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“Expected much more”

Harbour Light Bistro
Ranked #6 of 193 Restaurants in Nelson
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $26
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Harbour Light Bistro is a locally owned Nelson restaurant based on Wakefield Quay, one of Nelsons beautiful waterfronts. Harbour Light offers a selection of locally and internationally inspired dishes. All dishes are made fresh and our menus change seasonally as we use locally sourced fresh produce when possible for our restaurant. Harbour Light Bistro & Restaurant offers spacious indoor dining with picturesque waterfront views, suitable for large groups or an intimate lunch or dinner for two. Our wines are also locally sourced from Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions and are all carefully selected to accompany our many fine dishes. Harbour Light Bistro & Restaurant is open weekdays from 11.30Am to late. On the weekend we open at 9.30 For brunch then through to close with dinner. Please call us on 03 546 6685 for a reservation so as not to be disappointed.
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Beautiful location and the waitress was lovely but I expected more. This place is right on the waterfront so setting is fantastic. Locally touted as a seafood restaurant, which is what we were looking for. There were a couple of seafood starters but there was one seafood main dish on the menu (salmon) and that was it. The menu was very limited and so you expect each dish to be special. Not the case.

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Thank Marlene S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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388 - 392 of 489 reviews

Reviewed November 1, 2013

We were in Nelson for a night and wanted to eat at a seafood restaurant in the Waterfront area.

I searched the local directory for "seafood restaurants" and the Harbour Light Bistro came up with a strong recommendation. It's located right on the waterfront which seemed like the mark of a restaurant that specialises in seafood.

Firstly, the bad news. This is not a "seafood restaurant".

There was only one fish dish on the menu. Scallops that were not on the main list were available but "fresh mussels" which were on the list were not available because "they are delivered on Tuesday" and we were there on Monday.

The menu is very limited. From memory there were about six starters and six mains.

Now the good news.

We had a delightful meal prepared by a chef that knows what he or she is doing.

We were shown to a table next the front window downstairs and so had a good view of the bay and the sunset which was spectacular.

We both had the scallops as a starter; they were fresh, succulent and cooked perfectly.

I had the salmon (the only fish option) and my wife had steak; again both were cooked perfectly.

We shared a desert which was also of a high standard.

I think this is a very good restaurant; the quality of the cooking more than overcame our disappointment over the limited menu and the lack of seafood options.

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Thank NSMKMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

Only 2 front of house on duty, no maître D' and one young lady not able to work the bar and apparently completely untrained for this restaurant. Very slow food service and no ability to describe meals clearly. Despite this the food was delicious. But with service that slow, we were no longer hungry when food was delivered. Easy to make this a much better experience. Hopefully some feedback will encourage more training for staff.

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Thank Catherine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Once again in Nelson it is the service that lets this place down. The upstairs restaurant was full I believe, but were happily settled downstairs in the bar. Again it seemed that two was not enough waiting staff. There was little pro-active attention and rampant confusion when simple cocktails had to be made and when it came to using the espresso machine. Clearly their first day.

The food here was good, lamb rump rare, tender and tasty, snapper fillet perfectly moist and flaky, and the squid and scallops delicious entrees.

Another one not on my list for a return visit.

Thank DSMIW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We tried this restaurant based on the recommendation of the owners of the nearby cottage we were renting with two other friends. It proved to be a great venue for a birthday celebration: interesting local food (we are from Australia) and a good wine list. Very friendly service - we got an excellent table upstairs on a last minute booking. The online booking form didn't function well, and if you are in line for a discount, make sure you remind them before paying!

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

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