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“Perfect, authentic Italian.”

Esplanade Restaurant
Ranked #9 of 357 Restaurants in Dunedin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Re-opened Oct 2013 under new management. No Reservations We are an Italian inspired eatery overlooking the beach in St Clair, Dunedin. Wood-fired pizza and house-made pasta is our specialty. Lovely bar area to enjoy excellent espresso or a glass of Central Otago wine, available on tap. Open 7 days and nights
Reviewed October 16, 2013

This is a treat for anyone who ever wanted to go to Italy or for those who want to go back. The pizza was truly authentic and a great reminder of why Italian cuisine is so special. You have to try the Prosciutto, crudo di parma, mozzarella & rocket pizza. Simple, fresh and delicious flavours just as you would get in Florence or Rome.
The Tiramisu was also a treat and a great way to finish. A deconstructed version but wow!
Service was excellent and the location will always be special.
If you have been to Italy you will love it. If you are yet to go, be prepared to try a style of pizza you may not have seen before but rest assured, it will taste fantastic.

Thank 105FLSTF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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338 - 342 of 375 reviews

Reviewed October 13, 2013

The Esplanade is a bit of an institution in Dunedin, although I have always thought it was a bit overrated. It has been closed through the winter of 2013 and has just reopened (in Sept/Oct 2013), I believe under new owners. I went on a Friday night to see what had changed.

The décor hasn't changed much. It is quite neat with exposed brick walls. It is a busy place and they have a high turnover, serving food very quickly.

It is billed as a speciality pizza bar and apparently has a "real" Italian chef. The pizzas were indeed authentic thin-based Italian pizzas, either "red" (with a tomato base) or "white" (no tomato). They were yummy and authentic but very overpriced in my view. They are single serve and cost around $25 each. If you were going to share a pizza you would need to get chips (at $8 a bowl!) and/or bread as well to make a meal. In my view the pizzas would be better priced at about $18 given what you actually get - a thin base and 3-4 toppings. The margherita pizza (tomato, mozzerella and basil) had just one basil leaf on it!

It is in a spectacular location, right on the esplanade with a stunning view out over the ocean. Lovely on a sunny day. Probably best suited to a quick light lunch (share a pizza) than an evening meal.

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Thank OshXman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Went for lunch on a Saturday, not very busy to start with but still took an hour from arrival to getting our food. Staff were not particularly friendly and often delivered drinks or food to the wrong table. The food was good when it did arrive. Perhaps they trade on their waterfront location rather than the delivering good service.

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Thank pete57Wtgn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We wanted a simple bowl of chips and so went in and ordered from the bar. However we were informed they didn't have a deep fryer! Oh well, we will have a bowl of roast potatoes then thanks, ordered a beer also and sat down. Then we noticed the windows were dirty, and the beer glasses were old and scratched. Oh well it's hard to keep windows clean next to the sea and glasses are expensive, we were sure they were clean at least.

Then the potatoes arrived and they were horrible. They weren't properly cooked and tasted like they may have been green. Not to get too wound up about it, we politely asked the waitress to take them back to the chef and we would like them cooked a bit better please (it's not hard to cook good roast spuds). She unapologetically said "I will see what the chef says" and took them away, returning with the unchanged potatoes shortly afterwards saying "They aren't not cooked, they just aren't cooked well." No refund, repair or replacement forthcoming we left simply dumbfounded!!!

If you want to go to the sea side restaurants down there you would be better going to any of the other ones on that street because the other restaurants there are much better! I don't like making negative reviews but you will see from my other reviews that I am not unduly harsh in my reviews.

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1  Thank sv3nn0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

Last night we decided to visit The Esplanade Restaurant as it was nice and close to where we were staying. We arrived and were seated quite promply then ordered drinks that took 15 minutes to get. As the restaurant wasn't overly busy this was quite bizarre - God knows what the guy behind the bar was doing.
We noticed that there was a big table coming in so we hoped we would get our orders taken soon. When we did order all of us got entrees - we got these in good time and were enjoying them. The problem then came as we were eating our entree they bought out our mains before we were finished - one lady she took hers because she had ordered steak and couldn't send it back. Two other ladies said they weren't ready for the mains as they hadn't finished, the waitress gave them a look of disapproval as if it was their fault.
As some of us have worked in the hospitality industry we know that you check entrees are away before mains are served.
For the rest of the evening she wouldn't come near us - Im not actually sure why this young lady works in hospitality because she had a face on all night.
The sad thing is that the food was fine but the service was disgusting and people need to receive the package deal when they are spending money on going out .

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Thank Justine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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