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. 🙂
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 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.
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. 😀
209 Marine Parade, Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
For reservations, please call (06) 833-6335