We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Not as good as memory serves.”

L'Houstalet Restaurant
Ranked #14 of 91 Restaurants in Port Vila
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$35
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: The typical French Restaurant in Vila since 1973Well known for it's tender grilled steaks,it's delicacies such as fresh-water prawns flambe,coconut crab, lobsters, wild pigeon and it's famous marinated flying fox in red wine.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Not as good as memory serves.”
Reviewed 21 September 2013

Husband and I ate at L'Houstalet on our honeymoon in 2007 and had fond memories of the experience however this time it let us down.

We were greeted warmly and shown to a table but their "high chair" was just a high wooden seat that sat up against the table, there was no way to strap our baby in and it was just unsafe. That meant we ended up holding him all night, which wasn't ideal.

Our kids ordered spaghetti bolognese, which was tasty and arrived quickly, much appreciated. Our meals were also served relatively promptly but were disappointing - my husband ordered the freshwater prawns flambé, on recommendation from an ex-pay friend, and was distinctly underwhelmed. They were basically prawns, on a skewer, set on fire. No seasoning and served with a gluggy rice and limp excuse for a salad.

I ordered veal escalope, the veal was tough and sinewy, sauce was ok, quite tasty. Also served with gluggy rice and limp salad. Others in our party had a steak, which was served like my veal, tough and over cooked, and a calzone, which was quite nice.

Will give it a miss next time.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Anna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

474 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    175
    186
    63
    26
    24
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Rowville, Victoria, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Nothing Flash”
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Went to this restaurant on my last night in Port Vila and i will say that the experience was underwhelming in the extreme.
I thought this was going to be a gastronomical treat based on recommendations from others being that it is one of the oldest restaurant in Port Vila.
Atmosphere was quite cosy, service could have been better, menu was uninviting and the dishes ordered came to the table too quick between courses to enjoy it.
It seemed to be on a conveyor belt system.
Dishes ordered were not as described on the menu when a creamy seafood soup came to the table like a broth and the main course was ordered medium rare and came out completely over cooked,didnt even bother with desert and to top it all off the "hot" cappucino ordered was the best iced coffee i have ever had?
If this is the oldest restaurant in Port Vila, it didnt live up to its reputation but it did to its age?

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port-Vila, Efate, Vanuatu
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“exquisite meals EVERY TIME”
Reviewed 2 September 2013

L'Houstalet has not changed since Independence, which is part of it's charm. The owner is always ready to greet you as you walk in, which creates a welcoming feel. You sit down and receive warm crusty bread which melts in your mouth. I always have the FRENCH ONION SOUP - I grave this whenever it is raining. I then go for the beef - you know that Vanuatu has the best beef and I believe that L'Houstalet serves it the very best.

Try a dessert while you are there. You wont be dissappointed. I always reccommend L'Houstalet, working in tourism I am always asked and everytime someone visits, I am always thanked as it is the best meal they have had whilst in Vanuatu.

I give L'Houstalet 10 out of 10 - EVERYTIME!
I'll see you there!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Krystal P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
447 reviews
297 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“An unusual and good menu”
Reviewed 1 September 2013

We picked this as it serves Flying Fox which was gamey and quite nice in a rich red wine sauce. The menu was quite extensive with quite a lot of seafood. I had the lobster which was very nice. There are better restaurants in Port Villa but this was very good and I enjoyed the meal. It isn't cheap, but this goes for most restaurants in the area.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TheSnakebite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A Vila institution, nothing fancy.”
Reviewed 17 August 2013

We knew this place to be a Vila institution, with some advising that it was a bit tired and others saying it was as good as it had ever been.

We had the steak with green pepper sauce and the flying fox. (It was the right season for flying fox, or so we were told. So we thought to give it a go.) The steak was excellent, beautifully done and tender. The flying fox was, as the owner warned, gamey and we found it a little dry.

Serving size for the steak was reasonable, while the flying fox was generous, being an entire animal. Service was good, with staff being quite attentive and the owner personally taking dinner orders

Over all, a very enjoyable meal in a very pleasant setting. There is nothing fancy about this place but the food was good.
We would definitely return (might pass on the flying fox though).

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sheehy_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed L'Houstalet Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to L'Houstalet Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing