We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Gem of a Restaurant in Rotorua” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sabroso

Sabroso
1184 Haupapa Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
07 349 0591
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 151 Restaurants in Rotorua
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $11 - $23
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, South American, Central American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Sabroso offers a broad taste of Latin America, serving everything from tasty tapas to homestyle Mexican specialities and traditional South American dishes. The beverage menu features our signature margaritas along with affordable South American wines. In short – unpretentious dining for those who love great flavours. The atmosphere is casual and fun, and the food and drinks are delicious!
Maryland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Gem of a Restaurant in Rotorua”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We had dinner here last night and were delighted by the food and the service. The food is inventive and beautifully executed, and the preparation exceeded our expectations. In addition the prices are very reasonable. Both the chef and the server were friendly, welcoming and caring. I particularly enjoyed the calypso-style chicken with pineapple and pumpkin fritter, and the enchiladas were terrific.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

322 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    237
    66
    17
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Ambitious menu, hits the mark”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

The cuisine of Latin America is at least as diverse as that of Asia. A restaurant that sets out to capture a broad selection of South American and Mexican dishes has taken on quite a lot. For all indications, Sarah is up to the task. Being from New Mexico, my wife and I are quite comfortable analyzing Mexican dishes in excruciating detail. Not that Mexican cuisine is a single category, far from it. The sheer range of dishes available at Sabroso made choosing a bit difficult. We have a soft spot for calamari no matter in which restaurant we find ourselves and almost automatically order it when available. Here the large pieces of squid were expertly cooked tender as. The creamy chipotle sauce was perfect, the hint of the smoked jalapenos balancing the sweet squid. I could not resist the sopa de lima. Once again, there are dozens of iterations of this simple chicken soup with lime. This version is quite plain but gives a real chance to taste the shredded chicken matched with the tangy lime juice. I could have used a little green chili but it was great nonetheless. It seemed unusual that the tostadas were crumbled, I am used to them being dropped in whole, but again a difference with little distinction in a wonderful soup. A little homesick for Mexican food, we both chose enchiladas with chicken as our mains. Wonderful. In New Mexico when you want a mixture of green and red chili on your dish you ask for "Christmas". That is the way Sabroso serves enchiladas. The tortillas were soft and satisfying, the chicken and cheese tasty and moist. The red chili was spicy and very well done. Salsa verde is an exotic choice for enchiladas in New Mexico (pure green chili being the norm). The tomatillos necessary to make salsa verde are certainly exotic in New Zealand but Sarah has managed to find a local supplier and I'm glad she has. The contrast of the tangy salsa verde and the spicy red chili was fantastic. The dining room is quite small but very pleasant. They have a broad selection of wines worthy of their menu. They offer Corona or main stream New Zealand beers, and proudly serve bottled beer from the local micro-brewery, Croucher. A Croucher Pale Ale pairs with most food on the menu much better than the best Mexican beer. We may not get back to Rotorua often but when we do we will return to Sabroso.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parksville, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Even better than I expected after the great TA write-ups...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

The Trip Advisor scores alerted me to this place, and since Kiwis tend to eat a lot like Canadians generally, I thought this would be a nice change from the excellent but familiar pattern of most restaurants. We had an early morning the next day, so we were there at opening time so we could get an evening walk in.
John was on duty in the kitchen and the young server was a great source of menu information.
John, originally from Ohio, had lived in the Pacific Northwest of the US and knew Vancouver Island, our home. We had a great chat when he took a break later on.
The meals were excellent as was the hospitality. We enjoy great food even more when it's something we don't or can't create at home.
Thank you John; we'll send other folks your way if we can.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Pleasant surprise!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We came here because I was looking on Tripadvisor for a place to eat in Rotorua. I do like Mexican/Sth American food, I get to eat this food all the time. I was hesitant since I would not be going to a Mexican restaurant for dinner....always think of it as a lunch or a snack thing.

We also have a baby and were not sure what sort of environment it would be, you know, Mexicans sitting around drinking Tequila and shooting off their pistols...wait I think I might be referring to a movie.

Anyway, we rocked on up and found out it was a small, small restaurant. Cosy... We were greeted by a helpful hostess who went to get a baby chair for my baby. We didn't use the chair as baby is still a bit too young for a chair like that.

We were really hungry but we could eat. We ordered the platter with fried calamari, taco chips with salsa, and filled taco with chicken (taquitos).Y-U-M, the calamari was marinated with the right spices and the mayo underneath was awesome. The taquitos was really yum too, not overcooked. The chips were warm when it came out, obviously fried when it came out. Different as I am used to restaurants serving me cold chips. I loved the homemade sauces they served, reminds me of Nandos. They were alright, I prefer Peri-peri sauces vs the hot sauces of the Americas....

We ordered one main to share which was the Chimichurri chicken. Chicken was marinated and grilled to perfection, not dry, quite hard when cooking with chicken breasts. Homemade wedges which tasted just as good as the packet wedges, actually better. Salad was nice too, a dressing that reminded me of Italian dressing but not.

Overall the service and food was great. I had a Sangria for a drink but it wasn't the best one I've ever had. I would definitely go back again, make sure to go early, this place gets busy quick.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
“I'm Addicted”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Every time we visit Tarawera, I MUST go to Sabroso! I'm in love with the fabulous Margarita's and the Calamari Entree, I have to think hard for the main course as their are so many favourites there. If you get the chance try to squeeze in the dessert too, the Chocolate Pot has an amazing flavour of Chocolate, Chilli and Cinnamon...DEVINE! Best restaurant in Rotorua by a long shot! Do book though to not be disappointed :)

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Sabroso also viewed

Rotorua, Rotorua District
Rotorua, Rotorua District
 
Rotorua, Rotorua District
Rotorua, Rotorua District
 

Been to Sabroso? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Sabroso, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.