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“I really wanted to love this place....BUT”

The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana
Ranked #4 of 55 Restaurants in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $94 - $94
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Description: The World Famous 7 table restaurant located in Paradise
Reviewed May 21, 2013

I booked reservations 8 months in advance really hoping to secure a wonderful dining experince while in Bora Bora. My husband and I were really looking forward to this evening. Because we were staying at a hotel off the main island we had to take a ferry over each night to get to all the restaurants. This was fun actually, becuase we were able to chat with other travelers and discuss restaurants. Villa Mahana had VERY mixed reviews....hummmmm??? This may be harsh, but I think some diners may just not have many fine dining experiences. Although tht food was not horrible, it was also not great. The service was lacking, the server provided no explaination of the menu or wine suggestions....nothing. We were handed and menu ( based on the reviews, it appears as if the menu never changes, which is suprising that a chef would not mix things up a bit, especially on an Island with opportunity for a fresh fish selection). within my menu I had lobster risotto...way over cooked, again just not impressed at all. The mashed potatos I must admit were the best I have ever had, simply amazing, yet that is the only thing I had there which stood out. My hisband had a filet, which was sadly over cooked as well. In addition to the average food and service, the restaurant deor and ambiance left a lot to be desired. If you are lucky enough to get the super cool table outside, do, that looks amazing as would provide fresh air and a romantic setting. As for the rest of the tables, they are in a small room filled with eclectic wall decor, a very stuffy room with no air conditioning and no air flow. It was a little to bright for a evening dining experince and the table were far too close to each other considering there are only 6 or 7 tables. We had many wonderful dining experiences in Bora Bora at places far less admired, so I am not sure how or why this place has gained such a prestigious reputation.My only guess is that the limited reservations make people feel it is extra special, and jump to make sure they get in. I did enjoy the unique dining concept, dining in a house, yet the food and ambiance just did not work for us. Like I said, I really wanted to like this place, I just didnt love it, and could not recommend it to others. I am glad I went, because had I not have gone, I would have never known for myself. I do however want other guests to know of my experience as it is a costly diner in comparision with other better quality options in Bora Bora. Mai Kai was my favorite:))

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1  Thank PamelaVanderHeagen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Dear Madam or Sir ,


I have been reading with attention your comment, and I deeply regret that your experience was that disappointing.
Out of a concern for improvement, I ensure you that your whole comment will be taken into consideration.
However, most of the points you highlighted could have been improved on the moment, giving us the opportunity to correct something.

Honestly, this would have been a win-win ending where you would have enjoyed your dinner rather than an anonymous opinion that do to my team and me a lot of unnecessary harm.

Yours faithfully,

Damien

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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599 - 603 of 986 reviews

Reviewed May 20, 2013

The fois gras was the best I ever had.They even let me substitute the Pairing Port for my whiskey of choice (I choose the Lagavulin Distillers edition :) Definitely a must on your list to do if you are on your honeymoon.

Thank Frank T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

Ia Orana:)

Thank you very much for that note

Hope to see you back soon with us in Paradise ! :)

Take care

Damien

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Villa Mahana was a dream. It's a small, intimate place with nice lighting and only a few outdoor tables. The attention is superb, it's only the chef and two really nice women! We had the epicurean meal with wine pairing... HEAVEN ! Every dish was so tasty, well presented, and excellently paired with delicious wines. This was easily one of the top 3 meals we've ever had, so so so so delicious.
It was about 5 courses and we left the place with (very) full tummies and satisfied with the experience. There was event a moment where a very nice French song was playing and I asked what the name of the song was, and they told me. Up to this day, I still listen to it. Thanks Villa Mahana for an amazing meal and warm attention!

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Thank MargaritaDelC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

Ia Orana:)

Thank you very much for that note

Hope to see you back soon with us in Paradise ! :)

Take care

Damien

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

I really struggled between given three or four stars. The food was good, not great and at $300/person ($600 for two) for the Epicurion tasting plus the wine paring it needed to be great. To be clear I am fine paying for a very expensive meal when the meal is to rave about. We are from Philadelphia and have had incredible meals all over the US at that price point, unfortunately La Villa Mahana doesn't crack the top 5, even the top 10.

After a 30 minute boat ride from the Four Seasons and a 15 minute cab ride we arrived to a cute 7 table restaurant. We were supposed to go two days prior but could not leave the Four Seasons because of bad weather so were very excited when they were able to slot us in 2 days later. That was hugely appreciated.

The restaurant is a neat little courtyard with art work all around. The temperature within the restuarant was pretty hot with no AC just ceiling fans and a cross breeze for cooling. The atmosphere of the restaurant was very relaxing.

The two waitresses did a fantastic job serving. To be critical I think they brought the first four courses too fast. We had two hours to catch the boat back so I understand the spirited pace, but the first four courses came very fast and left a near 45 minutes for dessert was too long.

We did the 5 course Epicurion tasting paired with wine which was nearly $300/person. Again the food was good but not great.

The shrimp salad was decent but unremarkable. And in fact certain pieces of lettuce were brown and wilted. Unacceptable at that price point.

The Foie Gras was INCREDIBLE!! Best dish of the night. Best I've had anywhere in the world!

Lobster Risoto was ok. Very heavy and the Risoto was a bit mushy.

Beef and Gnocchi. The beef was well cooked and very tender but overly salty. The gnocchi was outstanding!

Dessert was ice cream and molten chocolate cake. Good but unspectacular. Basically a dessert you could get at any high end steak house.

Wine pairing worked well with each course but at @$25/glass per course it was way overpriced.

My wife and I really, really wanted to love La Villa Mahana after reading all the reviews. It was good but not $600 good. If the bill had behalf as much perhaps it would have bumped up rating. We really, really wanted to love to place.

Thank JohnyMin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Dear Madam or Sir ,


I have been reading with attention your comment, and I deeply regret that your experience was that diapointing.
Out of a concern for improvement, I ensure you that your whole comment will be taken into consideration.
However, most of the points you highlighted could have been improved on the moment, giving us the opportunity to correct something.

Honestly, this would have been a win-win ending where you would have enjoyed your dinner rather than an anonymous opinion that do to my team and me a lot of unnecessary harm.

Yours faithfully,

Damien Rinaldi-Dovio, Chef / owner of La Villa Mahana Bora Bora

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I chose to spend one of our last nights here largely based on reviews here on tripadvisor.

The atmosphere is relaxed and intimate (each night only a handful of tables are served) and the menu offers a la carte, a polyanesian or french 'tasting' menu with wine.

On our evening we went with the French 'tasting' and we were very satisfied. My wife wanted her beef mains to be a bit more rare, the kitchen had no problem re-doing the dish and the beef was delicious when returned. The chef also came out at the end of the evening to ask if everything had been OK.

I'd recommened the night for a romantic, personal evening, but as with everything in Bora Bora, be prepared to spend money.

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Thank Brendan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Thank you very much

Best Regards

Damien

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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