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“Worst Restaurant on the Island!!!!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Mambo Restaurant

Mambo Restaurant
Mata Chica resort North ambergris caye | 5 miles North of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
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Ranked #64 of 143 Restaurants in Ambergris Caye
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Worst Restaurant on the Island!!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

We were recommended this restaurant by many people and decided to have the girls night dinner here. We called very early and asked if they could accomodate a group of 25. They told us no problem, but that the tables would be split up and we agreed. When the boat came to pick us up, they didnt mention that they would need to make two trips. We sent the adults first (a group of 12) and us "young" adults stayed.We obviously had no other choice, our resort was nice enough to see if they could assist. We ended up waiting 30 minutes for the boat to come back and get us. We arrive and our table is NOT ready?!? At this point, I was frustrated but kept my cool. SO i told them to please be quick and make up a table for us. Another 5 minutes go by and still no table and no sense of urgency. I had to tell them I was about to start pulling tables together. Finally we sit. Our family is already paying for their meals at their other tables. The first thing our waiter says to us is and i quote. " You need to hurry up and order because the kitchen closes at 9pm." i looked at my watch and it was 8:53pm. End of story, it only gets worse. Food was cold and mediocre. We had waayyyyy better food at Las Terrazas. We should have just stayed in for the night.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

This restaurant was at our resort (Matachika) and we eventually ventured out to other places for lunch, but it was to good to pass up dinner here! Service was slow at times, but not bad. We ended up eating 6 nights for dinner and 2 lunches here. We have eaten at many nice places around the world and this place wasn't lacking in flavor.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Romantic Dinners”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

We stayed at the resort so we ate here a lot. I tried everything from the red snapper to the pork chops, coconut crusted chicken, ravioli...all excellent. I wouldn't order the filet mignon again though. Just didn't taste like the steak I'm used to eating. Others at my table thought it was fine though.

Visited June 2013
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Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
64 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Restaurant review only - use your credit card”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

We did not stay at the resort, but it is truly lovely. However, our experience with the restaurant was less than great. Our first visit was outstanding. We walked over from our house and found that the restaurant didn't open until 6:30 but the bar staff said we could get snacks and drinks. We had the gazpacho, guacamole and salsa. EXCELLENT! The staff was super attentive and kind. They even brought additional tables outside for us. So why not 5 stars, well we decided to go back for dinner. When we walked in, they asked us if we were staying there and when we said no, we were directed to the lobby area in what some of us perceived as a not so friendly way. It was so dark in that part of the restaurant that we had to use a flashlight to see the menu. I had the grouper and was totally unimpressed. Not much flavor and a little overcooked and horrible presentation on the plate. My friends had multiple appetizers and all liked their food. The dessert friend raved over the soufflé and they really liked the shrimp tempura. They added a service charge to our tab for 4 people and I am pretty sure that the menu said that it would only be added for parties of 6 or more. If we hadn't noticed, we would have grossly overtipped. So we pay the bill and are walking back to our house, when we are chased down the beach like criminals. They said that the local bank won't take cash that has marks or is torn so we tried standing on the beach in the dark swapping out cash in the wind. We finally gave up as we couldn't find "suitable" bills and went back in and gave them my card. The caretaker at our house said he had never heard of such a thing. We used cash at numerous restaurants and businesses and never had a problem. We were really embarrassed about being treated this way. It looked as if we had walked our ticket. So forget the cash if you decide to eat here.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matachica, Owner at Mambo Restaurant, responded to this review, June 9, 2013
Thanks very much for your posting. With respect to the issue of service charge, we clearly indicate on our menus that a service charge is automatically added to your bill. This is very typical of the vast majority of restaurants and hotels in Belize and no additional gratuity is expected.

With respect to the torn bills, while you might find the issue bizarre, Belize currency is controlled by a very strict Central Bank system and we regularly face returns. Believe it or not, the Central Bank of Belize can and does refuse to accept marked, torn or otherwise 'unacceptable' currency. I assure you that no one on our staff "chased you down the beach like criminals". Rather, moments after you had left, one of our staff noticed that the currency that you had furnished would most likely be rejected by our Bank and we asked to be paid properly.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great ambience! Excellent service!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

We were staying nearby at the Portofino resort and decided to try another restaurant. We enjoyed Mambo so much that we dined there twice. The pecan crusted chicken was delicious! Everything we ordered was good. The service was very good also.

Visited May 2013
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