Monday, 14 January 2013

La Villa des Sens, Moorea

My husband just stumbled on this restaurant in an obscure brochure and a good thing too as it was absolutely the best eatery we visited.  The style of cooking was focused more on the French than the Polynesian but, with the incredibly fresh resources available, La Villa des Sens was a fabulous surprise.  We looked at the a la carte menu and it appeared to be delicious but, as it was Christmas Eve, we decided to have the special pre-fixe menu.

The first course was a red mullet with grilled vegetables, arugula, basil and black olives. These flavours together were wonderful and the fish was so fresh, cooked moist to perfection.  The second course was prepared beautifully - a shellfish soup and green penne pasta.  In a soup, often the shellfish ends up overcooked but not in this case.  The main course was a first for me; oven roasted Bresse capon (yes, these are the famous blue-footed chickens from France), polenta and truffle galette and carrots and turnips candied in honey.  This course was the exact balance of savory and sweet and the bird was perfectly moist and tender.  And no, the feet were not included.  The dessert course was what I often refer to as "slap yo mama" good.  My husband claims that it's the best dessert he's ever had.  It was an exquisitely risen and light chestnut souffl√© with mille-feuilles, or simply put, three layered ice cream of chocolate, vanilla and pistachios with rum sauce.  Something akin to the classic French Napolean pastry.  Now, I really don't care for all this text-speak but OMG!!  This was the kind of dessert that makes your eyes roll back in your head.

La Villa des Sens is on the Legends Resort property across the road from the Intercontinental.  It's a very easy walk or, if you're like me and can't walk very far, they will actually pick you up and drop you off in a golf cart.  The dining room is lovely, using the locale to its best advantage.  To start , the outer walls are open with awnings if needed in case of rain.  So, all the lush foliage surrounding the structure is part of the experience.  As is the moon, which presented itself in full on the night we were there.  The interior had inlaid stone walls and warm dark wood floors.  The lighting was diffused, coming primarily from long, narrow fixtures hanging from a high ceiling.  And the owners have chosen some very intriguing abstract paintings that decorate several areas of the room.  This was the perfect way to end our South Pacific adventure.

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