Doug C. said: "The very best Japanese Restaurant in Auckland. Exquisitely presented range of delightful cuisine in a delightful warm and ambient restaurant. The service is impeccable. We have been to this establishment many times, both before…" read more »
We went here for a family dinner, and I was a little nervous about it because I had read some reviews about the restaurant and its service, but we were all very very surprised.
Maybe a lot has changed since some of the other reviews, but I could not find fault with the food or the service. It was excellent, and I would certainly recommend and come back here again.
My husband and I bought a voucher to eat at the restaurant. We brought two guests with us too. We were given a good table with a lovely view of the ocean. Service was very good- friendly and efficient. My only minor criticism would be that one of the starter options was arancini balls, which also appeared our steak mains. That was odd. But the food as a whole was excellent and presentation was very nice too. I would definitely come back.
We went here for dinner Saturday evening having previously made a telephone reservation when we were asked if we had a voucher – we told the person we didn’t and requested a table at the front of the restaurant by the windows and this was agreed. On arrival at the restaurant we were directed to the back and on discussion with several people, explained we did’n't have a voucher and were then seated in the middle of the restaurant not at the front as requested.
I ordered the salmon wrapped in crispy rice paper. While the rice paper was crispy on the top, the bottom was inedible the rice paper being hard and chewy. It “sat” on a vichyssoise salad which consisted on boiled potatoes scattered about the plate with boiled eggs on which were placed anchovies. A representation of a vichyssoise salad I guess. My husband had pork scallopini which in itself was tasty but there was so much happening on the plate it was hard to determine what the flavours actually were and it came with bok choy!!!
The service was good but when a customer sitting at a table of 4 complained because their meals didn’t all arrive at the same time, in fact the last meal arrived a good 5 minutes after the first meal, the manager/owner did not go to the table to apologise even though he witnessed the compliant – the waiter had to deal with it.
We wouldn’t go back. There are so many good restaurants in our city, why would we for the sake of the view. The owners of this establishment need to up the stakes and serve good food to go with the view – good simple food with good clean flavours. Either re-train the chef or get a new one.
I have been here twice now the first time myself and 2 friends ordered separately my meal arrived a full 45 min before my friends meals I had finished my pancakes which were both cold and dry long before either had received theirs so i had to spend the rest of the time watching them eat.
I decided to give them a second chance today since we were in the area and while the service and wait time were somewhat better the meal was rather disappointing I paid 26 dollars for a coffee and salad which while a little steep is fine assuming you get a generous serving, my salad consisted of 4 small slices of chicken stuck on top of some mesculn and a few giant wedges of barely ripe tomato. I won’t be giving them a 3rd chance.
We went to this restaurant on a deal voucher. My complaint is that it appeared that all the customers on voucher deals were put into the back section of the restaurant, away from the gorgeous sea view which is the restaurant’s big feature. On the one hand, I can understand the restaurant wanting to save the ‘good seats’ for the customer’s paying full price, but on the other hand, the whole point of vouchers is to encourage new customers who in turn, will hopefully become repeat customers. Treating a voucher customer like a second-class citizen and shoving them out the back, isn’t really likely to leave a good impression!
That said, excellent food and great service, thanks to Josh. Also, a special note to the waiter (whose name I did not get) who was very observant about empty wine glasses, ensuring they weren’t empty for long! Yes, that’s an up-sell for the restaurant, but there is nothing worse than an empty wine glass and no wait staff in sight.
Food was good, but staff need retraining. The waitress was abrupt when speaking with us, maybe she was having a bad day. I politely asked if our outside table could be wiped as it was gritty with sand only to be told that they are wiped down when they are put out and we were the first to use it! It was three hours later and a windy day, of course it was going to need a wipe. She said she would be back before our meals to take care of it! So we sat there with our drinks not enjoying the experience of grating the table top every time we replaced the glass.
My partner ordered their lunch special off the board, I had the Caesar salad minus the croutons which they forgot to add, however it was very good. The wine list was varied and the coffee was good but was less than lukewarm!
And no, the waitress did not return until after another one brought out our meals, so we had to sit there balancing plates and glasses while she wiped the table, and no, they weren’t busy – wonder why.
Unfortunately I must add to the plethora of terrible reviews for the Esplanade. This saddens me, as I live in the area and it was once my favourite restaurant – when it had different owners, apparently. I ordered the lamb, which I almost always do when eating out. It was tasteless and rubbery, I have never had lamb like it. The waitress never asked how our meals were (which should be commonplace), so I flagged her down eventually and sent it back to the kitchen. I have never sent a meal back to the kitchen! The waitress asked if I wanted a different meal, and I declined. At the end of our dinner, I went to pay and saw the lamb was on the docket. I then proceeded to argue with the owner for 10 minutes, stating that I was not paying for a meal when I had had two pieces of poor quality lamb (one was for my friend to try, and I did not touch the rest of the vegetable stack)!. He tried to tell me I shouldn’t order lamb if I didn’t like lamb, that he has me on camera, that there was a number of different sauces to make it tasty (obviously to cover up the horrible taste and texture of the lamb!), that the waitress asked me if I wanted something different (so they’d have to make me a new free meal but make me pay for my poor original one?), and generally being unbelievably rude – all in front of other customers and people waiting in line to pay. If I was told I would have to pay for my meal, then I suppose I would have ate it! In my experience, when a customer is unhappy at a restaurant, they will do whatever they can to rectify the situation. I am so disappointed – and I will be telling everyone I know not to bother with this place. It seems the odd person has had a pleasant dining experience here – but in my opinion, it’s not worth the gamble!
We purchased a deal voucher for this restaurant.
My overall experience with my partner was good, and very great waitresses. Very kind and friendly.
However I was a bit disappointed to see that my entree was also a part of my main? Very strange.
I ordered Classic Arancini balls for my entree, and surprisingly, it was a part of my main (Prime Fillet steak wrapped in prosciutto), there was no mushroom risotto cake, and was very much the same Arancini balls that I had in my entree…
The steak was cooked to perfection. I would pay another visit for the steak; but please, don’t include the entree in the main
We had a voucher for the Esplanade, went to the Esplanade in Devenport only to fine it was the wrong place, so rang them to see if we could still come and dine despite being one hour late.
They said it was not a problem.
Our waiter could not have been more hospitable. Sevice was excellent, didn’t have to wait long between courses, food was some of the best I’ve ever tasted from a set menu. Considering the amount we paid for the voucher it was way above expectations
We live in West Auckland and we would happily travel back and pay full price.
It looks like an unfavorable review is the norm here which is a shame as they have such an idyllic spot which should assure them of great success if only they could match the location and view with service and attention to detail.
We popped in here after a long walk and felt delighted to find a vacant table outside. I went in to order and had to ask one of the three people behind the bar ignoring me to serve me! I wonder how long a less confrontational person would have had to wait! I noticed that they didn’t give me a number as I also noticed a young waitress trying to find the owner of a flat white which she eventually tried to give my husband. When questioned as to why they didn’t give a number I was told that it was more professional to not have numbers on tables!! I saw the same waitress struggling to find the owners of her next order so clearly that’s not working.
There are no free newspapers or even paid ones to enjoy with your Sunday brunch and apart from the young waitress the others are all Asian or non European and seem to hardly speak or understand English. My green tea was served in a ridiculous shaped glass that had more to do with Irish coffee and was a tea bag with limited water and at $4.50 quite a price.
I acknowledge that I am a judgemental, demanding person and here I have not judged them on their food as I didn’t have any, but on the quality of their customer service and their attention to detail. It was all lacking and would indicate to me that were I to go and have a meal there I would not have a good experience and be disappointed – so I won’t!
I just went to this place today with my parents seeing that we have been living in this area for the past 10 years but we never dined in any of the local restaurants so we decided to check this place out.
When we entered the restaurant, it took a while for one of the waitresses to come and greet us and take us to our seats. Once we had ordered food, it took a very long time before our dishes arrived. However once we saw the dishes, we thought that it was worth the wait as it looked delicious.
However when we dug into the food, we realised that both our dishes (both were pasta) were extremely salty and I was unable to finish my meal because everything was just extremely salty and it was as if they had used water from across the road or something.
I’m unsure as to whether I would come back again. I saw another table with the soup of the day and that looked delicious but I don’t know if that would be too salty for us as well…
Both my partner and I, our family and friends have all dined at The Esplanade and had the same terrible experience! None of us have ever gone back.
My partner and I even live on the Esplanade and refuse to go there! How terrible is that!
The service is slow, food is way overpriced and the staff which served us were inexperienced.
I hope they have changed/ fixed a few issues since I last dined as it has great potential due to the location.
We ate at the Esplanade for lunch with a group of 11. We could not fault the food or the service. All our meals were excellent, the service was great and the overall price for our group was very reasonable. We will definitely be back.
Ate there May 2012 wedding anniversary really enjoyed it went back daughters birthday used a voucher in June was sat near the back door ate our meals with coats on but food was good going back this week so its not all bad
We bought a deal voucher for Eat all the prawns with sides of fries, bread and salad. Just before we went for the meal I had look their reviews but our experience was positive. We were served straight away and with 5 minutes our food was on the table. The prawns were good though the Australian wild prawns in the city on another voucher deal were better. Waitress kept coming and checking our plates and bringing out prawn bowl after another as were dug into them. Had a good feast in the 2 hours allotted. Well done staff at Esplanade.
Worst service of all time. Took forever to take our order, I asked for snapper, my friend ordered the lamb burger, a couple coffees and a beer. At 12:30 on a Sunday they had run out of the snapper and lamb, and 20 minutes later we were told the coffee machine was broken. I asked for Becks, after another 15 minutes watched the waiter pour macs gold, and then argued with me when I told him it didn’t look or taste like the Becks my friend had ordered. Food took forever, they forgot the spinach on my eggs benedict. Appalling, will not be going back.
Put it this way. If I could give this place no stars I would. Having been in the hospitality industry for nearly 10 years this was absolutely the WORST dining experience I have had, and normally I will let most things slide as I know what its like working in hospo.
Three of us decided to dine here for lunch, seeing it is in a gorgeous location.
We were seated promptly (they were pretty empty) but then forgotten about for the next 20 minutes until we had to wave someone down to take our order.
After ordering we waited for a good 20 minutes before we asked where our drinks / coffees were, they had forgotten them, not a good start. A few minutes later they come back and tell us the coffee machine is broken! We then proceeded to order a couple of beers and a juice.. another 15 minute wait, another time we had to ask where they were, the waiter then proceeded to pour the wrong beers (we saw him pour it from the wrong tap) then proceeded to argue with us that it was the right one?!
Once we got the drinks the waiter THEN decided to come over and tell us that two of the meals we ordered were unable to be made as they had run out of certain ingredients! By this stage it had been nearly an hour since we had ordered!
After changing our orders, we then had to wait another 30 minutes to get the food. They had forgotten half of the ingredients on one of the meals! When brought to the waiters attention he looked at us blankly then apologised. The others were fairly small and with little meat.
We left very disappointed!
Had a deal voucher for value of $330 . The limited menu that was offered was limited. The quality of the food was so poor that we struggle to give this place even one star. As it was the voucher cost $130 but did not even supply us with $80 worth of food. We left hungry and disappointed.
Even the waitperson said the chef uses smaller portions and lower quality meat for the voucher users. To us this defeats the purpose of the voucher system which is to entice new customers.
Whilst the decor was pleasant and the service was friendly, the food was a major let down.
Our recommendation to you all is to save your money and eat elsewhere. Our prediction is that the current chef and owner will not have a business in 6 months which is a real shame as it has the foundations to be something great for local diners.
The restaurant around the corner offers tasty food to die for……that’s where we will be going next time.
We went out last night and had a fantastic meal here. Had read some reviews before and wasn’t sure how it would be but we were impressed. Our table of 4 had different mains each and the presentation was outstanding and the food tasted divine. Desserts were wonderful too.Very attentive wait staff – almost a bit much – but better that than not being attended to!
Would thoroughly recommend.
After reading the below reviews we were hesitant but also had a voucher to redeem so we went along. As we walked in the greeting was bright and cheerful. The waitress was busy but acknowledged us.
Portion sizes weren’t huge but were more than adequate for us with no wastage.
The food was excellent quality and presented beautifully. Plenty of chicken in the salad with a lovely dressing. The steak was a decent size, tender and cooked as requested. The second meal consisted of two chicken thighs which were wrapped in plenty of bacon and delicious.
Dessert was light and presented beautifully.
We couldn’t fault the waitress who was attentive but not overbearing. The whole atmosphere was very pleasant and our evening was most enjoyable.
Well we were totally ripped off…It was a special they advertised, 3x course meal for two(half price) supposedly $130.00. Got for $60.0o..
Ordered chicken salad first, we rec’d a little salad? With 1x piece of thinly sliced chicken (25mmx25mmdia) I kid you not… Then we got our mains, steak and chips, very small steak with 16 chips under it and 1x very small mushroom on top (dia 10mm), there were 4x of us and 2 of them didn’t get any mushrooms.. Then we got the pud..Average ..
The waitress was in our face all night and had trouble with the English (that was bearable) she had to learn… We ended up going to Viaduct to finish the evening off as we were hungry…
Over priced and underfed, even the people at the table next to us said the same thing… They were shocked…
And the kitchen door backs onto the toilets and was open all night, very untidy in there( dirty).
Would not go again…
Pleased we did not read the reviews before dining at this restaurant. Service could not be faulted. Greeted and seated within a minute, followed by another waiter placing napkins on laps and asking what type of water we would like. This service continued throughout the evening. Food, set three course menu, could not be faulted. A lovely dining experience.
I booked a dinner reservation for my parent’s anniversary. I received a confirmation email saying that the time has been booked.
What I am not happy about Esplanade is that they told my parents that the time was not booked. Not only that, they were extremely rude to my parents just because their English wasn’t their first language. Talk about racist!
I am furious about how the staff and even the managers could not deal with the situation well. I do not recommend this place and I hope they learn from this.
My boyfriend and I drove past this restaurant tonight and decided to stop for dinner. The place is lovely and very nicely decorated, and the outside views are gorgeous. We ordered the Spicy Chicken Pizza, which was nice but kind of small and nothing special really – certainly not worth $22. In the end I was satisfied, but I wouldn’t say you get value for money here.
Today I wanted to take my wife and daughter for brunch and enjoy the view of the beautiful eastern beach in the morning so decided on the esplande. When we arrived we stood around until the waitresses could seemly be bothered in seating us which was not a good start, there was no drinks offered at this stage as i would expect and we had to wait 30minutes to be asked if we were ready to order where we then ordered our drinks which took around 20minutes, we then ordered our meals which we had a long wait for,for the cost of the eggs Benedict I would have expected two eggs but received one, this dish my wife enjoyed, I ordered the chicken pasta which was watery and the chicken seemed boiled?, overall very average food and bad service from people who seemed like we and other customers were a pain for them. We won’t go back.
We ate here on a Thursday night, atmosphere and decor of the restaurant is nice, waitress was friendly but probably hasn’t received any training in offering a more refined (typical problem in suburban restaurants – although they charge city prices) service. My husband’s wine by the glass Merlot was well and truly oxidised, that bottle must have been opened many days before and left standing out, it was replaced by a just opened bottle which was as it should be. The steak that was ordered medium rare and more like medium to well done and the food took ages to arrive, my Moroccan lamb was delicious. overall a nice evening out but they’ll need to up their game and service a bit.
Tonight was our second visit; having been a little disappointed the first time, we thought we would give it a second try. The opinions we reached on our first vist were confirmed the second time around. The service was slow….half an hour wait beyween our entrees and mains when the restaurants was not that busy was really not acceptable…and a long time to clear plates. The WORST part was yet to come, however. My partner ordered the seared tuna(which was at least seared this time, unlike the last time where it was cooked all the ay through). This time the tuna came with the added free bonus of a piece of plastic…not gladwrap as they tried to tell us but full-on hard plastic. Because this was discovered near the end of the meal and most of it had been eaten(apart from thelettuce stalk included on the salad) the best they could offer us was a free coffee!! Hello?? Plastic in the food equates free coffee. After much negotiation they upped the offer to their platinum plus discount….a whole $20. Will never ever be going back there.
The birthday girl had dined here before and recommended The Esplanade for her celebration. We had made a group booking in advance for lunch on Saturday. The young man who showed us to our table was grumpy and rude – we were 5 minutes late and 3 of our guests were unable to join us. There were 3 different menus on our table and it was half an hour before we were offered drinks (including water for our table)and on enquiring were told only one menu was the correct menu for lunch! 20 minutes later we received our drinks including two luke warm coffees. At 1pm, 55 minutes after arriving, we again had to ask for some service. The ‘grumpy’ waiter apologised for the delay, stating there were only two staff on and it was hellishly busy, took our order. Another one hour passed (2pm) and our meals were delivered to our table. The fish burger, sourdough bun was very cold and only one half was toasted. There was no lettuce or avocado, just cucumber which wasn’t even mentioned on the menu,and tomato. Wedges had a ‘stale oil’ taste. Chicken salad, only 5 small strips of chicken on top of mesculin salad, hardly worth $21.00! And this is just two of the 10 meals ordered. Our table was only cleared of the dirty dishes when we asked for this to be done and the birthday cake was delivered. It was now 3pm. We then had to ask for plates, serviettes and cutlery to eat the cake. No offer of further drinks, ie. coffee. Meals were overpriced for what was on the plate. I do have to say the other two staff we had dealings with were pleasant and friendly. $383.00 and 3 1/2 hours later, we left very disappointed, and will not be recommending or returning.
Went Monday night 25th July 2011, the meal and service were excellent. But restaurant was soooo cold!! A heat pump or curtains for winter dining would do wonders for this place.
We went to this restaurant 11th July and the food was fantastic. I had the Snapper special and it was superb. One of my companions had the $20 special and I had a taste of his pumpkin soup which was very tasty. My other companion had the fish and chips and was very pleased with it. The waitress was the high point of the night. Very friendly but professional. The only slight criticism I have is they needed to turn the heating up a little, otherwise a lovely night out and we will definitely be back and will probably make it our restaurant of choice. Highly recommended.
Pop up here quite often – nice place to have a drink after time spent on a beach.
Modern look, nice views, especially in a morning and day time.
I found the staff very friendly. In one occasion we were drinking (not too much ) quite late and didn’t realise we were last visitors. However no one offered us to get out They closed the bar as soon we went out, they waited for us but didn’t show.
BTW, “Man O’ War” wine they offer is very, very good.
Coffee is also good.
The food was fantastic and I would offer a 4star for this. However, the service was the worst we have ever experienced in Auckland, it was as though the waitress “had” to serve us. We were put in a corner on top of another couple, when the rest of the restaurant was relatively clear. The waitress took a very long time to take our drinks order and then even longer before taking our meal orders, she didn’t tell us the specials (overheard from another table, luckily), and the food was thrown at us. It was such a shame that the service let down our overall experience, thus I am giving only one star.
Several of our group were cold and found the lighting too dim. We were seated towards the back of the restaurant.
The curtain over the doorway to the toilets is ineffective in keeping the rear of the restaurant warm because as soon as the door to the outside is opened by staff, a cold breeze enters. The bar heater nearby didn’t help.
The toilets left a lot to be desired in terms of cleanliness and general upkeep.
The food however was as tasty and as well-presented as always.
Great place for breakfast with the morning sun coming across the sea.
The menu has the normal range of items that you would expect and the coffee is good. Meals are large, filling and nicely presented.
The restaurant layout is modern and bright.
Well worth the trip to try some place different.
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