La Villa Mahana review, menu, photos, and video of the best fine dining restaurant experience in Bora Bora, French Polynesia.
Romance, decadence and quality, all perfect descriptors for the epicurean experience you will find when dining at La Villa Mahana restaurant in Bora Bora, French Polynesia. The ambiance makes you feel like you have been swept away to a home in Tuscany instead of an island getaway. With dim lighting, romantic music, and only seven tables in the outside dining courtyard makes for a pleasant and calm evening night in paradise.
The exquisite restaurant is owned by Chef Damien Rinaldi-Dovio, who incorporates native Polynesian inspired ingredients with Mediterranean techniques. The brilliant Corsican chef has trained with Paul Bocuse in Paris, was the Executive Chef at L’Orangerie in Los Angeles, and the Hotel Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort and Spa. Almost a decade ago Chef Damien took over the villa of local artist Garrick Yrondi and La Villa Mahana was born. Garrick Yrondi resides in the beautiful hillside villa above the restaurant and you can see his colorful paintings displayed around the entire restaurant.
Chef Damien’s personal culinary vision is simple, which he learned from the tutelage of Chef Paul Bocuse:
“Quality, Freshness, and Respect for the Products are Key for Fine Cuisine.” – Chef Paul Bocuse
If you have the opportunity to enjoy the cuisine at La Villa Mahana restaurant I guarantee you will not be disappointed and you will experience Chef Damien’s vision for serving “a light cuisine, influenced by his Mediterranean origins, placing emphasis on the quality of Polynesian products, and associated various spices”.
Chef Damien’s culinary experience in fine dining establishments shines through in each dish. Each offering is perfectly seasoned, thoughtful, purposeful, not overly embellished with unnecessary garnish, and cooked and served at the right temperatures. The cuisine is elegant, simple, comforting and flavorful- you can taste the difference in the quality of the ingredients selected and the expert preparation and cooking techniques complete the dish with excellence.
The service fits well with the location; the friendly servers are dressed in Polynesian dresses, are very welcoming making you feel more like you are visiting a friend’s home instead of a restaurant. Each course is served just as you complete the previous and are presented to each guest in sync. The dishes are encased with large silver covers then removed to unveil the Chef’s delectable masterpiece.
Chef Damian offers each dish a la carte or as two tasting menus, with a suggested wine pairing for each course. The wine list is extensive and there is a gorgeous wine cellar in the foyer of the villa to display all of the imported champagne and wines.
As part of my La Villa Mahana review, my husband and I decided to order the “Menu Exotique” which had more Polynesian inspired ingredients and the “Menu Epicurien” with European delicacies and flavors. Each tasting menu cost between one hundred to one hundred and fifty euros, which was reasonable considering the comparable tasting menu prices in other Michelin Star restaurants we have visited.
My husband added the wine pairing to the “Menu Exotique” which was around fifty euros, and well worth the addition as the wines complemented each course perfectly. If we are lucky enough to ever visit the majestic island of Bora Bora again, a reservation to this romantic restaurant on Bora Bora island will be the first item on my vacation checklist!