The writer owned & operated a number of hotels in Australia each of which included various restaurant facilities. The writer’s wife is a qualified Cordon Bleu (Paris), on-trained for 2 years with the only member of the Acadamie Francaise in Australia at the time before operating her own restaurant in central Sydney. Two other collaborators, one born in Hong Kong, the other in Japan & both of whom have extensive experience in restaurant operation & management, make up the review team.
Bora Bora Insider publishes the Bora Bora Restaurant – Ratings & Guide each year – a brief, point-form format for ease of reference, it has become an indispensable gastronomic guide for visitors to these shores.
FEATURED RESTAURANTS (in order, coming from Vaitape)
Villa Mahana Restaurant
Arguably Bora Bora’s most upmarket privately operated restaurant, it operates on the basis of exclusivity with seating limited to 25, truly gourmet french cuisine & an extensive wine list.
The food can be excellent blending an interesting & successful combination of taste sensations covering the full gambit of meat, poultry & seafood in a setting that offers the total dining experience. Dishes usually superbly executed & attention to detailed presentation can lift the cuisine above the rest. Friendly, well trained staff knowledgeable about the dishes being served as well as an outstanding of the wine list make for an exceptional dining experience. A high rate of client satisfaction – that says it all!
It’s a little difficult to find – around a kilometre south of the Teariimaevarua Sports Complex (Pago Pago) you’ll see the sign for Garrick Yrondi (painter, sculpter….. Turn left here & the restaurant is around 50m up the hillside on your right. Finding the restaurant will not be a problem in future as Chef Damien & his wife have bought a sensational site on the ridge overlooking Matira Beach & developed a restaurant that will add the best views to the best food – check when booking which site is operating/preferred to you.
Prices ranging from the ‘doable’ to the unbearable! Set dinners from $100-120; main courses a la carte from $35-60 (lobster $79). Open for dinner only – 6pm-11pm – Villa Mahana is closed on Sundays. Free transfers to & from the restaurant – contact restaurant in advance (40675063).
Often booked out weeks in advance in high season so book in advance.
Opened in September, 2017 at this locally themed site packed with ambiance, the owner operator, Marie, has got it right with a great balance between an extensive, yet quality menu & the correct price.
I’m ding there tonight & a detailed report will follow…
Bloody Mary’s Restaurant
Bloody Mary’s offers plenty of local ambience with pandanus roofing, a great bar & a large dining area all made from coconut & set on the white sands of Bora Bora. It makes for a great place to eat or to simply enjoy a few drinks with an extensive range of excellent bar snacks.
Lunch is very reasonably priced with a good selection of easy going meals including a wide range of burgers & sandwiches, caesar salad, sashimi, quesadillas & even fish & chips.
Dinner is a more sophisticated menu (& a better choice than lunch) essentially delectable fresh local seafood but complimented by some great spare ribs. Be guided by the chef as the catch of the day is always a good choice.
The food & servings reflect the fact that the restaurant has been under American management for many years. Vegetarians are catered for.
Lunch – main courses from $10-15. Dinner – mains range from $30-$35 (lobster $78). Bloody Mary’s is open for lunch & dinner 7 days a week (but usually closed for renovations throughout December). Free transfers for dinner from certain locations – contact the restaurant (87677286).
The bar is one of the best on the island with an extensive range of cocktails including their famous Bloody Mary! They have beer on tap & great bar snacks – like buffalo wings, kababs & sashimi to mention but a few:
There’s plenty of interesting memorabilia – you’ll be surprised at the ‘who’s who’ who have dined here before you – & a good souvenir shop.
Well situated on the waterfront overlooking magnificent Matira Beach with parking alongside, Snack Matira is a good choice to kick-back.
The establishment serves a good range of snacks from burgers to casse-croutes, from omelettes to pizzas, from fish, steak & chicken dishes to salads. There’s a good range of desserts & drinks.
The place is popular with locals on week-ends & public holidays aided by the fact that the Snack is open for a broad range of hours (10am-8pm most days) to cater for early as well as late lunches. This can be important to many/most of those travelling in these parts where time has no meaning – the chefs at most establishments take last orders for lunch around 2.30pm before taking a break before diner. If you are looking for a late lunch there is little open so dive into Snack Matira.
Main courses from $10-20. Tel: 87677732.
Restaurant Matira Beach
A couple of hundred meters south of Snack Matira on the way to Point Matira in a stunning position overlooking the best of what Matira has to offer you’ll find Matira Beach Restaurant.
The feeling of comfort that only wood can provide, the warmth of the red Japanese themed decoration, wooden doors that swing wide open straight into the lagoon & the cosy open air terrace add up to a tantalising choice of options:
The restaurant’s comprehensive menu reflects the venue’s decoration with a mixture of Tahitian, French & Japanese influences. The sushi, sashimi & teppanyaki are particularly good. Fresh local seafood is the staple menu but backed up by a good selection of alternatives. The wine list is comprehensive whilst staff are warm & engaging, ready to assist, clearly proud of what this restaurant has achieved – the owner chef readily on hand to discuss the finer details with diners.
Looking more closely at the menu you’ll find:
- Excellent Nigiri, Maki, Temaki & Tempura are available for $12-20
- The full ambit of quality entrees from $15-20
- Well thought-out combinations for mains deliver a great taste sensation from $24-38
- Tasty brushettes & a good mix of fresh salads from $12-15
- A great variety of burger & accompaniments from $12-22 to ensure everyone’s palates are satisfied
- A small but quality list of desserts adds to a wonderful dining experience.
To pull-up here in your jet-ski & dine on the restaurant terrace overlooking the mesmorising waters of Matira Beach is unforgettable!
Cover over the outside deck & teppanyaki in the main restaurant area were recently added – this is a place where great attention is paid to detail. Great food, warm & friendly staff, the best spot on Matira Beach.
Lunch from $15-20; dinner mains $24-38. Restaurant Matira Beach is open for lunch & dinner (closed Mondays & Tuesdays). Reflecting the fact the owner/operators have 3 young children, the restaurant thoughtfully includes a kid’s room. Tel: 87794704. (Christmas/New Year 2016/2017 : The restaurant will be open 7/7 throughout December before closing on 22 December for holidays. Reopening is set for 17 January).
Matira Yacht Club
When Bora Bora opened its first fast food outlet it was to the great surprise, & in some cases indignation, of many.
On a fabulous site right on Matira Beach, the outlet formerly known as the Bora Bora Beach Burger opened in 2017 before resurfacing as Blue Coco an Italian themed restaurant. It has now (2018) been taken over by the proprietors of the Bora Bora Yacht Club & renamed the Matira Yacht Club.
The restaurant/bar is set to become a great venue along similar lines in the Matira area no doubt combining good food with great views.
Situated in a sensational position with the best outdoor bar in Bora Bora, Moi Here offers a range of local favourites – poison cru, maa tinito, chao mein, steak or grilled chicken & chips….all at 1500xpf.
The bar – unbeatable when it comes to quenching one’s thirst overlooking the dazzling waters of Matira’s lagoon:
Open ‘most of the time’ – that is, easy to grab a morning coffee, a late breakfast, a quiet lunch or a beer at sunset……
Otomana is beachside, right alongside Moi Here. With a range of easy going snacks like burgers & panini plus local favourites like poisson cru, good food, pricing & service, Otomanu fills quickly for lunch with a great take-away service for those wishing to stay beachside.
Roulette Matira (Sams’s)
This is a smaller operation somewhat ‘hidden’ from the roadside. Located directly opposite Hotel Matira it gives the impression of a business renting bicycles – which it does – but it is also a good place to know especially if you are looking for ‘take-away’; it’s a regular choice amongst locals. As you can see from the photo there is also a nice area for those wishing to dine in:
A good variety of Club Sandwiches are available for 600xpf & a good range of burgers start at 6ooxpf also. Very much ‘home cooking’,the Poulet Legume (Chicken Vegetable) is great value at 1700xpf packed with chicken & fresh vegetables; the Boeuf Massala at 2000xpf is another good take-away option.
Roulotte Matira is open for breakfast (7.30-9.30), lunch (11.30-3.00) & dinner (6.00-10.30), good to know for those who can easily lose sense of time in Bora & find other eating options closed.
Restaurant Fare Manuia – The Lucky House Restaurant
The owner/operator here has many years experience in the industry & has the formula for a successful operation pretty much right.
This is a multi-facet operation with a pizzeria that booms & leads to a more formal dining area offering a wide range of assorted dishes, a relaxing bar & a small swimming pool for those BIG nights! The food is well prepared & good value given the size of the servings. The wood-fire pizzas – around 30 0n the menu – are the best in the area, the burgers excellent. There’s a comprehensive choice of courses from meat to fish, through salads, a set menu & a kid’s menu – nothing has been overlooked.
The restaurant was extended in July 2015 giving the eating area which flows off the bar & small swimming pool added charm & ambiance. At the same time the menu was completely revamped ‘upwards’ taking the restaurant more towards finer dining than bistro. The cuisine is French/Local.
There’s an extensive list of entrees & an equally extensive array of salads ranging from $15-29. Main courses concern themselves with a good range of traditional fish & meat dishes to which a local touch has been added. A large number of desserts in the $14-15 bracket adds up to an overall exceptional offer. The set, 3 course with choices ‘Tourist Menu’ for $44 is both good value & delectable.
The take-away pizza operation is the best on the island & the very large range & options for pizzas & burgers delivers an excellent offer all for under $20.
Located near the turn-off for Matira Point with easy parking opposite, the restaurant & bar with its easy going ambience is very popular with locals & the place to be for any major televised event.
Main courses from $21-45. Restaurant Fare Manuia is open for lunch & dinner 7 days a week. Free transfers for dinner – contact the restaurant (87676808).
Le Moana Resort – Restaurant ‘Noa Noa’
Eating out at one of Bora Bora’s major resorts can be a fulfilling experience – the hotels can be an excellent choice to celebrate a special occasion especially for visitors to Bora Bora as they offer exceptional positions, architect designed facilities, qualified chefs & open for lunch & dinner 7 days a week.
Noa Noa is such a spot. The restaurant features French, International & Tahitian dishes. Prices can vary depending on what entertainment is being provided by the resort – these are excellent places to be able to witness traditional Tahitian dancing (Tues & Sat). Thursdays are reserved for local Tahitian specialities with set main courses at $32.80 or all 3 courses for $68.70. On non-entertainment days – lunch: salads $19.90-$22.90, mains $27.90-$38.50, burgers $17.50-$19.90. Dinner mains $27.90-$38.50.
The best approach is to check directly with the resort & slot yourself into the scenario that best suits you. Tel: 40604900.
Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora
The Hotel Maitai has recently realigned its restaurant offer to better meet the desires of its clientele. The hotel now has a range of offers.
The Tamaa Matai – nicely situated on the waterfront with views out over the hotels over-water bungalows the restaurant specialises in French & Italian food.
The restaurant offers a very extensive menu from wholesome salads ($12-21), suitable entrees ($7.50-11) or a savoury assortment of cheese ($12) through to a very comprehensive offer of French beef & seafood dishes ($12-24) & Bora Bora’s most extensive Italian menu ($11-18). For those ‘on the run’ there are chicken wings, burgers & ribs ($9-20), kid’s menus, plat de jour, ‘tourist menu’ ($35) & various other meal formulae ranging from $21-24 – catering to virtually everyone’s needs & desires. Finally the restaurant offers an extensive list of desserts ($8-13).
Open every day from 11am to 9pm. Tel: 40603000.
The ‘Salad/Sandwich/Patisserie’ sits directly opposite the Tamaa Maitai & offers a good option for those ‘in a rush’, looking for a snack or wanting to take something to the beach.
The concept – ‘Subway’ like – is for the client to nominate the contents of the sandwich they seek – select from wholemeal, ‘compagne’ or white bread rolls + add butter (or reduced salt butter) + then add fillings & condiments of your choice all for $9. There’s plenty of variety plus other tip-bits that can be added as a matter of choice.
Alternatively there’s a ‘sandwich of the day’ ($7 with plenty of variety, plenty of varying fillings), tuna or curry wraps ($8), smoked turkey or tuna club sandwiches ($12) & several different paninis ($9).
Alternatively salads made as directed by you or pre-prepared fresh fruit salad are available as well as a range of cakes & tarts. To top it all off – locally made ice-creams & sorbets.
The house special is a sandwich, a packet of chips & a drink – all for $10.
Casual but comfortable seating arrangements available both inside & out, ‘SSP’ is open daily from 8am to 3pm with percolated coffee available. Free wifi is available to anyone purchasing a meal for $10 or more. Tel: 40675655.
The Maitai Restaurant – the hotel’s largest restaurant operates uniquely at night offering lavish buffets accompanied by spectacular Tahitian Dance Shows (Saturdays only/$59.50) or at times local Tahitian orchestras ($39.50) or quieter, entertainment free nights ($39).
Contact the hotel to make your choice, make your booking – 40603000.
Situated in another of Bora Bora’s sumptuous overwater bungalow beach resorts, the Sofitel’s water-side restaurant is another option worthy of consideration. A great bar separated from a wonderful outdoor eating area by an expansive eternity pool, the lot overlooking Bora Bora’s world famous lagoon makes for a stunning setting:
The Sofitel’s very active events manager, John Menezes, always has something happening at the Sofitel be it bands from overseas, leading local singers, island beauty pageants, fabulous Tahitian Dance Shows & the list goes on.
Prices & the fare on offer will vary according to the entertainment undertaken. The best way to proceed therefore is to contact the hotel & make your choices – 40605500. As a leading resort the kitchen is staffed by qualified French chefs.
Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner 7 days per week.