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Travellers' Choice


US$13 - US$70
Seafood, European, Polynesian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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All reviews fish curry garlic bread oysters tuna salad fine dining fairy lights food was amazing lovely setting cook islands fish of the day rarotonga lawn sunset garden views mains
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Reviewed 1 October 2020

On a wet night, a friend and I decided to go to Tamarind House for dinner. We phoned ahead to book a table that afternoon. Parking was a breeze immediately alongside the lighted footpath to the restaurant. Pasha greeted us warmly as the duty Maitre’d....Our corner table was socially distanced from the other occupied tables. The restaurant has been made smaller by screening at the far end of the former dining room. A nice intimate atmosphere has been created. For entrees we ordered garlic bread and dips. Yummy dips, with a generous portion of garlic Pita bread. For mains we both decided to order ribeye beef steak with mushroom sauce. Divine flavourings, with the steaks and vegetables cooked perfectly. Although we were replete by now, we were up for a shared portion of Baileys and chocolate cheesecake. A heavenly dessert choice. Since we had both had pre-dinner drinks before we arrived at Tamarind, both of us favoured a full-bodied white wine by the glass to accompany our meals. Thankyou Pasha and Tamarind staff for your gracious attendance. A perfectly delightful fine dining experience.More

Date of visit: July 2020
Reviewed 17 March 2020

We ate here twice during our time in Avarua and were pleased with everything. The location on the ocean is spectacular and the food is wonderful - great seafood chowder and fish specialties. Service is superb!

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 11 March 2020

My wife and I were on our honeymoon and were treated to the amazing seafood platter at Tamarind House. This was one of our last meals during our 6 week honeymoon and it was amazing. Glad we saved it for last. The staff was knowledgeable...and courteous, the food was excellent, and the setting was beautiful. The location comes with some lovely kitties to entertain you when waiting.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed 10 March 2020

I went here for my birthday dinner and was really excited to try it out. The setting is spectacular and you can easily see the sunsets from the beach nearby. The dining room is elegant and the setting was tropical. However there was no air...conditioning in the restaurant and lots of mosquitos all around! The service was erratic and inconsistent throughout the night. My husband and I ordered a dozen oysters and they were service in a heap on a plate and they were room temperature. I didn't want to cause a scene so I cautiously ate them but was worried what might have come should they not be fresh. They were not enjoyable. My fish that was described as flaked covering was really just fish and chips. For the prices they charged, not work the money. I would not recommend this restaurant.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 4 March 2020

My wife and I had been recommended to dine at Tamarind House (TH) by a local lad we met at Trader Jacks. The large sign out on the main road was certainly impressive. Sadly, our dining experience at TH was considerably less so. Now let's...not forget this establishment proudly claims to provide a "fine dining" experience and so we were very much looking forward to a great meal in a fabulous location. On arrival, and walking into what seemed like a large gravel carpark, we had a little difficulty actually locating the entrance as we did not see any signage directing us to the entrance. Once we finally found and entered the restaurant at around 6:00 pm (no booking), we were seated just near the doorway, even though other tables with a far better outlook on that amazing view were available (more on that later), and remained that way throughout our time there. The table cutlery and glasses were very greasy - so much so that we had to wipe them clean on our napkins. The table linen, while well pressed, was yellowed with age and looked just plain tired. The floor to ceiling windows were very dirty, both inside and out which shows a lack of care about the overall customer's dining experience. Yes, the weather had been bad earlier in the day, so some sea spray on the outside was to be expected. But really, how long does it take to zip over them with a rubber squeegee blade and a bucket of water before start of service? The water glasses were almost opaque with use and, like the table linen, looked tired. Even though they took pride of place on the table, no water was ever offered during our meal. We ordered bruschetta for entrée and two plates of pasta for mains. The bruschetta was 'just OK', but the pasta was a real disappointment. The tomato sauce tasted like it came out of a bottle, as did the salad dressing. So for us, paying NZ$111 for a shared plate of shared bruschetta, two plates of very mediocre pasta and below average salad and some wine, the expectation of ‘fine dining’ was definitely not met. To actually call the people delivering the meals to our table at TH, 'waiters', does a grave disservice to the legions of competent, professional wait staff all over the world who work tirelessly to enhance their customer's fine dining experiences. In reality the TH 'servers' were just order takers (language issues made this harder than it should have been) and plate deliverers. Before leaving, I took the opportunity to respectfully discuss all the above issues directly with Sue Carruthers-Brown, the owner in the spirit of constructive criticism. While she appreciated me taking the time to raise the concerns, in my opinion, her responses and the excuses offered were underwhelming at best, at one point even asking if I wanted to buy the business. As we gazed around the idyllic view and the, no doubt at one time, beautiful historic building, I was left with distinct feeling it was well past it's prime and overdue for a big makeover with fresh eyes to restore it to it's former glory. I have no doubt that in the past, Sue Carruthers-Brown and husband Rob have worked tirelessly to provide excellent dining experiences to hundreds, if not thousands of tourists and locals. But IMHO, I think it's now time to hang up your aprons and pass the baton to some new blood. That way, Tamarind House can once again take it's rightful place as one of Rarotonga's finest dining experiences.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 28 February 2020 via mobile

Tamarind house has the most incredible views at dinner time! The seafood platter was abundant and incredibly fresh - I highly recommend it.

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 16 February 2020 via mobile

Hidden away right on the waterfront, this restaurant has everything you and your partner could want. Indoor or outdoor dining is available and the staff go out of their way to ensure you have everything you need. Highly recommend the fish curry, the lemon cake...and the creme Brûlée. If you’re not super adventurous with your food, you can’t go past the catch of the day.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 27 January 2020

Terrific location in a beautiful old home on the beach. White table clothes and silver service. Wonderful menu and reasonable prices. We ate out everywhere and this was by far the best in Raratonga.

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed 24 January 2020

Should have been our finale of excellent dining enjoyed on our Cook Is holiday, we had saved it as the Sat eve before we flew home, went by a friend personal recommendation of the place, booked a table and dressed up.. The ambiance was wonderful,...no question. Service was attentive, no question. I ordered Poached Daily Catch in white wine with ginger, coconut lime sauce, basil pesto & turmeric risotto - the daily catch was Wahoo on the eve we visited. This convinced me to select it as I had only eaten Mahi Mahi and Tuna to that point, although every one of my previous fish meals that I enjoyed immensely with local seasonal flavours and none priced above $30. I was sadly let down, a very beautiful piece of fleshy fresh white fish came to my table with a very bland white sauce....which I could neither taste the ginger or lime described in sauce. Adding to the abject misery of this beautiful sub-tropical fish was - not risotto but a timbale and a HUGE serving of basil pesto that didn't work either in flavour enhancing my meal. My Partner, sensing my lack of enthusiasm passed his meal of tuna to myself as a consolation. We both agreed, the meals just didn't rate as even close to the quality we'd enjoyed at several other places. Go for the ambiance, but choose wisely if you don't want some confused combination of flavours on your plate that aren't fresh or seasonal.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed 3 January 2020

When we visited this a few years ago it was great. But it has become too big and the Sue the owner does not visit it often enough. The potential is great if Sue wants to make the food and service great again. Sue is...a great chief.More

Date of visit: November 2019
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Questions & Answers
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24 June 2017|
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Response from Raroliving | Property representative |
Independent licensed restaurants and bars and retailers in the Cook Islands are required by law to close all of 25th December and also Good Friday. Only hotel/resort licenced dining is available on these days.
27 April 2017|
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Response from DistantVoyagerNZ | Reviewed this property |
The currency used in Rarotonga is New Zealand dollars. Rarotonga does have its own low-denominational coins which you will often get as change when paying for items. Visa and MasterCard are accepted everywhere but Amex... More
21 February 2017|
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Response from David nJacquie O | Reviewed this property |
They have a website. Type into your search engine tamarindrarotonga as one word and you will find it
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