I’m a big fan of the tiny island of Moorea, shaped like a love heart just 30 minutes by ferry from Tahiti. I’ve stayed in a couple of different properties and perused through many more. So if you’re planning a few days in Moorea, here’s a great place for lunch – in fact it was so substantial we’re settling on red wine and gooey cheese for supper! It’s also reasonably priced and the food was delicious.
Snack Mahana is the understated name of this garden paradise that looks, at first glance, a little dodgy. But it came highly recommended and the cars out the front were wedged in – a good sign. We walked past the serving counter and into the garden where plastic tables and the odd trestle table for larger groups were set up under the trees. The ocean lapped on the rocky retaining wall just below our table and schools of tropical fish seemed to hang in the clear water – they must know about this place too.
The Tahitian ladies are busy as bees in the kitchen and Fara reluctantly let me take her photo as we left, exclaiming her abilities.
I ordered the mahi mahi pane au lait de coco avec frites. In other words, breaded mahi mahi with coconut milk and fries. I could have (and probably should have for health reasons) had the rice. Cost CFP 1600 (NZ$21) It was sensational with a tomato salsa on top and a half lime for squeezing. Even though it was lunch, this has seen me right and I don’t need anything more than a couple of red wines for dinner!
The Bloke had the steak. The beef in Tahiti is also highly recommended. Most of it is export quality New Zealand beef – and cheaper than we can buy it for at home! It came with a knob of garlic butter and was perfectly cooked medium rare and tender. Same price as the mahi CFP 1600 or US$17.
We grabbed a couple of locally brewed Hinano beers and the resident dog was making friends with as many diners as he could to hedge his bets on a morsel.
Total bill CFP 4780 (NZ$65) for 2 large Hinano’s, 1 coke and the 2 meals. Snack Mahana is located about 2km east of the Intercontinental Resort, next to Woody’s Pearls. You can use the resort bikes if you don’t have a car.