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“Once & Never again.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Talisman Cafe

Talisman Cafe
Main Highway Sh 2, Paeroa 3600, New Zealand
(07)862 8306
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Ranked #5 of 10 Restaurants in Paeroa
Cuisines: Coffee Shop
Restaurant details
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Once & Never again.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

Not to put the place down because well their were many positives. IE, gardens were lovely and the wee Asian girl who bought out our drinks & good was delightful. Also my thickshake was great :)

However rest of the staff were not amazing. Not friendly and didn't seem to want to smile or like they even wanted to be there. They were so busy rushing around for some reason and didn't even acknowledge us and another family until they had everything sorted. Sometimes a little "I'll be right there" goes a long way. Food was ok however was surprised that tomato sauce costed extra when I asked for some as no sauce of any sort was served with my burger and fries.

I wasn't impressed at all when the girl cleaning tables accidentally dropped cloth on the floor & simply picked it up again and used it on the tables. Along with most tables were actually dirty and needed wiped although they had all ready been cleared.

Small things are the things this cafe needs to work on & once they got that right they might be on a role, until then head up to the winery up the road.

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13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good Karangahake stop”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Convenient stop when at Karangahake gorge for a cuppa and cake, and more, but too many steps for me to go again.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Lovely gardens and friendly staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013 via mobile

My family and I were really impressed with this cafe. The staff were friendly. The kids loved exploring the interesting gardens that are full of hidden mosaics and statues. The coffee was nice, food was quite nice, not too expensive.

Visited August 2013
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Auckland, New Zealand
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Verbally attacked by the owner”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

Today I had no choice but to go back to this place, as we were driving past, in need of a coffee and a rest between Tauranga and Auckland. We had our small (1.7kg) Pom in the car with us, and of course, we brought her in to the garden area of The Talisman. We didn’t think anything of it, as most cafes are very willing to allow dogs in to their outside areas. Our dog always sits on my lap whenever I go to cafes with her, and is always very quiet. We weren’t going to leave her in the car – it was a hot day.
We only came in for a coffee, so in and out in 10mins or less. Didn’t think this would be a problem at all.

My husband ordered our coffees and came back outside to sit down with me. Our coffees came out, and the waitress told us of the Talisman’s “no dog” policy. I asked if we could just sit for a few minutes while we drank our coffee, and she said, “You’re okay for now”.

Moments later, a man came out (presumably the owner), and started actually yelling at us, calling us “ignorant” and “stupid”, saying that we weren’t allowed to have our dog in the cafe grounds. He continued to yell at us in the same, obnoxious way, for several minutes.

How’s that for customer service!! We gave up trying to talk with him and got up to leave (I hadn’t even had the chance to touch my coffee), when he went up to stand centimetres from my husband, and continued to yell at him. I thought that he was about to attack my husband, he was that angry at us.

I understand that living out in the middle of nowhere makes you lose touch with your people-communication skills, and apparently your manners, but you are in the hospitality industry —- be hospitable. If they had told us nicely about the dog policy, we would have left just the same. No need to verbally abuse us and frighten the other customers with your language and tone. I’m sure they won’t be back either.

What an awful experience. We left the grounds shaken and deeply disturbed.

This cafe is meant to provide a rest stop for worn out travellers (who will probably have pets with them).

If you have a problem with dogs, make your signage outside the cafe clear. A peeling business card-size sticker in the carpark is a bad excuse for signage.

Talisman is losing so much business from having this policy in place – it’s no wonder there are other reviews just on the web complaining that staff at Talisman were rude to them for having their dog in the cafe grounds.

Awful. Absolutely awful. We’ve never been treated like this by anyone. All because of a 1.7kg dog, that sat on my lap and didn’t make a sound.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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New Zealand
Top Contributor
182 reviews 182 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
“The nicest Lemon Cake in a while.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

After a walk through the gorge following the Windows walkway, we crossed the road to the Talisman Cafe. A quaint place half hidden in the hillside with a wonderful atmosphere. The lemon cake was delicious but I am afraid the Feijoa smoothie took the cake! Certainly a place that should be visited if you have burnt off some energy on the walks. They have delightful sculptures in their garden and every table from the cafe has a different view of this picturesque place.

Visited May 2013
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