Ima Bistro

4_half star rating 21 reviews

Telephone 09 300 7252

57 Fort St
Auckland Central
Auckland City

International, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Breakfast
Breakfast: Mon - Fri 7am - 12 noon
Lunch: Mon - Fri 12 noon - 2.30pm
Dinner: Mon - Sat 5:30/6pm - 10pm
Now serving only line caught snapper!

Hello IMA friends we would like to let you know that from now on we serve line caught snapper. A more sustainable method, fishing...

Announced 5 months ago
Provided by business


A Metro top 50 restaurant: “Ima Bistro is generous in every sense: of spirit, serve, colour and flavour.” (for 2012 & 2011). The delicious & fresh Mediterranean/Israeli cuisine has influences ranging from Greece to Dubai! Food is made in-house on the day to create the freshest quality possible. Owner-operator, Yael, who was recently left “absolutely buzzing” after celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay chose to eat his lunch at her Israeli restaurant*, is bringing back her breakfast menu & hours, in addition to Lunch and Dinner! The Ima Cuisine philosophy is: “good food creates happiness” Plus, you will now be able to enjoy a longer lunch till 2:30pm. The dinner menu will then start at 6pm and finish later at 10pm, to allow those in the city to stop in straight after work, and for show-goers to grab a meal before or after a Vector Arena or Maidment Theatre show. Dine-in or Takeaway. See you soon! *(NZ Herald 6/3/12) From 2014, Ima Bistro now serves line caught snapper. A more sustainable method, fishing only from areas were it’s plentiful, the size of hook ensures the right size catch and if there are any undersize it’s returned alive to the sea unlike with trawling. Plus the quality is AMAZING, so it’s so so so much better!!


Photo of Ima Bistro
Sabich - an Israeli vegan dish made from roast eggplants and fried potatoes chickpeas tahini Israeli pickled chili

More Information

Bakeries, Restaurants
Pay & Display
Price Range:
Moderate, $15 - $25
Good For Groups:
Good For Children:
Cocktails, Spirits, Wine, Beer
Wheelchair Accessible:
Takes Reservations:
Dietary Restrictions:
Gluten-free, Halal, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free
Meals Served:
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Payment Types:
EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard
Seating For:
Outdoor Seating:

Reviews for Ima Bistro

5 star rating
by Paul B.
6th July 2014

Good food great night I would go again just for the Kaneffe dessert. Has the feeling of a rustic kitchen everybody out front where you can see and hear all. Had a quiet laugh as the owner used some color full language as a small problem occurred. Appreciated the at home feel

3 star rating
by Marla C.
9th June 2014

Pretty good salads; meat portions quite small (strange that the menu states the fish would feed two– no way!) ; lamb was good- but, again, not enough; extremely loud setting for dinner; servers are hit or miss. I wouldn’t rush back.

2 star rating
by Catherine
29th May 2014

I have been to Ima before several times but last night had an awful experience. I met an old friend for a catch up having booked by telephone for 6pm. The meal was ok, although the snapper had so many fish scales that for me, made it an unpleasant eating experience. At 8pm we were approached by the waitress who advised us that they needed our table for a second sitting and asked us to leave! When we looked horrified she asked if we were told this at the time of booking the table – I wasn’t. This experience completely ruined my evening. I have no problem with restaurants having two sittings as long as customers are informed of the fact – I should have been told at the time or booking and/or at arrival so that I could have made a choice to go elsewhere.

5 star rating
by Yzette V.
17th February 2014

This place is a must go! Outstanding food with a lot of flavour and enough to fill a hungry bunch. The waitress was patient and explained the meal selection to us in detail. The wine selection complimented the different flavours of the meal. Relaxed atmosphere and great service. Will definitely go back there and recommend to my friends.

4 star rating
by Diana
16th February 2014

Went for dinner with husband and experienced amazingly beautiful food at Ima. We thoroughly enjoyed the complimentary sparkling water, wine, shared 1/2 chicken with side dishes, potato chips, and a chocolate and hazelnut dessert. The variety of flavours in the side dishes are unforgettable. Even the tomato and aioli dips complimenting the chips tasted surprisingly great.
We were let down a bit by the services. Although friendly and had well explained the menu, the girl serving us missed an order, and after we finished the mains we waited quite a while before anyone noticed us to clean the table and for us to order dessert.

Overall, go for the food, I know we will again!

5 star rating
by Matt N.
15th February 2014

Absolutely a must go experience. Ima Restaurant was perfect for a Valentines meal, service was great and explained each meal so that us as novices could appreciate the different foods and culture. The food is by far the best selling point, I could not praise the food more, the tastes are exceptionable. I will be back and with more people to try their amazing food and meet the informative and passionate staff.

1 star rating
by Art
22nd January 2014

Went for a solo lunch last week to Ima Bistro. Waitress told me of the corn fritters as lunch special, I thought yes why not. It arrived after waiting 40 minutes. I had looked up at the staff earlier and waiter there shook his head and “it’s coming, it’s coming, they are making it from scratch”. Perhaps the kitchen staff had gone to harvest and husk the corn first i thought. On my plate arrived the most soggy fritters ever. It felt like I was eating scrambled eggs with bits of corn in it, along with mesclun leaves without any dressing and a bland chopped cucumber type salad. I got glares for asking for salt and pepper.Very disappointed as have been reading what a great place Ima was meant to be. The staff were very self-involved, they were all going to the Big Day Out for their work do and a lot of loud banter between them about that. Will not be going back neither as solo nor in multiples.

4 star rating
by David P.
13th January 2014

First time visiting for lunch, we felt the lunch menu was a little limited in choice however 2 out of 3 of us really enjoyed the Shakshuka – we will back to try other menu options in the future definitely.

5 star rating
by Steph G.
22nd November 2013

We walked in off the street on a Friday night (group of 6) and were seated immediately, we chose an outside table. The service was great, we enjoyed the music from the live band playing next door and started with a mixed platter to share…it was delicious! We each ordered a different meat for mains and then all shared our plates and the sensational side dishes that came with them. The food was AMAZING, I eat out several times a week and this has to be the best meal I’ve had in a long time. I plan on taking my husband and kids there this weekend as I’ve been craving the food ever since :)

5 star rating
by Geraldine T.
17th November 2013

Probably one of the best eating experiences Ive had in a long time. Small intimate restaurant – an abundance of flavorsome food and affordable. It was a great night and Ive recommended to many a friend since.

5 star rating
by Merrin G.
20th July 2013

Fabulous warm generous hospitality, I have been many times over the years and it has always been a pleasure. Beautiful fresh salads, lovely lamb, the fish was another high light, a great place for a group booking, we had a large group and were very well looked after, they certainly went the extra mile. A great consistent experience.

5 star rating
by Bridget M.
21st March 2013

Excellent restaurant. The lamb, salads, pate, and dessert with Gorgonzola/mozzarella/ and pistachios were delicious. Plus it offers a pleasant place to sit and more than accommodating staff. We had a flight to catch and they opened 30 mins early for dinner for us! Reasonably priced for what you get.

5 star rating
by Mel
20th October 2012

I adore this restaurant. It’s the only one in Auckland I go to regularly. The food is consistently great. Yael is extremely passionate and her food reflects that. The chicken liver pate is superb. I have to have it every time I go there. Another of my favourites is the brik, an out-of-this-world pastry a bit like a large won ton, stuffed with fresh tuna and lemon.The pastry is home made and you can tell. For a main course I often have the chicken breast which is succulent and delicious, especially the superb stuffing.

5 star rating
by Michelle w.
22nd August 2012

Wow! What a fantastic place! We celebrated my sister Doms birthday and the food was OUT OF THIS WORLD! The lamb was the best i have ever had and the chicken so full of flavor? The salad and veg were beautifully prepared and fresh produce makes such a huge difference to the meal. Will be back !

4 star rating
by Liv W.
12th June 2012

A delightful experience at this middle-Eastern bistro. My dear Israeli friend brought me here, and for a truely Israel experience, she recommended I try the Shakshuka: “Spicy slow roasted tomato with Moroccan merguez sausage and poached eggs. Served with toast.”

She said she makes it at home herself – for lunch, or breakfast, or dinner – any time of day. I thought it was like an Israeli version of of a very hearty Kiwi fry-up. But it comes in semi-liquified form, served in a deep frypan, and with eggs poaching and swimming in beautiful rich tomatoes. So you dip the toast into the mixture to load great gloops of runny golden egg yolk onto your hunks of bread.

Smiley, helpful service. A bohemian feel to the decor. I liked it.

4 star rating
by Alison M.
19th April 2012

Wonderful Middle Eastern food in cosy , homestyle surroundings. Generous portions which made my husband and teenage children very happy. Friendly waitress , convivial atmosphere.

2 star rating
by Amanda C.
24th January 2012

We had a meal here on Friday night following the restaurants review in Metro last year. We just walked in off the street and didn’t read the menu before taking a seat. The moment I did I wanted to leave because I thought it was terribly expensive for a cafe/bistro and we were the only people there.
My father and I order the stuffed chicken leg and my partner got the lamb. I think they were $31 each. The chicken itself was ok and had a lot of flavour when you incorporated the stuffing otherwise it was bland. The “sauce” it came sitting in and the couscous were incredibly watery and bland and needed a lot of salt and pepper.
The place was full when we left but I don’t think we’ll be returning as you can get some really tasty meals in Auckland for under $30 per person and they have some flavour!

Comment from Yael S. of Ima Bistro 26/01/2012   
The price of a meal reflects the cost of ingredients and labour in…    More »
5 star rating
by gianpaolo g.
4th April 2011

This Place really stands out from The average Cafes.

The food is exceptional. The mozzarella in carrozza is to’ die for. The Owner is very passionate. She is really
Into something extra ordinary. I loved every single bit…

Thank you

5 star rating
by Zeena
3rd May 2009

Very authentic and delicious flavour You can ever taste of Middle Eastern FOOD:)The Chef is very talented and the customer service is amazing!. Top Score!

5 star rating
by Ray Ray
19th March 2009

100/100…simply the best. food is divine, seating area is large, great customer service and of course they have my fave..argelieh!!!!

Write Review

Powered by