Hokkaido Restaurant & Bar

Hokkaido Restaurant & Bar is located in Lunn Ave where all the new shops are. Looking from outside, it is not bad. So, went in and gave it a try.

Sashimi (M) – $25 for 15 pieces.

Chan Chan Yaki – $18.50.

Sukiyaki Pot – $13.90.

Overall, this place is OK. The sashimi and sukiyaki pot was not bad tasting. But very disappointed with the chan chan yaki, which didn’t taste special and practically not much salmon, but a lot of cabbage.

The portion is kinda small for the price, so don’t expect value for money. I won’t be coming back. Rating = 5/10.

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Cafe Melba (Ellerslie)

Cafe Melba in Ellersie is one of those “Entertainment Book” places to go. Without the book, I wouldn’t even know if the place existed. It also helps that I get some form of discount. Samples below:

Salmon Benedict – $18.70.

Steak Sandwich – $19.00.

First impression, place is good. Parking is easy to find as Ellerslie is not so busy, food taste great, staff friendly and toilet is clean. Personally, I can’t complain about this place, and worth a try if you have the Entertainment book voucher since price-wise, it is kinda on the high side 🙂

Rating = 8.5/10.

Bien (Newmarket)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (including the Chinese version)! I have returned from my long holiday and am going to post my first review for 2012. Enjoy.

Bien has several franchises. I tried out the Newmarket branch on a Thursday night. It’s quiet but can’t complain, the bar next door has outdoor music – so free entertainment? I have to admit the pricing is reasonable, not overpriced. You’d just need to find a parking if driving to Newmarket. Here are some samples.

Tuna Tomato Petite Salad – $4.00.

Salmon Sushi – $3.00 for two pieces.

Spicy Chicken Don – $11.00.

Lemon Grass Chicken Don – $11.00.

Salad and sushi roll are good small bites – excellent as entres. The chicken dons are not bad as well, I preferred the spicy chicken don. Good value! Bien (Newmarket) is definitely worth a try. Rating 8.5/10.

Daikoku Quay Street Teppanyaki

This is an old one, but worth posting. Perhaps things might have changed – new owner etc, but here goes. I’m not a frequent Teppanyaki  guy so this was a “treat”. This place is very near to Britomart on Quay Street. There was a lunch special, so prices may be different during dinner time. Some samples:

Cooked in real time.

Salmon Sashimi ($15).

Lunch Time Special – beef? ($13.80).

Gourmet Lunch ($23.50).

Salad and Miso Soup.

Overall, pricing is the usual Japanese price. Kinda expensive. But the gourmet lunch (beef) was very nice especially the yum yum sauce. Salmon sashimi is great and the sides are good too. The lunch special (beef) was kinda average but not horrible.

Worth trying to see the “show”. Expect high-ish prices for the food. Rating = 7/10.

Sakebar Nippon

Sakebar Nippon is located in Epsom, very close to ASB showgrounds. The reason I was at this place, because I wanted an alternative to KK Restaurant nearby.

First impression for this place; loud drums banging and some Japanese guy saying something when you or anyone comes into the door (welcoming?), and good-looking chicks. 🙂

Some samples below:

Salmon & Avocado Sushi ($14).

Karaage Chicken ($9).

Okonomiyaki ($12).

Grilled Prawn Skewer ($8).

Overall, the range is good. Pricing is a little high but of good quality I think. The environment is noisy and lively. The food is tasty especially the salmon & avocado sushi roll. Be prepared to pay $25 per head or more, since the portions are not huge. Worth a try.

Rating = 9/10.

Nutmeg Cafe

Sorry about the lack of updates. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I can blame the PS3, RWC, my wedding preparation, but really, I do muck around a lot and do have time update. I just forgot!

Nutmeg Cafe is located at the intersection of Remuera Road and Middleton Road, near Dick Smith Electronics. I decided to go because it’s near where I live and I had a Living Social voucher. Samples below:

 

Big breakfast with four sides ($23.00)

Eggs Benedict with Cured Salmon and Spinach ($17.00)

Mocha in a bowl.

To be honest, fantasic food, delicious and I think reasonably priced for the quality and service. With the voucher, it just makes it even better. Highly recommended for a try.

Oh it’s organic too. Rating = 9/10.

Sushi Train

Sushi Train. I’ve been told about this place many times. People like it. So, I had to check it out. It’s located in the Viaduct.  First impression, it looks quite cool with the conveyor belt with sushi etc on it. But remember, parking is hard to find around here – in fact, might be better to pay. I parked somewhere along Custom Street near Tepid Baths (it was free at night) and I noticed something strange. Every 4th or 5th car had a broken window.  As if the thief went on a rampage, so beware if you do walk or park around Custom Street. Anyway, samples below from Sushi Train:

Eel on Rice ($12)

  

Yellow plate – $4.50

Blue plate – $3.50

Red plate – $5.50

The dishes have different prices from $3.50 to $7.50 depending on which plate colour you choose. I thought the variety was somewhat average. In fact, the best thing to do here is to order. So, the concept of choosing the dishes from the “train” is kinda pointless. If I wanted variety (immediately that is), I’d rather go to Umi Sushi at Atrium. Sushi Train just seemed pathetic compared to it.

However, if you do happen to pass by and wanted to try it out. I’d say go for the “Chef’s recommendation,” for e.g. grilled scallop and grilled salmon. It’s also open at night compared to Umi Sushi.

My rating is 6/10. Sushi Train lacks in variety, especially since this is suppose to be a “sushi train”. The staff seemed distracted at times on my visit there, so service was so-so. If you want sushi with variety, save your money and go for lunch at Umi Sushi in the Atrium.