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“Perfect honeymoon dinner”

The Chef's Table by La Villa Mahana
Ranked #3 of 54 Restaurants in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $94 - $265
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Description: The World Famous 7 table restaurant located in Paradise
Reviewed January 5, 2014

I'd read about La Villa Mahana online, so I knew it would be a delicious meal, but I didn't know how highly regarded it was until we got there. Everyone we spoke to was like, "Wow, how'd you get a table there!?" and "You guys are so lucky!" We did the 5-course meal with wine pairings. The most expensive meal we've ever had, but it was very delicious. We had caviar and shrimp salad, foie gras, lobster risotto, filet with parmesan gnocchi and a chocolate cake. The atmosphere was very charming - a villa tucked away, with the dining all on the patio (lots of tropical plants, soft lighting, charming music). There are only 8 tables, so make reservations well in advance. We met and thanked the chef afterwards - he was very humble and appreciative.

Thank haylaura
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 January 15, 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you for that comment. Appreciate it !

Wish all the best for 2014 and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 4, 2014

We visited Villa Mahana as part of a 4 day trip during our honeymoon. This was easily the best dinner we had in Bora Bora, and the best meal we had in all of French Polynesia. The food is not cheap, but it is awesome. Both me and the wife ordered the tasting menu. There are two tasting menus, I ordered the shorter of the two tasting menus, my wife ordered the longer of the two - she couldn't finish hers, I could barely finish mine. Each of the courses was awesome. The restaurant itself is uber-romantic, if there are any guys looking to impress their lady-friends, this is the place to go. The restaurant is very small, only 7 tables, so make sure you make reservations months in advance. It is actually quite easy, just email Damian. His email is on the website (google Villa Mahana). He is very responsive with emails. They are also good with arranging for transport to/from the harbour at Vaitape. We were staying at Le Meridien and they timed transport perfectly with the boat shuttle. Note, this is place is pricey, everything is calibrated in Euros.

    • Value
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    • Food
1  Thank Salim007
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 January 15, 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you for that comment. Appreciate it !

Wish all the best for 2014 and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

On our return trip to Bora Bora, we decided to try La Villa Mahana. It proved to be an outstanding restaurant. It is headed by Chef Damien Rinaldi-Dovi, who creates and serves a fantastic fusion of European and Polynesian cuisine, in a small, romantic setting with wonderful ambiance. In short, La Villa Mahana is highly recommended.

Background: We made reservations some months in advance, which is strongly advised. We were so taken with the food and the dining experience, we wrote Chef Damien and he kindly accommodated us a few nights later (again, our thanks Chef!). So the following encompasses both nights.

The Place: Charming small restaurant with inviting Mediterranean style exterior courtyard, seating, lovely interior, artful decor, bathed in warm hues - a very romantic ambiance. There are only a handful of tables - of course, this also makes for a very cozy and personal atmosphere. There are beautiful paintings and art work, including by Chef Damien - and a low, very nice, soundtrack that included Luis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Diana Krall. A great setting for a great meal.

The People: Warm, friendly - but also extremely attentive, efficient, and professional. Each course arrived with great timing, just as we had concluded the prior course. Even the second night, when one of young ladies was out, and they were visibly hectic, with an extra table, running a bit behind, our waitress, still, was excellent. Chef Damien also came around, greeted diners very warmly and posed for pictures.

The Food: On each occasion, I decided to order the “Menu Epicurien” - a menu of European inspired fare. The Epicurean menu was six course, and included salad with shrimp, caviar, foie gras, spiny lobster risotto, filet, and, to complete, chocolate lava cake and ice cream. A few notes: The foie gras was the best example of any this trip - including Jean Georges, Lotus, and certainly others. The lobster risotto was incredible - my favorite single dish of this trip. And, the steak was, as others have noted, impeccably prepared, served with a mouth-watering reduction, perfectly cooked, and accompanied by incredible tender white-cheddar gnocchi. The steak is, as many have noted, very large - a challenge for the heartiest appetite, but impossible, for me at least, to stop eating. The deserts were delicious. I tried this menu once with wine pairings, and once with champagne - and all were quite good.

My wife Nicole selected the “Menu Exotique” which had more Polynesian inspired ingredients - once as the full menu, and once using the menu to guide here a la carte choices - including Ahi, perfectly prepared with a sprinkle of sea salt, with greens. She also also tried the curried Mahi Mahi with mashed - which was outstanding.

The Extras: Each course arrived under a silver cloche - and arrives beautifully prepared and presented - all were gorgeous dishes, a delight to the eyes before the first bite. An absolutely delicious loaf of warm-from-the-oven fresh bread wrapped in a banana leaf appears at the outset, and was nearly impossible to stop eating. With desert, a small tray of French macaroons appeared - unexpected and delicious. Elegant table settings. Nice wine selection. We were also presented a small gift bag with a tiny loaf of traditional local bread on departing - a very nice touch.

The Cost: Each tasting menu cost between one hundred to one hundred and fifty euros. Even with wine, champagne, cocktail, gratuity, etc. added, quite reasonable given quality of the cuisine, service and setting.

Getting there: The restaurant, or your concierge, will arrange a car to pick you up at (the port / marina), and then for the return following dinner. There was no wait for car, and only a five, perhaps ten, minute ride to and from the restaurant.

Final Thoughts: A must try on any trip to Bora Bora for those who enjoy truly great food and great atmosphere. Compared favorably with our favorite restaurants - and, in it sits, well, in paradise. Very recommended.

    • Value
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3  Thank Dave_from_MN
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 January 15, 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you for that comment. Appreciate it !

Wish all the best for 2014 and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

Saw this restaurant on on a Food Network TV special. Eight tables are seated a night. The seared tuna in vanilla oil had me convinced i needed to eat here. We had the light menu, the food was amazing (I am going to try to re-create the tuna at home it was crazy good) and Damien even catered the menu to the fact that i don't eat red meat. Every course was amazing and the wine pairings were perfect. The finishing macarons were divine. We met and took a pic with Damien afterward, despite him still being in the middle of cooking, so great! This is a special place for a special meal we will always remember! For reservation I emailed directly with the restaurant FAR in advance. For super private dining request the upstairs private table.

1  Thank mtnocean
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 January 15, 2014

Ia Orana :)

Thank you for that comment. Appreciate it !

Wish all the best for 2014 and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future

Damien :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2013

The owner/chef was able to fit us in for a reservation in such short notice and was very prompt in replying by email. The restaurant is very romantic and we loved dining outdoors in such a quaint atmosphere. The service was excellent and the chef came out of the kitchen to greet us and everyone. During the dinner we heard a huge splash and then someone yelled out, "Wow she even saved the food!" One of the waitresses fell completely in the little pool by accident but she managed to keep the dinner plates above the water over her head and save them! Talk about such great service that goes above and beyond! She was totally fine and ok. Our meal was the best meal we had while in Bora Bora and every dish was excellent and dining there was one of the highlights of our trip. It is totally worth the experience!

    • Value
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    • Food
1  Thank socalihapas
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 December 30, 2013

Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for that comment. Aprreciate it!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in near future:)

Happy New Year 2014!!!!

Damien

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

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