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Cafe, New Zealand, European
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NGONGOTAHA, Rotorua, New Zealand
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55 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
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Time of year
Showing 55: English reviews
Level Contributor
48 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I had a cheese melt with tomato and avocado. It was $10. Most of the avocado was black! Very bad dining experience. We've been here before and had some good coffees but this experience has pity's off coming again.

Thank sala5000
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Stopped here on the way home to Tauranga on my wife's recommendation as she had had a good lunch there. Breakfast was well priced, substantial and excellent. Staff were pleasant. Papers free. And looking at the menu, it would be just as good for lunch or dinners on Fri/Sat when they are open for dinner. Thoroughly recommend Essence.

Thank Grant W
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Fabulous food, lovely staff and great value for money. Lunch menu looked very interesting so we will definitely be back!

1 Thank GailW3084
Level Contributor
93 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

I had an amazing steak meal that I'd rate 10 out of 10 but my partners lamb meal was not good. The lamb was really tough and when he told the waitress she did not care or offer any reduction in cost. To top it off his coffee was burnt! There is no ambience white walls and a cold feeling.... More 

Thank beachwalkers
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2016 via mobile

We stumbled onto this place while staying near Rotorua. Liked their coffee and breakfast so much we had to come back a second day.

Thank Cody O
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
167 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2016

Broke the trip home by stopping for a coffee & a bite to eat at Essence. Very nice coffee & the bowl of fries were excellent. Crispy outside,light & fluffy inside & piping hot. We enjoy the friendly service & nice food on offer at Essence but the place is starting to look a little grimy. Someone needs needs to... More 

Thank John P
Level Contributor
107 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2016 via mobile

Stopped off on way back Home - as needed to up the caffeine levels for the drive. So glad chose this cafe - the coffee was brilliant we all (3 of us) agreed. The nibbles in the display cabinet looked very tasty, but trying to shed some weight, so refrained. The outside location is fab in the sun.

Thank Paul M
Auckland, New Zealand
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2016

The coffee is good. We ordered eggs bene. Salmon for me and bacon for my daughter. For $18 we got two small pieces of not too fresh ciabatta. It should have been toasted properly. Three slices of smoked salmon or 4 rashers of bacon. Two poached eggs and most likely packet hollandaise. No spinach. No visual appeal. No seasoning. Rather... More 

Thank Stephanie H
Level Contributor
48 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2016 via mobile

We've been before and it was quite good but I find it pretty poor to wait 30 mins for a cold platter. As long as you're prepared for the wait the food is good quality and tasty.

Thank sala5000
Rotorua, New Zealand
Level Contributor
121 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2016

Essence is our "local" cafe - sadly we're not exactly spoilt for choice around Ngongotaha. The only reason we continue to go here is that it's another 20 odd minutes to the next nearest cafe. The staff seem to get surlier by the visit and today I seriously questioned the hygiene of the place when I had to flick a... More 

Thank LucysMumNz

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 stars
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
Cafe, New Zealand, European
Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Takeout, Serves Alcohol
Good for
Families with children
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

Questions? Get answers from ESSENCE CAFE staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?