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“Tiny portions and way overpriced.......disappointed”
Review of Cafe Encounter

Cafe Encounter
Ranked #7 of 61 Restaurants in Kaikoura
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Ocean view cafe with a varied breakfast and lunch offerring, with GF and vegetarian options available. Great coffee and a varied selection of teas. Wide selection of cold drinks, juices and delicious smoothies! Fresh produce and daily fresh baking.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

I visited the Encounter café for lunch and ordered a tuna focaccia ($14.80NZD). When it arrived I thought that the other half had already been eaten or was hiding under the side salad, unfortunately not. This portion size might have passed for a child's portion but not for this price! A nearby elderly couple who also ordered the same were equally shocked. The biggest shame was that the sandwich was nice and my wife's soup was fine although expensive. I was still hungry when I left and felt ripped off which was the only time during a two week NZ south island holiday. I can only hope that the money for my sandwich at least contributes towards the preservation of Kaikoura vulnerable species such as the Wandering Albatross and increased awareness for the much needed marine protection for the area through the "Encounter Foundation". There is better value for money in town.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cafe-Encounter1, Front Office Manager at Cafe Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

We were so disappointed to read your review and are sorry that you felt dissatisfied with your order. We really appreciate your taking the time to share your comments and take feedback like this very seriously. We had identified that the portion size for the Focaccia needed to be increased and this has already been actionned; sadly this action was clearly after your visit to us. We are pleased to read that the taste was good! We were surprised to read your comments on the soup as generally we receive great feedback on our regularly changing soup selection, and we offer a very generous portion in a huge bowl which our research shows us is competitively priced.

We work very hard to ensure great service and value for money, so the last thing we want is for a customer to feel ‘ripped off’ and we would certainly like to reimburse you for the Focaccia by way of apology and would appreciate it if you could contact me on 0800 733 365/+64 3 319 6777 ext:0 or email me helene@dolphin.co.nz in order that I can action that for you.

Latterly, we really liked your comments about the Encounter Foundation, and whilst every one of our tour fares makes a contribution to the Foundation our café revenue does not at this stage, but this is certainly something the partners will consider. Meanwhile, should we not hear from you within the next month regarding reimbursement we will donate the refund to the Foundation for you, as a start on your great idea, with thanks!

Best regards, Helene & the Encounter Café & Kitchen Team.

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255 - 259 of 363 reviews

Reviewed May 9, 2013

Great place to have breakfast or lunch. And a great view of the ocean. And the Iced Chocolate is really good.

Thank aamb135
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cafe-Encounter1, Front Office Manager at Cafe Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Hi and thank you for your review we really appreciate you making the time to do that! Mmmmmmmmm iced chocolate....now there's an idea! Yum! :-)

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Reviewed May 4, 2013

We ordered a selection from the menu. The worse breakfast I had in a long time was here. Bacon was so dry we actually asked if it was microwaved. Mushroom, Tomato and hash brown were boring, scrambled eggs were pretty good but overall it was unpleasant. Just lucky someone had ordered the berry crepes which were great and the croissant with Jam and Cream was also lovely. The pot of tea was great. Staff didn't come to check if everything was ok so we called someone over as they passed. There was a discussion in the kitchen before we were offered free coffees to make up for it which wasn't really enough considering two of our three breakfasts were Big Breakfasts. This is not acceptable. The Breakfast was expensive (nearly $20) and free coffees (when were drinking tea and had plenty left) was not a suitable option. It takes a lot to actually tell staff there is a problem due to reactions and I think the chef should have taken this more seriously when we complained. I said instead of the coffees I would take a muffin for later. We should have been offered a refund in this case. It really wasn't pleasant. I heard two americans ordering the same thing when I was eating and thought I would ask how theirs was on the way out. They also said the bacon was dry .... I told them to make sure they told them so they were aware of the continued problem but not sure if they did. My advice - stick to the fresh cakes and pastries or try the crepes or maybe head south to Mainline Station Cafe at Cheviot or North to Manhatten Cafe in Blenheim.

Thank CosmicCowgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cafe-Encounter1, Front Office Manager at Cafe Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a your review, we really value your feedback. We are very sorry that part of your breakfast order was not to the standard we normally pride ourselves on. Regrettably around time of your visit we had received some similar feedback from other clients regarding the bacon, we have never had issue with our bacon before, so we discussed the feedback with our supplier immediately and withdrew the affected batch from service. This matter has now been rectified and on checking with our regulars, I am glad to report that our bacon is back to standard!
I agree with you with regard to the restitution offered in this case, it was not appropriate and I apologise for this. It is also most unusual as we work hard to ensure the best customer service and our policy would be to refund in a situation such as this. I would really like to rectify this matter with you and would appreciate it if you could contact me on 0800 733 365/+64 3 319 6777 ext:0 or email me helene@dolphin.co.nz in order that I can action that refund for you.
We are most encouraged to read that you felt the other dishes in your order were lovely and we do hope that you will return to us should you be in Kaikoura again!
With thanks and best regards from Helene & the Encounter Café & Kitchen Team.

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Reviewed May 3, 2013

The Encounter Cafe was great. We had breakfast there in the morning. Yummy croissants and chocolate swirl cheesecake. The flat white and the mochaccino were both outstanding. Very friendly staff. Free wifi with purchase.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lisa27Marie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cafe-Encounter1, Front Office Manager at Cafe Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Thank you for posting your review, we really appreciate it! So glad that you enjoyed your visiti to us! The chocolate swirl cheesecake is one of my favourites too! :-)

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Reviewed May 1, 2013

Magnificent location opposite the sea front, open air seating if you desire, really good service. What really caps this place off though is the selection and quality of food.

Thank BrianTaupo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cafe-Encounter1, Front Office Manager at Cafe Encounter, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2013

Thank you so much for posting your review. We are spoilt here in this wonderful location aren't we! We are delighted you enjoyed your visit and do hope we can welcome you back someday! :-)

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