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“Not worth a visit”

Tumunu Tropical Garden Bar & Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 15 Restaurants in Arorangi
Price range: US$30 - US$35
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Groups
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: A great quirky casual dining experience. Opened since 1979 it still has the same owners and the same name. It is a mix of eclectic and local island decor. The walls feature an array of photos of events, people and things. The ceilings are a collage of various types of posters etc. The Tumunu Garden Restaurant also features the "largest little notebook" on the island. Come visit us! A fun place for children too with a garden and "dancing laser fire flys"
Calgary, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not worth a visit”
Reviewed 21 January 2014

We stopped in for supper and ordered the seafood platter for two. After a while the waitress, came by and notified us that because we didn't have a reservation, our food would be cooked after those with bookings. I guess that should have been the first clue...

Anyway...50 minutes later our platter arrived. Anything that started cold and was meant to be cold was fine (Iki mata, shrimp salad, smoked fish), but anything that should have been cooked was a disaster. I guess the kitchen felt the need to rush our food due to the delay.... The mussels were cooked to the point of rubber, the fried fish were soggy mushes, the fried shrimp stick item was crispy on the outside and still raw on the inside.ord

In fairness, the quantity of food was massive; I'd gladly had half the food at twice the quality. We did not mention our dissatisfaction to the waitress; didn't seem worthwhile..what would they do? remake it?

Lots of people seemed to have ordered the same dish and been very happy, and a few weren't (ourselves included). I'd suggest you don't take the chance and spend your money at a place that is consistently putting out decent food.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TAMBA1954, Owner at Tumunu Tropical Garden Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 23 January 2014
Kia orana
Thankyou for your review. Whether a review is great, good, average, not so good or a pan, the only way we can improve on our service is to acquire feedback from them. I am so sorry that you had the experience that you did. Unfortunately it is a rarity that management were not actually on the premises. we were attending a bereavement. I have spoken with the staff member and advised her of the review. It would have been better if she had of advised you to perhaps book another evening. In any restaurant especially in Rarotonga, reservations do take priority over walk in trade, with the delivery of their meals. However this does not mean that the quality should be anything less. Cleary I feel that the kitchen was overloaded and that the Bar and Restaurant Manager should have curtailed the numbers of people who did not make a booking.
It would have been far better to bring this to her attention before leaving or even better during your meal. We could have apologised personally and given you a complimentary reservation to return and experience our usual great seafood platter and prompt and friendly service before you departed our lovely shores.
I do hope that you take this opportunity up if you return the Rarotonga.
Kia manuia
Eric Bateman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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369 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    148
    122
    59
    24
    16
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great food!”
Reviewed 19 January 2014

The decor could use some work, but the food was fantastic and the staff gave us some of the best customer service we have had in a long time.

The steak I ordered was juicy and tasted amazing, and the seafood sides were plentiful.

On our table we had the seafood platter for one which was also very tasty! I cant wait to go back again!

We sat inside which was warm, and the outside area was nice and more importantly each table had insect repellant available for the guests to use! So that was a nice touch!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ClaudiaJHunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TAMBA1954, Manager at Tumunu Tropical Garden Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 23 January 2014
Hello and thankyou for your great response. The team at the Tumunu are so pleased you enjoyed the food, ambience and staff. In the tropics, particularly when there is alot of rain, and we have had a lot of rain, there is no escaping the mozzies. So we tend to have the personal sprays on the tables in the courtyard garden for those that need it.
Hope you will come backto visit again and enjoy our Tumunu and team.
Kia manuia
Julie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waikato Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“eating”
Reviewed 8 January 2014

this the 5th time we have dined at Tumunu. we both had the seafood cocktail and it was certainly one of the best we have eaten. the atmosphere is always over whelming and Eric is a hoot. always has us in fits of laughter and there were a few locals there playing their weekly darts competition. what a friendly bunch

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank valma p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TAMBA1954, Manager at Tumunu Tropical Garden Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 23 January 2014
Thanks so much for your very nice review. I am glad you liked the atmosphere, the food and the regulars as well. They are a friendly bunch.
Hope to see you again and maybe play a games of darts too.

Kia manuia
Julie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spokane, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
264 reviews
160 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Cool vibe, charcoal food”
Reviewed 28 November 2013

I loved the quirky vibe of this restaurant, but I wasn't in love with the flavor of the surf and turf. Both the prawns and steak had a heavy charcoal flavor. The steak was tender, but the taste was just overwhelming.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank spankyandsarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TAMBA1954, Manager at Tumunu Tropical Garden Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 30 November 2013
Kia orana
Thankyou for your review. The ShipNShore is one of our most popular meals both with the local community and the visiting community. I am sorry that yours was tasty like it had been charred for too long. perhaps if you made mention of this to the staff then we could have cooked another meal or offered you a complimentary meal on another evening. However if you do visit again I do hope that you will call in and give us a "second chance".
Kia manuia
Julie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Disappointing Meal and Service”
Reviewed 22 November 2013 via mobile

My husband and were disappointed at the service we received at this restaurant. We chose the restaurant from reviews on Trip Advisor but were then truly disappointed that it did not live up to its expectations. We went early to the restaurant and at that stage there were only a few other customers present. We chose to sit outside rather than inside which may have been a mistake because as the restaurant and bar filled up, it became obvious that the owner and staff were more interested in their regular customers at the bar. The entree was fairly quick to arrive ( spring rolls, samosas with salad) which were average but did arrive fairly promptly after ordering. However, our steaks had still not arrived an hour after finishing our entree and we had to ask twice before they appeared. In that time no one came near our table to replenish drinks - we again had to go in search of service. One of the waitresses ( not our original waitress was extremely apologetic once she realised that our main order had been overlooked but then told us that they were now in the process of just starting to cook the steaks 40 mins after we had finished of entree.The steaks, once they arrived were very nice but definitely not worth waiting an hour for. We had stayed in Rarotonga for 9 days and understand about Cook Island Time - but in all the restaurants we dined in, this was a ridiculous amount of time to have to wait.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sharon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TAMBA1954, Manager at Tumunu Tropical Garden Bar & Restaurant, responded to this review, 25 November 2013
Kia orana

I am sorry that the service was slow for you at our restaurant. Normally our service is spot on. It is normal that we show our staff these reviews so they can learn from them or receive an accolade. Perhaps the next time you are in Rarotonga you can give us the opportunity to make this up to you.
Kia manuia
Julie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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