middle-eastern foods? I'd guess it's not a country that many people emigrate from. In culinary terms national boundaries aren't necessarily culinary boundaries. You'll no doubt find more variation among Indian cuisines and definitely Chinese regions than among Mashreq cuisines (have you found any Jordanian?).

      1. I think I remember the food vendor on Governors Island last year was from New Guinea. Not sure though. I think she regularly parked somewhere in manhattan though, maybe fidi

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jeffsayyes

          here is the food vendor I was talking about. Can't see any sign. They might have not been new guinea, it may be just wishful thinking.

          1. re: Jeffsayyes

            when was it? I looked on line and there was one weekend where there were vendors from brazil, .... and guinea (not new guinea).

            but there was another weekend with more and new guinea might have been mentioned.
            Didnt realize there was all this stuff going on at Gov's Island these days.

        2. Does having a cup of Papua New Guinea coffee count?

          1. New Guinea is a rather diverse place without what i would say is an overlying cuisine. That coupled with the fact that there has not been much emigration to the US might hurt your chances.

            While I applaud your goal I do not think it is going to work. The thing about food from different countries is that modern political boundaries really do not represent how cultures are divided. For example if you were to check off Indian restaurant by eating at one Punjabi place you really wouldn't be getting at the depth of what the many differences between regions are. Alternatively you could check off both the Czech Republic and Slovakia as different "country cuisines" but they are "virtually" identical. Papua New Guinea poses a similar issue to India only without any true representation. The island as a whole is one of the most physically diverse in terms of geography and demographically diverse in terms of culture and language. I think you may want to abandon the whole "country" aspect and delve into different cuisines. there is a great deal of overlap but I think this is something that can better illustrate the diversity of NYC.