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“Was expecting so much more”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Ima Cuisine

Ima Cuisine
Ranked #92 of 2,235 Restaurants in Auckland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $28
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Israeli, Arabic
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Kids, Special occasions, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Middle Eastern inspired breakfast, lunch and a family-style sharing dinner. Cooking has always been the focus of my life, I've been a cook since my early teens. However when I left Israel to study in the UK, it really dawned on me just how important good food is - how great food can lift your spirit and make you happy, and bad food can bring you down. I came to NZ from Israel in late 1997 with two little girls and pregnant with the third. The food I love was very hard to find and I missed it terribly, and so I opened the Lunch Box. Ima is my second venture in Auckland. Ima (pronounced EE-Mah) means mother in Hebrew. My food is simple, honest, healthy and nurturing, like mum's food (providing she is a great cook). At Ima the atmosphere is warm and casual. At Ima the atmosphere is warm and casual, we hope our guests feel immediately comfortable and at home. We invite you to enjoy our food - made with love and the finest ingredients - we know it will make you happy! - Yael Shochat, Owner
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
61 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Was expecting so much more”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2012 via mobile

For the past couple of years we have noticed that Ima has shown up on the list of Metro magazines' Top 50 restaurants. Following a more recent review in a local paper we decided to give Ima a try. The food is really nice. The owner Ima (not working the evening we were there), has created a menu of Israeli, and Middle Eastern foods, which well made and flavorful lacked a certain amount of flair that would have elevated this restaurant above its ok rating: we shared a mezzo platter which was really flavorful and promised only good things to come. Out table ordered the fish of the day, the lamb and the stuffed chicken. All were we'll made and tasty. We also ordered some nicely made coffee and a dessert if chocolate and hazelnut crisp. Again it was nice but difficult to share. We also ordered a decent Sauvignon Blanc from theodest wine list and all was good. Where Ima falls terribly flat is the service. Food and drinks ate delivered but that's it. No quality check, and the servers seemed to have no interest in the food or drinks they were serving. The dining room isn't big enough that being too just could be used as much of an excuse. Towards the end of the evening we resorted to flagging down the servers to get things we wanted. They were always pleasant, but at the very leafy hey could have cared enough to check in with us every joe and then. This is not s fine dining place. The bathroom is located out in the car park, and cutlery is laid on the table without a serviette. Not big things, but by the end of the evening, despite the tasty food, we had decided that there is simply too much competition in Aucklsnd to return again soon. We truly kept an open mind, and liked it but it could be so much more if a little more care was taken in relation to the service.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Markgarris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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257 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    117
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
202 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Sounded interesting but failed to impress”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012

We booked Ima because we had never tried Israeli food, and the advertising promised we would be 'treated'. Parking was difficult because the surrounding streets were full, and one of the carpark buildings rejected our credit card. There are other buildings in the vicinity, and they charge $7 for an after-hours stay. The atmosphere in the cafe was warm and friendly, and we were quickly greeted and seated, with menus. There was a good variety of food on offer, but we struggled to find Israeli dishes. Turkish mezze, (which was delicious), Moroccan chicken, Lebanese lamb, with main dishes served with couscous. Our guests pronounced the food delicious and that the cafe was a good choice, but the two of us thought the dishes could have been better presented, and our lamb and fish tasted rather bland. We didn't try dessert, but there was a pleasant variety. The wine list comprised NZ and European options. Our guests asked to try Israeli beer, but there were only European or Japanese brands on offer. We thought it a shame Israel was not better show-cased. If you try Ima, ensure you have a padded chair seat - some of the wooden ones are uncomfortable.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cadarnle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
422 reviews
230 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Friendly and nice, but food nothing to rave about”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2012

A casual and friendly little place in the heart of burgeoning Fort Street, the owner made everyone feel welcome and special. The waitresses were excellent, and it feels more like a living room than a restaurant. We thought the mezze platter and other starters were fresh and tasty - but the mains were a bit disappointing (a little bland, and not particularly good value for money). It may just be that we don't really understand Lebanese cuisine - but we came away feeling well loved, but underwhelmed.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MJMCD67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Food from the Heart - and from the Med”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

I just wanted to update my previous review. To the delight of the local neighbourhood, Ima is now open again for breakfasts.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank outoftok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
96 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Not that great”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2012

Had been led to try this place by the reviews it had gotten. The lighting very dim but had a relaxed sort of atmosphere. The service was good and attentive. The value of the food however was overpriced. The portions were filling and the variety was good but I didn't leave the restaurant with a favourite dish or a dish that had stood out. Overall, not impressed and pretty average.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Enelenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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