We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Lousy Food, short of staff, expensive!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant & Bar

35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant & Bar
Ranked #27 of 57 Restaurants in Paihia
Price range: $7 - $25
Cuisines: Seafood, European, Soups, New Zealand
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups, Special occasions, Families with children, Scenic view, Kids
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The perfect spot to watch the Paihia Wharf where boats depart for the islands while you indulge in a meal carefully prepared for you by our fantastic team of chefs while being looked after by our front of house team who just love to make you feel at home. Whether you are after a coffee, a naughty dessert or cake or a full meal pop in and say HI. We are a team who enjoy sharing both their love of food and the Bay of Islands.
KL
Level Contributor
69 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Lousy Food, short of staff, expensive!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2010

I was so looking forward to an evening of great food after reading all those positive reviews. When I first set my eyes on the much talked about aquarium I was hoping that it would not be an indication of the quality of the food! It was poorly maintained, poorly lighted and occupied by a few fish. That was supposed to be a centre piece? Well maybe they didn't want to distract the diners from the food, I had hoped.

We ordered a dozen of fresh oysters to share while we studied the menu. It never came till we reminded the waiter half way through dinner. The fish special of the day was done fish and chips style using beer batter. My brother ordered a beer to complement the beer batter and again it never came till near the end of the meal. We also ordered pasta, lamb, salmon, steak, seafood chowder, ribs and some other forgettable dishes. Other then the fresh oysters (coz they didn't need cooking so you just can't go wrong there!) everything was at best so-so. Just imagine, my teenage nephew who has a voracious appetite and loves pasta, didn't finish the plate of fettucine. The crispy skin pork had chewy skin! My order of ribs was dry and tough. All the unpalatable so-so food did not come cheap. Our meal of 6 entrees, 6 main courses and 2 beers (no wine) came up to more than $400 dollars.

I couldn't say the service was bad because I could see the wait-staff trying their best. Very polite and friendly too. There just weren't enough of them to serve all the tables. Each waiter had too many tables to handle.

Yes, the restaurant was packed so my theory is, most of them are tourists and first timers like my party and I. Paihia was packed with tourists when I was there. No we will not return to the restaurant and will not recommend.

    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank wct38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,042 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    281
    345
    195
    126
    95
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Northwood
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fabulous food in a great location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2009

The restaurant sits over the water by the jetty for the boats which ply the Bay. The food is very good quality with a varied selection including stunning desserts. The aquarium in the centre provides some interest once darkness falls on the bay.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MisterDoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, New Zealand
Level Contributor
73 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Service is superb”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2009

As a local I occasionally call in here for a meal, or just a coffee. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I called in for a drink after an afternoon walk. I was so impressed with the staff that I was moved to let the owner know. They wanted to know where we were from, they helped with (knowledgeable!!) recommendations on the wine. Im quite fussy about my Pinot Noir and have often been disappointed in the past - mainly because staff often have no idea what they are selling.

We did not get to eat there that night but I have done so many times in the past and the food is really good. We watched the staff dealing with the customers and could not help but notice their presentation and professionalism. We need more places like this in NZ.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Midget539
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
236 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Nice Views & Good Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2009

We had dinner at this restaurant on our stay in late June (winter in New Zealand) and had a table at the window overlooking the water. However, tables next to the aquarium are also great. I had the thai marinated chicken linguini & my husband had the chicken in black bean sauce. Both were very good. We also had the beer on tap, although there were fewer options than I expected. Service was good, but the restaurant was half empty, so this isn't an indicator of what it could be like when full during the busy summer season. All in all, it was a nice restaurant & we would return again.

    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MMM2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kerikeri, New Zealand
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Definitely to be avoided in winter”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2009

This restaurant has been really good in summer, when there were plenty of efficient waiting staff (mostly from overseas), but lunch today was simply awful: no table service (you have to order at the bar - and pay as you go for the various courses and drinks), long wait for the food to come, and the oxtail hotpot was 95% gravy and potato. Table was not cleared after the first course so when the dessert arrived it was plonked on the table amongst all the dirty dishes - waitress didn't have a clue. A real "out of season" feeling with no attempt made to welcome diners. We definitely won't be going back again.

    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Ellen-Marie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant & Bar also viewed

Paihia, Bay of Islands
 
Paihia, Bay of Islands
 
Paihia, Bay of Islands
Paihia, Bay of Islands
 

Been to 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant & Bar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing