A place worth mentioning here is the beautiful Waikokopu cafe that overlooks a gorgeous pond at the Watangi Treaty House Museum. The views from the dining tables are amazing, however, the food and drinks are way overpriced. For someone with a low budget, this place is not worth it.
Mum and I came here because we were given a voucher (buy a meal get one free) from our motel. Also our host at the motel recommended it personally. I believe this is a franchise.
We were welcomed warmly and not just by the fire, and the service was very good. The owner came to talk with us bringing some of our drinks and really wanted to know what we thought. I gave him my opinion of my meal and the one fault I found with it and he was eager to listen.
We had planned to go back the next night but I got back late from a tip to Cape Reinga.
Favorite Dish: I had a Kebab Plate - lots of different meats and seafood on skewers served with different sauces. It was delicious and well presented on a wooden board but this was unfortunately my one fault - my meal got cold too quickly.
My mother had a steak with mushrooms and said it was beautifully cooked.
We were taken by the position of "35º South" perched over the water at the main wharf complex at Paihia. An interesting hexagonal shape, the building features a 60,000 litre salt water aquarium containing local fish species which adds to the seafood bias of the menu. As the owners espouse, "Paihia Aquarium Restaurant, 35˚ South is more than just any Restaurant; it provides a unique dining experience over the water...our cuisine focuses on fresh seafood and Northland produce, it consists of sumptuous meals, with entrées that would entice every taste bud and mains to compliment them, the sweet treats to conclude will leave a lasting memory…."
Entrees: a range of twelve ($ 8.5 – $18.50) including oysters, fish, calamari, mussels, venison, carpaccio of beef.
Mains: eight choices (average price $28.00) including fish, chicken, steak, lamb shanks, pork cutlet, prawn & calamari linguini and 1kgs seared garlic prawns to share for $69.50
Kids menu: five choices $8.5 .Kids deserts 4 @ $5.50
Vegetarian and gluten-free meals available. Bar snacks are also available and they open for breakfast.
Drinks list is good with 6 sparkling, White wine sixteen( all by glass $8 –$11.50) $32-52 by bottle.
Red wine fourteen (11 by glass $ 8-9) by bottle $32 – 52
There are 5 beers on tap $6-7 and stocks of A dozen brands in bottle $6.5 – 7
Being a bar there is a big list of spirits and cocktails plus other beverages.
Favorite Dish: Madam chose to go without entree seeing we had had a big lunch and opted for a main: Catch of the Bay ($25.50) consisting of three fish fillets, pan fried in beer batter, w fries, crisp green salad , lemon & tartare sauce. This was served on a plate as wide as a cricket pitch; a serving most generous indeed.
He had to have eyes bigger than his belly and chose the entree of Coriander, chilli & lime rubbed Calamari $16.50 just to confirm that calamari can be cooked as good in New Zealand as it is in Australia. Most enjoyable but not quite as succulent as the best. This was followed by fish with proscuitto served on asian greens: another big serving - more than I could manage.
Everything was beautifully cooked and served. Staff were friendly and attentive arranging a table-side heater without any prompting.
Romantic over-the-water location hard to find anywhere in the world.
Possibly the top eating spot in the Bay of Plenty region, Salt Brasserie certainly sets a high standard. Located on the sea front at Paihia it is located at the hub of the Bay’s tourist activities.
No doubt during the height of Summer it really rocks. Surprisingly, our visit on a coolish damp evening well after the holiday season found us sharing a cosy room( main room divided by doors) with thirty or forty other discriminating diners. Ultra modern building design, flash décor, woven chairs, pine-topped tables and lots of down lights create a welcoming atmosphere.
We were offered a choice of the $50 three course menu (choice of two entrees and mains plus dessert) or the a la carte menu. We chose the latter option as we are not big eaters and rarely opt for dessert.
There was a choice of six starters ($11.00 to $25.00) The least expensive: Soup of the Day. The most expensive : Seafood Tasting Plate.
Mains (choice of eight) covered all main food groups. Difficult decisions had to be made as they all sounded so good. Most were $33.00. Less expensive was fish of the day and the pasta dish ($25.00). Four side dishes ($6.00) include salad, fries, steamed vegs.
Four desserts ($13.50) and Northland & European Cheese selection ($18.50) are available.
The wine list is extensive and features North island wines as well as other New Zealand selections and International choices. One has a choice of two dozen white wines in the bottle ($39 to $60) nine of which come by the glass (average price $10.50) Twenty four reds ($39.00 to $90.00) eight by glass ($10 -$15). Two beers are on tap ($6) and there is a choice of bottled beer: a dozen or so ($7)
The staff were better than good. …very helpful and knowledgeable.
Disabled access is very good and there is a disabled toilet.
Plenty of parking along the waterfront.
Favorite Dish: We started with a complementary amuse bouche of garlic roasted vegetable soup on couscous topped with white wine foam…very tasty & texturally interesting.
Madam chose Home Cured Aoraki Salmon for entrée. He had the Tempura Tiger Prawns with salad leaves, daikon, cucumber and carrot (both $18.50). Both dishes were delicious.
Our mains included grilled Fish of the Day served with chips and salad ($24) and Peking Duck, bok choy w/ sweet potato & coriander dumplings, sweet chilli & soy dressing ($33.00). We could not fault the mains - both a visual delight and a taste sensation.
We chose to drink New Zealand wines by the glass.
All in all, a very satisfying meal in pleasant surroundings with excellent wait-staff. Chef Neil Brazier and his wife, Nicola, who looks after front of house, have to be congratulated for their fine establishment.
La Scaletta is a licensed pizzeria that also does pasta and salad dishes. In 2004 the pizza I had was absolutely delicious... probably the best I've ever had! Service is excellent and the barman is very skilled. One member of our group wanted us all to try a cocktail the barman had never made before... he turned out five masterpieces!
I visited in 2006 and I can report that the pizza is just as good!
Favorite Dish: The Tandoori Chicken Pizza.... yuuuuum!
There are an abundance of great restaurants in Paihia and Russell, specialising of course in Seafood.
We went to `Saltwater Cafe`. The atmosphere was great, the service good the food is described as 'modern New Zealand'. The specialise in fresh seafood, lamb and beef.
Favorite Dish: I especially liked the seafood platter that they did for two. This gave you a little bit of everything to try including TuaTua fritters. Unfortunately its only open for dinner.
The are licensed and BYO. Reasonably priced.
Another night of table shuffleboard at the Pipi Bar was incredibly relaxing. The drinks are inexpensive and the atmosphere is perfect. We spoke with people planning day hikes to remote parts of the island as well as others who had just flown in from Thailand and Bali. The weather, even at night was just the right temperature – cargo pants and a shirt was the typical attire for the men.
The Sidewalk Restuarant does the biggest tastiest fry up ive ever seen and im a bit of a master when it comes to gresy fat fry ups! You just cannot miss this place for a very very good feed!