Ramon Helgers and Karsten Gesing founded Madame Janette April 2nd
1999. Their collaboration resulted into a place, which offers fine dining in a casual atmosphere.
Ramon is responsible for the exotic fruits, herbs and vegetables you will find in not only our dishes, but also in most supermarkets on Aruba. Karsten, a European Master Chef, trained in 'old school' traditions creates, with help from his knowledgeable international
staff, tasteful and creative dishes. Their combined worldwide experience
gives their dishes an original flavour with a touch of Caribbean in it. We call it the Madame Janette Experience! We hope that you will have a wonderful dining romance.
Cunucu Abao 37
Aruba Tel: +(297) 587 0184
Fax: +(297) 587 5477
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We went there to celebrate our 30th anniversary, and the service was so poor it all but ruined the evening. Then, when they realized how bad it was the decide to comp us a dessert.... But the dessert had a big piece of plastic in it!! So much for trying to fix things. The manager did try to make it better by comping our meal too, but that doesn't take away from the rest of the bad experience.
Bring a Small Appetite and Lots of CASH
Madame Janette is a seafood restaurant about a 10 minute drive from the Marriott and Ritz properties in Aruba. Its located in a fairly run down residential neighborhood. My wife and I were encouraged to try it after striking up a conversation with a long time Aruba vacationer. We arrived on time and were seated promptly in the back yard of the property which is covered with loose gravel and stones. Its a little uncomfortable to sit level but we made it work.
The restaurant is enclosed with 10 fencing all around. There is absolutely no view but they have Christmas lights on the trees which makes it kind nice.
Im in my 40s and noticed almost immediately that we were one the of the youngest couples in the restaurant BY FAR. Not sure whats thats about.
The owners must have a thing with the number 39. Almost everything on the menu was $39 and up. They brought out a tasty focaccia bread with a truly disgusting picked onion concoction.
I ordered the Grouper Delight and was very disappointed when I received a medium size grouper filet next to a healthy mound of dry field greens. No rice, no potato, no vegetable. Those are apparently available for an extra cost. My wife got the shrimp casserole. Six large shrimp butterflied and drenched in a mushroom and onion stew with a side of creamed spinach. $32.
So, for $82+ I ate a grouper filet with a few field greens, my wide had 6 medium shrimp in a mushroom and onion stew and we split a home made apple strudel stuffed with un-sweetend raisins with a scoop of ice-cream and a scoop of whipped cream. No alcohol and no appetizers.
Not the worst meal I ever had but nothing that I would ever return to.
My advise .Pass on Madame Jeanettes. There are plenty of other good restaurants with great views in Aruba. If youve been here before and liked it, get ready for a big change.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED
After a year away from Madame Janette, the call of their almond grouper beckoned unto us to return so that is what we did. But, in our opinion, things have changed at MJ. We were told that new ownership was in place and that the founders had moved on to other ventures and it shows. Staff appears to have been reduced and service tends to be a bit more perfunctory than it has been in the past - pampering seems to be discouraged. The menu has also taken a hit - it is a sad day when the only vegetarian type appetizer is Caesar Salad and it is even more disappointing that, despite promises to the contrary, the chefs cannot make an old time favorite appetizer. Fortunately the signature almond grouper dish remains intact and it is enough, in itself, to justify a trip to the place. The more perfunctory nature of things seems to affect the ambiance as well and, were it not for some of the dishes, this place might decline into a has-been state. We will continue to return for the time being but we are not sure how long that will be.
Visited February 2014
What happened to the garden salad. It was best salad you could get on island and they discontinued.
We have been going to Madame Janettes since 2002 and always ordered "Gruoper Delight" . Loved the fish and the presentation of the beautiful fresh salad and always looked forward to going there. This January, my favourite meal consisted of a small piece of fish and what appeared to be a small bagged arugula salad with 2 halved grape tomatoes. So disappointing!!!! For $28 there wasn't a lot there. Wow. Thinking they ran out of the regular salad I asked and was told the chef had decided to change things. I don't think we will be returning. So sad.
Fun and delicious
We loved the seating and service we received. The cost was what we had expected but the most pleasant surprise was the choice of hot sauce we requested. I enjoyed them both so much that I purchased several bottles of each. Some for myself and some for close friends. I had read mixed reviews of the restaurant before going, so I was a little apprehensive. However, I was very pleased with the overall experience. The waiters were friendly, helpful and made extra effort to ensure our satisfaction.
Our 14th Year - still a favorite!
This was our 14th year at Madame Janette, and it's still our favorite restaurant on the island. We generally eat there twice during each trip, but this year we only visited once, as explained below.
When they first opened, their prices were half that of other restaurants. Sadly (for us, not them), they now charge the "market price" for their appetizers and entrees, but it's well worth it.
Almond Grouper is one of their signature dishes, and I look forward to eating it every year. Rack of lamb is also great. Salads are very big and fresh.
The restaurant is outdoors, so dress in comfortable clothing.
About half of the restaurant is open to the sky, so if it rains, there is a big problem. Fortunately, it rarely rains in Aruba for more than a few minutes, so in 14 years we have never gotten wet. However, we noted that it rained about an hour before our scheduled second visit during this holiday trip, so we called them and asked what to expect. "At least an hour delay in your seating", they told us, and we still need to show up on time to claim our original reservation, and then wait an hour. I don't blame them for this. The number of no-shows at all restaurants is very high, so they need to be strict. Since our original reservation was for 9 PM, we opted to cancel and go elsewhere. The rating in this review was for our first visit during this
trip. Just be aware that an outdoor restaurant is subject to the weather, and be thankful that the weather in Aruba is usually perfect!
I have visited Aruba yearly beginning in 2009. My first visit to Madame Janette was October 2012 and I was incredibly impressed with the entire evening. I again returned on October 15, 2013 and had another perfect 10 meal. I left the restaurant last evening mad at myself for missing this place (despite being told how good it was) during my first 3 visits to Aruba.
Aruba hosts many excellent restaurants and Madame Janette is certainly one of the best.
If you're in Aruba and you truly enjoy excellent food, this is one restaurant you must visit.
It's a keeper
Ate here for the first time recently. The food was very good as was the service. Staff was very friendly including our waitress Suzie. The restaurant has a quaint backyard feel to it which gives it a kind of warm and welcoming vibe. We'll be back next year.
We have been going to Madam Janettes every year for 8 years. We make reservations in advance and they are ALWAYS accommodating. The food is delicious and we have never been disappointed. I recommend this restaurant highly....
We always dine here on our first full day on the island. We were promptly seated in the garden near the singer. Service was quick, attentive and flawless! No long waits for anything. We shared Bang Bang Shrimp and then Burgerloin for me and Almond Grouper for DW. Finished with Coconut Cake for me and coffee for DW. Perfect meal.... Mme J's has never disappointed us at all. This year the service was exceptionally good. Always an A+!
This our first time to Aruba and Madame Janette was recommended by a jeweler in town. Absolutely great food! The Sea Bass was great and the surf and turf was worth the price. The wait staff was outstanding and took great care of us. Great food, great atmosphere and we go again.
We just visited Aruba for my 25th time & have gone to Madaam Janette's as often as possible. I visited it 3 times this year. My wife & I feel there is no other restaurant that has everything you would want in a restaurant like this restaurant. The Almond encrusted grouper was fantastic & the service was also FANTASTIC. Great team work!! I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone! Thanks for the great time there and see ya all next year. Thanks Susan for the chocolate souffle!
Still the best on the island
Best restaurant on the island, hands down. This was visit number 14 for us and it is the still the most consistent restaurant on the island. Great atmosphere along with great food. We had the Leek soup and Goulash soup. Both made perfectly. For our main course we had the Vienna Schnitzel(best on the island) and Cordon Blue. Being the best restaurant on the island, their prices are in line with the other top restaurants in Aruba.
Excellent as always
It has been two years since we were last in Aruba & one of the first things we did upon getting settled was to ask the concierge to make a reservation at our favorite restaurant, Madame Janette. Once again, we were not disappointed! We had the crab cakes for appetizers and ordered the almond crusted grouper along with the au gratin potatoes. My wife had the white asparagus and said it was fabulous. Everything was excellent as it always has been. In addition to a most delicious meal, we were surprised with a complimentary dessert that was quite tasty too, since we casually mentioned it was our wedding anniversary. How thoughtful and a perfect ending to a great meal at a wonderful restaurant. We can't recommend it enough! Madame Janette's is clearly one of Aruba's finest.
We have gone there every other year for at least 12 years....It's our favorite restaurant on the island. I was surprised it did not make the top 10. I will try one or two of the others on the list, but we WILL RETURN to Madame Janettes !
BEST MEAL ON THE ISLAND
We have been going to Madame Janette's for years.Janis is the best server ever.She is so kind,we go twice a year once is always on my husband Cesar's birthday,Janis makes the evening so special.The food is to die for,we have had just about everything on the menu you can't go wrong with the almond crusted grouper,the porton is larger than the plate it is served on.The pork schnitzel with tomato,onion and cheese is so delicious and you have enough leftover for next day lunch.The desserts are unlike anything you have ever had,this year we had a brownie with cracker jack ice cream,and another dessert like a bread pudding both were unbelieveable.I have to say a great big thanks to Janis for making our meals so unforgetable.See you next year !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Still our Favorite
We just went, March 2013
We have been dining at Madame's for years now. Each visit to Aruba, we go 2-3 times. We love it. You can ask to sit near the music, when making reservations. We do.
The staff couldnt be nicer. Sean, Chris, everyone there, outstanding.
Love their salads, their breads with sweet onions, their shrimp, fish dishes, oh and the Madame Janett's potaotes! yummy!! and my fav..........rack of lamb.
Still the best place to dine in Aruba. Cant wait to go back in November.
Worst Experience in Aruba in 12 visit's
Hearing a lot about this restaurant ....The experience of waiting 2 and quarter hours to be seated and served with rude service and Hostess that was not a very good lair, when we would be seated did not help, and That's with a 3 day ahead reservation......when the food finally arrived it was rushed service and the taste and quality was average..could had the same meal at any reservation on the island...That was my 12 visit to Aruba...the worst experience in all...This place I would not recommend to family or many friends who visit Aruba.....or on our 13th visit in Nov,2013 for two weeks..
This was our first visit back to Madame Janette's after taking a few years off.
Atmosphere here is very nice as long as you are not on the porch. The porch tends to be warmer, louder and some seats have a view of the service bar area. This is where we were seated this year and were not happy with it. We were only about 20 yards from the music and could not hear it. Frankly I'm not sure why they have live musicians as we've been here 5 times and only could hear them once from our seats.
The food is always very good and we were not disappointed this time either. My wife and I shared a special entree and it was great. They do charge you for sharing an entree but if you also get an appetizer sharing is a good way to go. Portions are very large here. My wife and I shared an appetizer then an entree and it was perfect.
The food was excellent. Ask to sit under the stars!!
I'm a little late on this review, as we last dined at MJ in October 2012. We have been to MJ our last 5 times to Aruba, and unfortunately this restaurant seems to be on a continual slide downward. One piece of advice...if you are going to this restaurant, be prepared to wait...and wait...and wait. The service is EXTREMELY slow, even for Caribbean standards. The upside is that I love the atmosphere in this restaurant, but that can only take you so far. We were eagerly anticipating the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer, but were highly disappointed with it...the shrimp used to be nice big juicy shrimp, but this time they were like what you'd expect from a Chinese Buffet - small and rubbery, but the sauce they were covered in was still pretty tasty...honestly, Bonefish's Bang Bang shrimp are now wayyyy better than MJ's, sad to say. I ordered the Mahi Mahi special and my husband ordered a steak. I very seldom send food back, but the Mahi Mahi was so bad, that I couldn't bare to take more than a few bites. I spoke to the waitress about it, she apologized, and the chef came out to speak to me, and he was very kind and understanding...they took my meal off the bill and comp'ed us a dessert. I have a feeling I wasn't the only one sending that entree back that night! My husband's steak was to die for though, so I think I will try that if we go back next time. All said, it was a disappointing experience...it's sad to see this once great restaurant continuing to decline.
did not improve
We stop going to MJ a few years ago when the quality sharply went down. Decided to try it again based on better reviews. Should not have done that. It's a lovely setting, but the place is probably too big for a kitchen. We were waiting for such a long time for virtually everything that the management rewarded us with a free desert. Our waiter and a busboy were very nice but it did not compensate for a quality of food that was mediocre.
There are much better choices.
Our 13th Year - still a favorite!
The recent reviews have been mixed. We've been coming here at Christmas time since they opened and it's still our favorite. That said, it's not perfect.
We are picky at home and don't give out high scores easily. This year's
'10' for food is based on what we ordered. I'm not sure that all dishes are equally good. The almond crusted grouper is one of their signature dishes, and it was outstanding, as usual. We have our favorite waiter, and we asked for him and got a big friendly greeting and outstanding service. I noticed some of the other staff looked like they were having trouble keeping up and dealing with the Christmas eve tumult.
We had a second meal a week later and one of the 4 of us had just a mediocre fish (not the grouper!). We had the same waiter, so service was great.
We rate it as we experienced it, but with another waiter and different food choices, you might not be so pleased. I think they are having trouble with
the huge seatings. Restaurants are fragile. They need to pay better attention to staff in the front and back end and improve consistency.
You better watch out...
We have been coming down to Aruba for Christmas for years, and Madame Janette's has been a favorite for just as long. The food had always been good, and the service acceptable.
Last year we noticed a downturn on the service, and this year will be our last.
Madame Janette's has made the capitalistic decision to mass produce, and squeeze as many people in during the holiday week as possible. And at those prices, who can blame them?
Our entrees were fair to good, our main course was practically inedible (they reheated pre-prepared dishes... they charge you $7 if you change a veggie you may like, or a side dish. Our plates for all of the same three dinners were scalding hot, and the food was no where near as hot). Desserts were poor.
The service was not as good as the food.
Overall, this is not acceptable no matter what time of year it is, again, especially for the prices they charge.
Until they decide to foregoing trying to serve 700 people in one night, and they begin refocusing on the quality of their food and service, I will no longer risk my money there. I would rather play the slots.
If you are on Aruba when it is NOT a holiday... I guess it is okay to go... but otherwise, caveat emptor.
WE had dinner at Madame Janette's two weeks ago when we were in Aruba. It was highly recommended on all of our friends lists. The food was exquisite and delicious. The service started out a little slow but the 2nd server picked it up and was very good. I would definitely go back on our next excursion to Aruba. Some people we met the week we were down in Aruba had said that MJ had been not up to par over the last few times they had been there, service wise. But we found after a rocky start it ended okay.