Rudy’s Restaurant is the epitome why one should never judge a restaurant by its exterior. To be honest, when the taxi first dropped us off at a plain and antique looking house, I wasn’t expecting much. However remembering the constant upvotes from local residents, I decided to keep an open mind. I can say with no doubt this is one of the best meals I had during my French Polynesia trip!
The French onion soup was mind blowing! The rich caramel broth was a harmonious blend of savoury and sweet flavours. The virtue of a dish like this comes from patiently rendering the onions until meltingly soft. The consistency was also just right; neither too watery nor congealed. It’s hard to believe that in such a secluded island, a restaurant could produce such an authentic French onion soup. In all seriousness, this can rival some of the best I had in Paris.
For my main course, I had the Moorea shrimp curry. The shrimp was sourced from the nearby lagoon. This curry was surprisingly light. There were predominately fruity flavours with the undernote of spices. I enjoyed that the spice level was toned down, as the subtle sweetness of the shrimps was not overwhelmed. The fresh pineapples and tomatoes added a pleasant tartness that cut through the creamy coconut milk. I liked the choice of the staple, as each grain of rice soaked up the wonderful curry sauce.
The opah, aka moonfish was the daily catch of the day and this dish alone deserves a Michelin star! Grilled to perfection, the fish flaked effortlessly and was exquisitely moist. I’ve never had moonfish before and the taste was quite similar to salmon with the texture of swordfish, although more delicate. Aside from the incredibly fresh ingredient, the grilling technique deserves just as much praise. The charred smoke flavour was permeated deeply throughout, yet not overcooking the flesh. Again, the sides were identical to mine; rice and haricot verts.
For dessert, I ordered a spin on apple tart tatin; papaya and pineapple tart tatin. To be honest, dessert while still enjoyable, was nowhere near the level of the appetizer/main courses. To start off, I thought the presentation was too messy. The swirls of sauce and whipped cream was unnecessary and should be omitted. While the pineapple tasted crisp and vibrant, the papaya was mushy and bland. Even the pastry was somewhat soggy. I really like the concept of innovating the tart tatin, however, the execution wasn’t impressive.
Food aside, the service was very warm and friendly. The owner came out to greet everyone and to inquire after feedback. I also appreciated that they kept the doors closed and turned the air conditioner on to full blast. This was amazing at keeping mosquitoes away. For some reason ever since arriving at Moorea, I’ve been outrageously bitten by mosquitoes, while never having an issue in Bora Bora. Insect repellant certainly helped, but I still attract them like honey attracts bees. Overall, Rudy’s blew my expectations out of the water and I would highly recommend it if you’re in the area.