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Taiko Japanese Restaurant

4 star rating 41 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 8150610

460A New North Road, Besides Kingsland Station

5 PM to 10 PM (Tue-Sat), Mon & Sun Closed


Reviews for Taiko Japanese Restaurant

5 star rating
by Louisa Vickers
20 days ago

I went here on a date night, and absolutely loved the whole experience. The food was delicious, the service was the perfect combination of attentive, helpful, and non-invasive, and the atmosphere was great!

The food was the best part. I particularly enjoyed being able to order several small dishes to share, and that they would come out as soon as they were made by the kitchen. We tried the pork belly in miso soup and enjoyed it a lot, and the broccoli with sesame sauce was also really lovely.

On our way out the door all of the chefs said goodbye and thankyou, and had greeted us when we walked in. A brilliant place to eat out, with friendly staff and some really delicious food.

2 star rating
by Tfontani
one month ago

Tried this place during a family night out. Service is friendly and accommodating so that side of things cannot be faulted. However,on the whole, the pricing of the menu is out of kilter with the quality and portions provided. We ordered a medium sashimi plate, but noted that for the same price, we would normally get more. Their different sushi rolls were on the mean side when it came to the fillings. Pretty sure the spider roll had a half of crab in it. The salmon roll and tuna roll were standard. The highlights were the eel roll, beef tongue, and karaage. We left hungry despite a pretty empty wallet. A stray hair found embedded in a takoyaki ball sealed the verdict. We wouldn't be coming here again.

5 star rating
by Dacia Iggy Benson
2 months ago

Was here in the weekend with my partner. I ordered the lotus root, Japanese pickle and kumera tower. It was so tasty and they had lots of vegan options. My boyfriend ordered the calamari which was a generous portion and he enjoyed it very much.
The playlist was awesome and our waitress, tall and stunning, was very friendly and onto it.
Also their grape juice was awesome. 
Thanks for the lovely experience guys!

4 star rating
by Sarah
2 months ago

A cool, young and hip atmosphere! It definitely felt like a bar & restaurant with their music and dimmed lighting - just dark enough to feel relaxed and causal with your friends, workers or lovers.

We got a mix of sushi and sashimi for my family - sashimi was 2.5/5, most sushi dishes 3/5 with exception of x (the most expensive sushi dish that I can't remember the name of) was super delicious!

5 star rating
by Sides
2 months ago

My local go to for awesome Japanese and the best plum wine (not to mention Ian and his team providing a fabulous, relaxed, fun-style service). Don't read the menu just tell them what flavours you fancy and they deliver just what you didn't know you wanted! Favourites are Goma-ae (broccoli in sesame), octopus balls and the beef steak is amazing!

5 star rating
by Tracy F
2 months ago

Love this little Jem.
Really enjoyed the $40.00 set menu while out celebrating our daughters 13 birthday with family and friends.
Ian and his team delivered amazing food and service.
Looking forward to our next visit

4 star rating
by Dan Norton
4 months ago

Not a bad little restaurant! The food is good and so is the service. The banquet menu is a good idea if you're even slightly stuck. For $40 the decision is taken away and you won't be disappointed. It's tasty, satisfying and value for money. A win all round.

4 star rating
by Sally
5 months ago

Such a hidden gem! I rarely eat Japanese food, so I can't say i'm too familiar, but Taiko was pretty impressive.

We arrived tonight at 6:30 and the place was empty. By 7, it was packed. Staff were welcoming and super talkative. Very interactive. ☺️

We ordered quite a few items to share. The pork belly in miso broth, the spinach and mushrooms, a California roll, karaage chicken, deep fried squid tentacles and vegetable tempura.

All were super tasty, I highly recommend the pork belly and the California roll. Yum!
Would definitely return again one day when I'm craving Japanese ☺️

4 star rating
by Eva Zhu
7 months ago

We loved the food, it tasted wonderful, however we didn't fill up until We ordered heaps and heaps which amounted to quite a hefty bill, whether that was worth it is definitely debatable. We had a nice pot of tea and service was nice

5 star rating
by Isaac Valach
7 months ago

This is one of Kingslands hidden jems!
Friendly staff here make the experience feel as though you're in Japan! Perfect location for pre game eats & sake. Books are a must to get a table as these guys book out quick!

3 star rating
by Linny
8 months ago

I have been trying to go to this restaurant for a while now. Normally it's before I head out for an all blacks game at Eden park however haven't been able to get a booking. I found myself in the area and was looking forward to checking it out.

Service is quick and friendly. We were served all our food quickly and efficiently which I definitely note as being a plus.

We got the beef tataki but the meat was really chewy which wasn't that enjoyable and it was the same for the sirloin we got. The sushi was good, I enjoyed the pork belly in a miso sauce. I found that to be the most flavoursome of all the dishes we ordered.

I wish that the steak was better - it was cooked perfectly but was really hard to eat. It was not what I was hoping for when I entered the restaurant but it was a decent meal at least.

5 star rating
by Midhun M Chayanani
Oct 21, 2014

Had a great Japanese experience. Amazing food and great service. Try Sake with Calamari.

Loved it :) Highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4 star rating
by Grace Hall
Jun 24, 2014

Had dinner here with my boyfriend on Saturday night before watching the All Blacks game in Kingsland. We had both read good reviews and were pretty excited so we booked a table for 6pm so as not to miss out... but it's always worrying when you get to the restaurant and the person who took your booking remembers you right away! The restaurant is small but cute and the food comes out very quickly - though that could have been because it was quite empty. I even thought it was a little too quick; it's nice to have time in between dishes to enjoy each other's company and to savour the food. It also makes it seem like the food is being made fresh and not as though it's been waiting out back. Overall, the food was pretty good (it is Japanese after all) though not overly fantastic and the atmosphere was quite dull. The music and one table near us was so loud, however, that we could hardly maintain a conversation with each other. Would be interested to see how this place transforms during busy periods.

5 star rating
by Kellie
May 03, 2014

Taiko is undoubtedly my favourite Japanese restaurant in Auckland. The atmosphere is always buzzing, the food is delicious, the staff are helpful and lovely - always ready to suggest a sake and help make decisions between dishes :) loove it. Ian even taught me how to use chopsticks a few years ago haha. Group bookings are sweet too, easy and plenty of food. I'll always recommend!

5 star rating
by Steve Boyce
Apr 17, 2014

Taiko Restaurant has the hardest working man outside Japan. A front of house powerhouse and a bloke who knows sake. I dine here all the time and I do so because it's consistently excellent and the whole experience is authentic. Try some of the diablo sake but don't plan on driving afterwards.

5 star rating
by Arna Mules
Apr 07, 2014

We love the food and the atmosphere at Taiko the owner Ian has personality plus and is a wonderful host. I love the seaweed salad but all the food looks awsome, we have yet to try more dishes.
A must try is the Saki

5 star rating
by Genie @ BunnyEatsDesign
Mar 26, 2014

Five of us visited Taiko last week as part of their birthday celebrations during the Kingsland Festival. After witnessing the incredible taiko drumming show outside the restaurant, we piled in for beers and tasty food.

Ian, the host and owner is a friendly personality and always makes sure we feel welcome. Restrictive diets are never a problem and staff can make suggestions when required. Taiko isn't a flash place but it's very comfortable. The dim lighting can be a little too dim at times but sets a warm atmosphere. A relatively small restaurant with many full tables. I've had many great nights here before, but it's been a very long time since my last visit.

We ordered edamame, calamari (squid rings), karaage (fried chicken), Goma-ae (sesame broccoli), beef tataki, pork belly, tako wasabi (raw octopus with wasabi), takoyaki (octopus batter balls, similar to a bite-sized fritter) and three sushi rolls: Western Springs unagi roll, California roll and the Feta roll.

My favourite dishes were Westersn Springs unagi roll, beef tataki, Goma-ae, pork belly, and karaage. There are many differerent dishes to suit comfort zone eaters or the adventurous. If you have already conquered raw fish, please try Taiko's tako wasabi. A unaasumming, tiny bowl of goodness. The very fresh raw octopus has a delicately sweet flavour and the wasabi is refreshing.

The food at Taiko is excellent and the pacing was great. We found it a little difficult to attract service as waitstaff don't scan the room, but once found, they were efficient.

We paid around $40 each which included dinner and a couple of drinks for the others (I was driving). Love this place. Must come again soon.

5 star rating
by Natalie Jessup
Mar 18, 2014

Ian is an amazing host and the food here is incredibly delicious! Enjoy the paddle boarding Ian and see you round out there in that Manukau Harbour jewel :-) we're inspired! Thank you and the great Taiko chefs and staff!

4 star rating
by KitKat
Feb 08, 2014

Yummy, yummy, yummy. Great food, great wine list, good service. Only criticism is that it's quite pricey for what you get.

5 star rating
by Earl Ellis
Oct 21, 2013

Have been to Taiko several times now and have never been disappointed. Go to Japanese restaurants a lot and have to say the Sashimi at Taiko is the best of anywhere I have been, so fresh! The owner Ian is a great host, helps out with suggestions for food choices and very friendly as are the very efficient staff, unlike some Japanese restaurants where the service and communication can be patchy. There is a good selection of interesting wines at reasonable prices. Overall excellent.

5 star rating
by Lisa De Coek
Aug 04, 2013

We have been going to Taiko for some years now - this is the best Japanese restaurant in Auckland without doubt. The service is always awesome and the food is AMAZING!! We love love love it - thanks to Ian and the team for making us feel like family when we go, its a real treat.

5 star rating
by Gabby
Jul 28, 2013

Taiko has been a family favourite for at least the last six years, roughly since it first opened I think! The owner/manager Ian knows us all by name, and is quick with our usual orders and a quick hello! I have yet to try something from Taiko that I dislike, it is without a doubt the best Japanese restaurant I have been to in my 20 years in Auckland!
Personal favourites: Chicken karaage, calamari and absolute favourite Beef salad.
Sashimi here is always fresh fresh fresh, tuna in particular is delicious. Very convenient location, right next to bus stop and train station. Lychee cocktail also delicious. Don't forget to order a miso and enough calamari to go round!

5 star rating
by Lucy Moore
Jul 25, 2013

Total hidden Kingsland gem! Went here for the first time last week, late night - everyone ravenous - and the owner was such a charmer. Ordered tonnes of food which arrived almost immediately and was absolutely delicious. Such an awesome atmosphere, amazing food for really reasonable prices - and the owner was a fabulous host. Will definitely be back.

4 star rating
by Tina Knight
Jul 24, 2013

I've come here quite regularly with my partner and once with a couple of friends. The service has always been friendly and efficient. The food is GOOD! Like that it's BYO on a Tuesday so you can go pick up a nice bottle from the Glengarry a couple of shops up. Keep up the good work guys!

2 star rating
by Matt Burt
Jul 18, 2013

Went for an evening with a group of 20 friends and got quoted a price for banquet meal which ended up wrong and costing everyone substantially more. Food was good but not as good as everyone has said. Owner was not bothered by our feedback to the meal and service and even gave us a smart ass attitude when confronted. Don't recommend this restaurant to anyone with a large group as price does not match service

3 star rating
by Bob
Apr 03, 2013

We have had a hit and miss affair with this place. Sometimes great, sometimes very very average.We used to bring groups here for birthdays, but when we realised that the numbers didn't add up at the end of the night.
Often, menu items have 'run out'.

4 star rating
by Nick Haydock
Feb 14, 2013

My partner and I came here on 14/02/13 Valentines night, It was our first time here and I must say the greeting and the service top notch.
The service from the staff was great we did not wait more then 5 mins for the Entree and the same for the drinks we have just ordered the mains now can't comment but I know I'll be impressed.
Over all not the cheapest but believe the hype Taiko resturant is definitly a the place to eat Japenese food.

PS : Ian is a star.

Nick & Natasha

5 star rating
by Nikki Wright
Jan 17, 2013

Taiko quite simply, is the best Japanese restaurant I've ever been to.

I have been here about 4 or 5 times now and each time the service is fantastic and the food, more than delicious! My partner and I always go away smiling and raving about it.

Thank you especially to Ian who always goes above and beyond - (like the night I changed bookings on him 3 times and he text me to say no worries). It's the little things like that that keep your customers coming back.

Thanks Taiko, you rock!

4 star rating
by Mike Alsweiler
Jan 13, 2012

Went there as a group of 7. Ian (if I remember correctly), our host was an excellent mix of service and humour. We ordered a banquet, the $35 one. We were chopping the Asahi's so weren't confident the $35 menu would be enough to soak up the booze. Food was great - make that excellent, but we were right - we were still hungry... so I asked our host if we could order a bit more, when, embarrassingly, he informed us that that was just the starters - mains were still to come. Mains came, out hunger satisfied perfectly. Was a great night thanks to great food and fun host. Cheers.

5 star rating
by Savannah Devereaux
Dec 24, 2011

Amazing food, incredible service, great prices, great location.

I am always so impressed with Taiko, my family and I visit often.
All the staff are friendly and attentive and go out of their way to get your food to you in a quick and timely manner (I have never waited longer than 10 minutes for a main).

The owner of Taiko is incredibly friendly and will do anything for his customers (My mother wanted a tomato juice and because they didn't have it he ran up to the local dairy to get one for her).

The food is sensational. I am always so impressed. The shrimp rolls and the California rolls are simply to die for. The prices are so low that you can afford Taiko even when on a budget. Best part is, they do take out which is great if you don't feel like going out.

The location is great, right in the heart of Kingsland. There is always really nice music playing and the atmosphere is electric.

I would recommend Taiko to anybody who enjoys Japanese food or who is just looking for a change in their everyday routine.
5 stars for Taiko!

4 star rating
by Kolzee
Nov 20, 2011

Excellent food, great service and the beers are superb too. On top of this I thought the price was reasonable. What more could you ask for?!

4 star rating
by Nicky
Aug 14, 2011

If only there were more restaurants of this quality, price and atmosphere in Kingsland! Delicious interesting food, attention to detail and genuine care for diners makes Taiko a wonderful night out time after time.

4 star rating
by Theresa Chan
Sep 15, 2010

Taiko was very busy when my friend and I visited on a Wednesday night. The highlight was their Shrimp Tempura, which was one of the best I have had, although it differs from those commonly available because of the additional crisp that was attached to the tempura coating. Other dishes were good but not special. Slightly overpriced therefore I rate it 4 stars.

5 star rating
by PJ
Sep 27, 2009

First time diner at Taiko tonight. Service was extremely fast and we were out of there (excluding dessert) in less than half an hour from walking in the door. So many options, but you have to appreciate the simplicity of Japanese food to enjoy it. Moderate pricing, but great taste. There was also a violinist/singer accompanying some 70s classics which added to the relaxed atmosphere provided by the dim lighting.
Will definitely be going back again.

5 star rating
by Emma
Apr 18, 2009

Came here on reccomendation of a friend. AMAZING japanese. Quality, quick, helpful service.

5 star rating
by NIL
Jan 31, 2009

I am a regular customer of Taiko. We went there for our friend's birthday this time. Fantastic food again and their service was fab! As a Japanese food crazy, this is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Auckland for sure. I don't know who said it was owned by a Korean or Chinese? That is totally wrong!!

3 star rating
by Felicity Williams
Dec 29, 2008

The first time my hubby and I went it was fully booked out but they accommodated us at the bar and that was OK, the sushi chief was really home warming and we liked his company, the food was so yummy! try the octopus balls they're a hit! And so we went back with our children, food was still yummy as but as they were busy again service was a little slower. Each we have been we are happy with the food, although I have been told by a Japanese friend this is one Japanese restaurant that is not Japanese owned any more, which is a shame, there are a few around owned by Chinese and Korean now.

5 star rating
by Ross Rudolph
Nov 26, 2008

Great food,great atmosphere have been back many a time! The closest thing to Japanese food you will get in New Zealand

2 star rating
by Dave Jennings
Jun 03, 2008

Dinned on strength of other reviews. Disappointed.
Overpriced basic food

4 star rating
by Amy
May 27, 2008

dropped in here for a bite to eat while waiting for the train. excellent service. excellent presentation. not cheap, but value for money.

3 star rating
by LM
Mar 12, 2008

A great little restaurant tucked away with yummy Japanese food. Dinner box was $25 which we thought was pretty reasonable. Restaurant was really warm which will def be a bonus with the evenings getting cooler. All in all a great little find using the Entertainment Book.