Reviews for Taiko Japanese Restaurant
by Grace Hall
2 months ago
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.
4 months ago
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!
by Steve Boyce
5 months ago
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.
by Arna Mules
5 months ago
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
by Genie @ BunnyEatsDesign
5 months ago
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.
by Natalie Jessup
6 months ago
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!
7 months ago
Yummy, yummy, yummy. Great food, great wine list, good service. Only criticism is that it's quite pricey for what you get.
by Earl Ellis
11 months ago
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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'.
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
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!
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.
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!
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?!
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.
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.
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.
Apr 18, 2009
Came here on reccomendation of a friend. AMAZING japanese. Quality, quick, helpful service.
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!!
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.
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
by Dave Jennings
Jun 03, 2008
Dinned on strength of other reviews. Disappointed.
Overpriced basic food
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.
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.
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