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“Quality not constant”

Alfresco's Restaurant and Bar
Ranked #5 of 58 Restaurants in Paihia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $32
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Description: UNLIKE MOST PLACES WE NEVER CHARGE HOLIDAY SURCHARGE Live Music Every Sunday Afternoon 3pm - 6pm. Happy Hour Everyday 3pm - 6pm Alfresco's is a family run business that is open everyday from 8.00Am serving freshly produced food and excellent coffee. We strive to give great service anytime of the day.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We had dinner at Alfreso's twice. The first time the food was very good: porc belly and venison. Also the pavlova was gorgeous.
The second time however the porc belly was average and the fish was not as good as it should. The dessert duo the mousse had nothing to do with mousse at all. Pity.

1  Thank Hans_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelvnz, Manager at Alfresco's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2013

Hi
Thank you very much for your review.I was happy to see you enjoyed your first visit to our restaurant however I am disappointed that your second visit was not to the same level. Unfortunately you did not let us know on the night that you were not happy with your meals on the second night when we could have rectified the problem. I do apologise for your disapointment with us and the kitchen have been informed and take your comments on board.
Many thanks and enjoy the rest of your trip in NZ
Kelvin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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979 - 983 of 1,178 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2013

In Paihia for a few days with friends, got onto trip advisor which at that time rated Alfresco's as "Best in Paihia", so we booked and went along. Service was OK - as I said we had booked an indoor table but the waitress had given it away, which was fine as the music was quite loud inside anyway. So we sat outside, so far, so fine.
I ordered steak with mushroom sauce and a side salad & fries, my companions ordered venison, and the other two ordered Thai chicken curry. My steak was good, but spoiled slightly by having the mushroom sauce (more akin to a gravy) poured all over the chips as well, completely dominating the plate. The venison was pronounced "quite good" but that was all, and the Thai chicken curry was served on rice with more Indian flavours than Asian, which I think shows both a lack of culinary knowledge and respect for the cuisine/flavours. Kind of reminded me of an early episode of Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef TV show when he announced Thai food came from Taiwan...but I digress.
New Zealand has stunning produce, we produce international standard food in award winning restaurants throughout the country and are known as a foodie destination. Yes, I know this isn't the French Cafe or Meredith's in Auckland but is it too much to ask for simple food done well in a cafe in a tourist town? I suspect the cook (sorry, won't call him a chef) was like all of the waitstaff perhaps from Britain where he trained in a pub somewhere. Certainly felt like bad pub food to me.
Suspect most good reviews also came from English tourists happy with this standard.
Seriously I wouldn't recommend this place - if you can, make the trip to Food in Kerikeri and experience how good we can be in NZ.
By the way: have eaten EXCELLENT food in the UK!

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1  Thank Stylegirl35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelvnz, Manager at Alfresco's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this reviewResponded March 2, 2013

Hi
Thank you for your review. While I am dissapointed to hear you did not enjoy your evening with us I was quite confused by your attitude in your review. Your constant references to 5 star restaurants in Auckland and the fact that you had great meals in the UK as well as Jamie Oliver being thrown in I felt were not relevant to our restaurant.
Our headchef is from NZ and trained and worked in Auckland before moving to the Bay of Islands. Our staff work very hard to ensure that people enjoy their visits to our restaurant and as a result we have a large local following who enjoy coming to our restaurant on a regular basis. I am sorry that you did not enjoy your evening with us but I felt you made very general comments in your review which were not backed up by facts. You were obviosuly not happy and we were unable to do anything to change your mind.
Many thanks and we hope you enjoyed the restof your time in Paihia
Kelvin

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Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

We followed the rating (at the time) that this was #1 in Paihia.
It might have been but that doesn't say much about the other restaurants. This was just average cafe dining. Surroundings are "rustic" and service was variable. One staff member wanted to talk about herself and her pending holiday at the sacrifice of doing her job.
Don't pin your hopes on this for a great dining experience

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1  Thank 105FLSTF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelvnz, Manager at Alfresco's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2013

Hi
Thank you very much for your review. I am disappointed that you did not enjoy your experience at our restaurant. We try very hard to ensure all our guests enjoy their time with us and I'm unhappy that you did not leave happy. Your comments have been passed onto our staff and we will continue to improve our restaurant.
Many thanks
Kelvin

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Reviewed February 12, 2013

Four of us dined here recently. The wait staff were very nice. I had seafood pasta. It was tasty but nothing special. My friends all chose the squid. The general consensus was that it was "quite nice". The food was quite overpriced and did not live up to our expectations.

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1  Thank journeymakers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelvnz, Manager at Alfresco's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this reviewResponded February 18, 2013

Hi There
Thank you for your review. I was happy to hear that you found the service really good on your visit to our restaurant. I am disappointed to see that you were a bit disappointed with your overall visit to our restaurant. It would have been great if you could have let us known on the night so we could have done something to improve it. We feel our menu is on par with the prices across Paihia restaurants.
We would love you to come back and try us again the next time you are in Paihia so we can improve on your last visit. Your comments on the food have been passed onto our kitchen team.
many thanks for your feedback
Kelvin

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Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

We went here on our last night in Paihia after reading the glowing reports on trip advisor. We booked a table and looked forward to spending a great last night out.
When we arrived the restaurant which is also a bar was full of loud locals who sounded like they'd be on the lash all afternoon. We were seated quickly but waited some time for menu's or any attention. When we finally did get to place an order it was an eternity before our drinks arrived, however this was nothing compared to the wait for our Entrees we were just getting ready to walk out when they finally arrived after many apologies from our poor waitress. Tables that were seated after us were served before us and a few tables surrounding us were complaining about the wait. The food was ok, I ordered the seafood chowder which was nice enough but served with cold dry toast. For main I ordered the scotch fillet which was cooked well and very tender but under seasoned and served on top of a bed of chips which was then covered in a mushroom sauce which made the chips soggy and unpleasant. The green salad was served undressed. We just couldn't bare to wait around for dessert and opted to return to our hotel. Our waitress was apologetic when we paid the bill and offered free coffee and a discount.The table next to us was given a bottle of wine after they complained about the wait. Disappointing would not return again. Go to the Waterfront we had a fantastic dinner the night before with very attentive staff who couldn't do enough for us.

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1  Thank Kiwi_sunseeker73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelvnz, Manager at Alfresco's Restaurant and Bar, responded to this reviewResponded February 10, 2013

Hi There
I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for your recent visit to our restaurant. Unfortunately you arrived on a very busy night when we were short staffed both in the kitchen and front of house with lots of people arriving without bookings. This obviously had a knock on effect to the service for the night and I am very sorry that it spoilt your night. We work hard to ensure that all our guests enjoy their visit to our restaurant and our previous excellent reviews pay tribut to that. Your comments regarding the food will be passed on to our kitchen team.
I would hope that the next time you are in Paihia that you would return to our restaurant and make yourself known to me so we could improve on the experience of your recent visit.
Again many thanks for taking the time to leave us a review and your comments will be taken upon seriosuly.
many thnaks
Kelvin

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