BY BERNADETTE H. CARREON
KOROR, Palau — A restaurant in Palau is featured in the list of Trip Advisor Inc.’s list of 2020 top restaurants in the world.
The Taj in Koror has been recognized with one of Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice recognitions. The award said restaurant ranked in the “top 10% of restaurants worldwide.”
The award is given to businesses that are rated highly by guests for quality and overall customer satisfaction. The Travelers’ Choice award was established in 2002.
The wording of the plaque sent to the Taj said, “Each year, we comb through reviews, ratings and saves from travelers everywhere and use that info to award the very best.”
Taj owner Robert J. Scaria said he is delighted by the award.
“It was a surprise for me,’ he told the Journal on Sept. 19.
He also said that he garnered the most guest comments on Trip Advisor among the restaurants in Palau.
Reviews however doesn’t just come from patrons off island but also from locals.
The Palau Visitors Authority meanwhile lauded Taj’s accomplishment, in an FB post in September especially during the time when there are zero tourists here.
“The Palau Visitors Authority would like to showcase and show support to The Taj Palau for its efforts and for keeping the same great experience during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
Scaria said he is happy that his restaurant and Palau is in the spotlight despite the pandemic.
“Local people are supporting, my restaurant is the most locally visited restaurant,” he said.
Trip Advisor is an online travel company that operates a website and mobile app with user-generated content and a comparison-shopping website.
The Taj Palau has received 5-star ratings from residents and visitors.
A 2019 guest comment from Panama said, “The menu at Taj is lengthy and diverse and i look forward to trying everything on it. Have had food delivered twice and each dish is fabulous. They are kind enough to make half portions so I can have a wider variety since I can’t narrow down what I want since all sounds delicious. They did not disappoint with the taste of every dish wonderful. Good thing I have at least another 5 weeks here to sample the rest of the menu. The restaurant is also a popular weekend night spot bar with locals for their live band and dancing,” the guest said.
According to Journal files, Scaria opened the restaurant 17 years ago at a time when Indian food was virtually unknown on the island. Aside from a popular lunch menu, the restaurant also offered a weekend buffet.
The restaurant expanded in 2013 by about 1,600 square feet of additional space with an investment of about $100,000 to offer a “Bollywood” lounge and dinner service, and feature local bands, DJs and singers.
The venue has also hosted themed parties. mbj