Dinner for Two at Pacifica Restaurant in Napier – New Zealand’s Restaurant of the Year

What better way to celebrate our love and first year wedding anniversary than indulging in a 5 course degustation menu at New Zealand’s Restaurant of the Year – Pacifica, Napier. <3

It was last year when I found out that a restaurant in Napier, Hawke’s Bay was awarded the coveted Cuisine Good Food Awards – Restaurant of the Year title. Since then, my husband and I have always wanted to visit the restaurant, try out their dishes and experience what it is like to dine in an award winning restaurant in New Zealand.

 

Pacifica, Napier – New Zealand’s Restaurant of the Year

Set in a weathered blue beach bungalow in the heart of Napier, Hawke’s Bay, Pacifica Restaurant offers world-class Michelin quality food in a relaxed pacific-style atmosphere. Here, diners are given a taste of New Zealand cuisine focusing on fresh and uniquely local ingredients.

The menu changes daily depending on what ingredients are available and how the chef is feeling. Whilst the content is ever changing, the menu remains a set degustation menu of 5 courses each evening.

Diners have a choice between two menus – one a predominantly seafood menu and the other a mixed menu of fresh seafood and premium New Zealand meat/game dishes. The degustation style of dining allows diners to experience not only variety but something fresh, exciting and unpredictable that gives a sense of anticipation and trust in the chef’s creative ability. 🙂

 

New Zealand’s Restaurant of the Year – Pacifica, Napier

 

Dinner for Two – Seafood & Mixed Degustation Menu (with Wine Pairing)

We made a reservation to dine at Pacifica Restaurant in Napier, Hawke’s Bay ahead of time to avoid any disappointments on the day of our first wedding anniversary celebration. Our arrival was greeted with a warm and welcoming smile and we were lead to our table in an orderly manner.

The chef and restaurant owner, Jeremy Rameka and his assistants were seen preparing the night’s dishes in the open-air kitchen. The restaurant was not packed with people and we were able to dine in a comfortable pace and relaxing manner. <3

The ambience of the restaurant was warm and cosy. The waitresses were attentive, lovely and friendly which made the dining experience pleasant and enjoyable. My husband, Tony opted for the seafood degustation menu ($65 per person) while I took the mixed degustation menu with wine pairing ($115 per person).

 

The chef and restaurant owner of Pacifica, Napier – Jeremy Rameka 🙂
The warm and cosy ambience at Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
5 course seafood degustation menu at Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
5 course mixed degustation menu at Pacifica Restaurant, Napier

 

The Mixed Degustation Menu – Highly Recommended

Overall, we agreed that the seafood degustation menu fared better than the mixed degustation menu in terms of flavour and texture. We love the first two dishes on the menu (same dishes for both menus) as well as the desserts. They were excellent. The remaining two dishes from the seafood degustation menu were excellent as well and I find myself stealing spoonful of food from Tony. 😛 The wine pairing complimented the dishes well and I love it!

I did not really enjoy my last two dishes from the mixed degustation menu because I was overwhelmed by the lack of texture or crunchy element in the dishes. By then, I had too much puree, mousse, mushy and soft food already. On top of that, the last dish (chicken and bone marrow mousse) was too salty to my liking and had (alfalfa) sprouts in it. I personally dislike the taste of sprouts of any kind, so I did not really enjoy the dish.

For more information, please read the review or description below the photo of each dish. If only the last two dishes of the mixed menu were well seasoned (not overly salty) and had more texture or a crunchy element, it would have improved our dining experience and given Pacifica Restaurant in Napier, Hawke’s Bay a better rating.

 

We started our degustation menu with a deep-fried bread served with butter and a dash of salt @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dish No.1 (Seafood & Mixed Degustation Menu) — Smoked warehou mayonnaise, potato puree — Wine: Alpha Domus Cumulus — We love this dish and I especially love the dash of dainty wasabi pearls that burst in my mouth with every bite @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dish No.2 (Seafood & Mixed Degustation Menu) — Fresh pasta, pumpkin and mozzarella, truffle foam — Wine: Decibel Viognier — We love this dish too. The pasta tastes good with the creamy pumpkin puree @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dish No.3 (Seafood Degustation Menu) — Egg white battered mussels, shitake and braised leek — This is another tasty dish. The mussels were well-cooked and seasoned. I love the hint of sesame flavour and a slightly chewvy element in the dish @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dish No.3 (Mixed Degustation Menu) — Venison carpaccio, creamy parmesan polenta, porcini sauce — Wine: Bilancia Syrah — I’m not a huge fan of raw meat (except for fish) and I rarely eat venison, but I enjoyed the dish especially its creamy parmesan polenta and porcini sauce @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dish No.4 (Seafood Degustation Menu) — Flounder, lime crumble, squid noodles — We love this dish! The perfectly cooked flounder tastes amazing , so were the crunchy marinated raw squid noodles. We just can’t get enough of this wonderful dish @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dish No.4 (Mixed Degustation Menu) — Chicken & bone marrow mousse, kawakawa juice — Wine: Hawkdun Rise Pinot Noir — At this point, I was overwhelmed by the lack of taxture/crunch in the dish. On top of that, the chicken and bone mousse was too salty and it was garnished with (alfalfa) sprouts. Just a matter of personal preference, I dislike the taste of sprouts of any kind, so I didn’t really enjoy the dish @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dessert (Mixed/Seafood Degustation Menu) — Chocolate bread pudding — You can never go wrong with chocolate and this dessert tastes wonderful. It’s a great way to end our gastronomic experience. We love it! @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Dessert (Mixed/SeafoodDegustation Menu) — Hohepa cheese, local honey, fig bread — Wine: Esk Valley Late Harvest Chenin Blanc — At last, something crunchy to save the day after having several puree/mousse/soup/soft dishes and what a pleasant surprise it was! I didn’t expect the fig bread to be served thinly cut and crunchy. The cheese, apple, honey and crunchy fig bread is a heavenly combination. I really like and enjoyed this refreshing dessert @ Pacifica Restaurant, Napier

 

In a Nutshell

My husband and I had a lovely evening together and enjoyed our dining experience at New Zealand’s Restaurant of the Year – Pacifica in Napier, Hawke’s Bay. Overall, the food and wine was good, the service was exceptional and the price was affordable. We scored Pacifica Restaurant a 4/5 for our almost perfect dining experience and would not hesitate to go back there again to try out new dishes. 😀

 

Erika and Tony at Pacifica Restaurant, Napier
Huge thanks to my awesome husband for taking this photo of me @ Erika Toh

 

Pacifica Restaurant

209 Marine Parade, Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

For reservations, please call (06) 833-6335

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