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ESSENCE CAFE

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NGONGOTAHA, Rotorua, New Zealand
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Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Seating, Waitstaff

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 42 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 16
    Excellent
  • 10
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Great coffee

We haven't stopped in at Essence for quite a while until recently. It looked like it had changed hands as it was much improved. We only wanted a coffee & certainly no complaints from us. Excellent brew! There was a comprehensive & interesting blackboard menu & some tempting offerings from the... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
John P
,
Tauranga, New Zealand
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42 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
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Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
144 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We haven't stopped in at Essence for quite a while until recently. It looked like it had changed hands as it was much improved. We only wanted a coffee & certainly no complaints from us. Excellent brew! There was a comprehensive & interesting blackboard menu & some tempting offerings from the cabinet. Service was friendly & efficient. We will definitely... More 

Helpful?
Thank John P
Benowa, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Fantastic coffee and eggs benedict was amazing!! Great way to start the day before tackling the Agrodome! Make sure you check it out!

Helpful?
Thank Simon C
Wellington
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We were surprised to find this very good establishment on the outskirts of Rotorua in Ngongonatah . We had 1/2 he wait for food but were advised this from the outset. The menu was creative and the food very good. An excellent lunch place

Helpful?
Thank sala5000
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
57 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Reading the reviews below, I can kind of agree with the comments regarding service. The owners (I assume the owners) will continue to chat to locals, pausing briefly to take your order and make your coffee in between chit-chat. However, Essence is one of those 'local' places we need more of.. if I lived here, I would love coming in... More 

Helpful?
Thank Gmoney484
Hamilton, New Zealand
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2015 via mobile

Being local to this cafe it is handy to call for coffee, which is good sometimes. The staff don't seem to want to be here and it is shown with there sour faces and rude manner with customers.

Helpful?
Thank Jamesjalo
Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2015

Upon ordering the staff member who seemed to be all of 13 years old served my family with her mouth full of food, as we ordered she then put her hand up to us to silence us, so she could finish her mouthful. She then placed our order, with no apoligy,no small talk, no please, no thank you, very little... More 

Helpful?
Thank paddyfoley1984
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2015 via mobile

We really enjoyed this place. Whilst it was far from cheap, the food was brilliantly cooked and the kids portion was spot on. Looking to return during our stay in the area.

Helpful?
Thank Jenni S
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
280 reviews
233 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015

A number of TripAdvisor reviewers have commented in the lack of service and the attitude of staff. Unfortunately in the hospitality business you have to "love" your clients or at least smile and treat them civilly. In these areas Essence falls short and yet it does not cost you anything. But I don’t think the message is getting through to... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Winetourist
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2015 via mobile

Really tasty eggs Benedict and essence of mount n'gongi was a platefull with delicious local sausages

Helpful?
Thank Duarte R
Thames, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

We called in for lunch, food was fresh and fantastic value for what we had. Staff were great. It had a really nice feel about it. We shall be back.

Helpful?
Thank Michelle V

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: NGONGOTAHA, Rotorua, New Zealand
  • Location: South Pacific  >  New Zealand  >  North Island  >  Bay of Plenty Region  >  Rotorua District  >  Rotorua

Questions & Answers

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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?