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“As good as the reviews.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Harbour Light Bistro

Harbour Light Bistro
341 Wakefield Quay, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
03 546 6685
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Ranked #13 of 131 Restaurants in Nelson
Price range: $15 - $29
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Harbour Light Bistro is a locally owned Nelson restaurant based on Wakefield Quay, one of Nelsons beautiful waterfronts. Harbour Light offers a selection of locally and internationally inspired dishes. All dishes are made fresh and our menus change seasonally as we use locally sourced fresh produce when possible for our restaurant. Harbour Light Bistro & Restaurant offers spacious indoor dining with picturesque waterfront views, suitable for large groups or an intimate lunch or dinner for two. Our wines are also locally sourced from Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions and are all carefully selected to accompany our many fine dishes. Harbour Light Bistro & Restaurant is open weekdays from 11.30Am to late. On the weekend we open at 9.30 For brunch then through to close with dinner. Please call us on 03 546 6685 for a reservation so as not to be disappointed.
Minnesota
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“As good as the reviews.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Probably as good as it gets. After reading the reviews we opted for a table upstairs. It was a windy day/ night so windows were closed and the street traffic noise was not heard. This is a small but nicely appointed restaurant with a fabulous view of the ocean front.We were seated in the back upstairs but the tables are staggered so that all tables get a great view. Plus they are not on top of each other. Plenty more tables could be added to the room but the owners chose not to so the customer does have a much nicer ambiance . The only draw back is the background music. Not sure why, but it is the trend to have the music in the foreground rather than just out of hearing. This isn't the first restaurant to do it nor will it be the last.
The service was efficient and the food is chef driven. I never have fish cakes but I did there and they were so delicious . My husband had the French style seafood soup which was outstanding. I don't like that kind of soup but this was tomato based and it was very good to my taste buds.
For my main I had the beef ribs that were slow cooked and served with a flavorful barbecue sauce and with spinach and mashed potatoes. Once again not a normal meal for me but it was so good and the meat fell off of the bone. The mashed potatoes were yummy.
My husband had the fish of the day, blue cod , that was expertly prepared . Pan seared and then baked to the finish topped with a foam and served with cut up potatoes and spinach. We split the lime pie which was a wonderful way to finish our dinner. We both had 2 glasses of wine a piece. Given New Zealand's sticker shock prices, this was value for the dollar . Well done.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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128 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    75
    37
    11
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Yum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Food was beautiful and tasty. We sat at the upstairs window and had a fabulous view of the sea and the passing traffic. Waitress was attentive and helpful. Definitely worth going back.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing food, great service, shame about the wait”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

This place has a great view and nice ambience. The food is absolutely spectacular - delicious, innovative and fresh local dishes and they offer gluten free options for people like me, with a respectable wine list to match. The service was likewise good - friendly and attentive. The only downside was that we had to wait quite a long time for our food. I think that by the time we got our main meal, we had waited an hour, and I was a little bit disappointed by the response when I commented to the maitre'd that the wait was a little excessive. His response was that they had not been expecting so many people on Christmas Eve, but I feel that perhaps a better response would have been to reassure me that this was not usual and that they would review things to ensure enough kitchen staff and no surprises in the future. I would love to go back, but I have to say I would think twice about it if I can't be sure of getting my for more quickly.

PS my computer won't let me select the ratings properly but the service was not average, it was good. Just a computer bug.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Tallinn, Estonia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great food in relaxed setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Two words only - Excellent food! We had diamond clams which were just beautiful, prepared in simple manner w/out killing their taste. My husband had beef short ribs for main course and he is still raving about it. My main, blue cod, was also excellent. Special mention about sauteed spinach that went with the fish- wow! Highly recommend this place.

Visited January 2013
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent night”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

Lovely view over the waterfront (big picture window). Very friendly & knowledgeable staff. Good local wines. We'd had a big lunch so didn't order entree - just bread & dips to start (very nice although the cream cheese & herb dip just tasted of cream cheese & needed more flavour). Mains - our party ordered the beef shortribs, the lamb rump and the chicken. We had a debate that no one won, because each of us thought our main was the best meal! The warm gingerbread dessert was scrumptious. Very enjoyable meal & would definitely come back.

Visited December 2012
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