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“Talisman took their time - mixed response from a family view”
Review of Talisman Cafe

Talisman Cafe
Ranked #4 of 4 Coffee & Tea in Waihi
Dining options: Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
Waihi, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Talisman took their time - mixed response from a family view”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

With a young family, I'm always on the lookout for really kiddy-friendly cafes, and on this one I have a very mixed opinion.

After a lovely walk in Karangahake Gorge, we were hungry, and Talisman Cafe seemed like an ideal choice, right across the road from the walkway carpark. A fantastic location that must bring them loads of super hungry clientelle.

We liked the fact that they had a garden area, where kids could stretch their legs while waiting for food, and it was good safety feature that they had a gate on the entrance, separating explorative little patrons from the super busy state highway.

However, the weather turned a bit chilly, so we decided to sit indoors. There was a little toy corner, with a supply of activities to occupy the littlies, and a fish tank with a live eel to watch. However, there were also lots of arts and crafts for sale, many of which were within easy reach of little hands, and a small sign stating that any breakages were to be paid for. And the fire which was keeping things cozy inside could also be a hazard for littlies.

The food consisted of a selection of cabinet food, as well as a blackboard menu. And there was a kids menu, which combined child-orientated food, with a drink, for $10.00.

On arrival, I felt pressured to order quickly, as the area around the front counter was rather cramped, and we were blocking the entrance and exit for other patrons, as we perused the menu. I ordered a panini and side salad, my husband had beef nachos, and the kids ordered childrens meals, with cafe style drinks.

There was another family eating lunch with young children while we were there, and I supose it didnt bode well that as we were taking our seats, the adults from that group were chasing up their food order for their hungry child who was getting fidgety with the wait.

The wait staff seemed to be coming and going in a constant procession from the kitchen, despite there only being four tables occupied. However, on one of their passings, the waiter informed us that there was a 'high chair over the otherside of the room if we wanted to use it for our baby', leaving my husband to try and navigate his way with it through the clutter of tables, arts and crafts.

Our food didn't take too long to come. My husbands nachos looked like they had been zapped in the microwave, and he said they were very bland in flavour...certainly not served with lashings of sour cream and cheese that he's experienced at other cafes. It was obvious that someone had put effort into my salad garnishing, as it looked pretty, however, the mediteranian vege panini was certainly nothing to write home about. But the kids all seemed to enjoy their meals.

However, after we had finished our meals, there was still no sign of any of our drinks. We mentioned this to a passing waiter, who checked on things and reported back that they were almost made...about 10 minutes later they finally turned up...

By then, our kids were getting rather fidgety and impatient, not to mention thirsty, so we pretty much skulled them, and headed off. Again, my iced coffee could only be described as average.

Earlier, we had talked about enjoying some cakes or slices for dessert, but opted not to, based on our experiences.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    18
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    7
    15
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“`Shocking Service”
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Well we thought this place would be enjoyable. Doffo got it right. We got no welcome to the extent of rudeness, after 45min my chowder hadn't arrived and my wife had finished 15mins earlier. We had no choice but to leave when the adjoining table got there chowder and it looked like running dog sick. Other tables were equally flustrated with the really poor service. Perhaps this place could cope if they only had one customer. They didn't appear busy just really disorganised.
We must have struck the same women as Doffo. Any way we had already paid and got a refund for half of the meal & coffee we didn't get and went up the road to the winery. Well this place was the exact opposite and we had a thoroughly enjoyable meal.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Level Contributor
123 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Good food great atmosphere”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

Having walked all over the gorge through tunnels, up steep hills and over rivers all day, our visit to talisman was a welcome break. The staff were very friendly, the food was nice and the gardens were a joy to walk around afterward. Well worth a stop I believe.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
auckland
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“BLOODY AWESOME”
Reviewed August 11, 2011

Recently me and my colleagues visted the talisman cafe and what a cafe it is.. The staff where very helpful and full of smiles. everything was just gorgous beautiful gardens beautful views extremly well presented food and of course those muffins werent stale they where so soft and moist . As i work in a cafe muffins are like a cake you dont need them to be 1hour fresh to be great even 2 days they can taste great. Unlike most other cafes that use premix crap i was glad to know all ingredents are made fresh on site which i love . Awesome coffee as well been Fusion coffee i recommend this cafe to everyone to give it a try you wont be .

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mellons Bay, Auckland
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“We left here feeling angry.”
Reviewed August 11, 2011

This cafe is just over the road from a tourist attraction, so seemed a likely place. BUT don't go there unless you enjoy being treated as if you're a nuisance. Set in a lovely bush-garden setting so that our hopes were high for a pleasant experience, we were a bit taken aback by the woman behind the counter. Not a hint of a welcome, and when we'd placed (and paid for) our order for lunch she told us that they were expecting a big party in soon and we'd have to wait if they came before we were served. Ten minutes later, the party began to arrive. In order for them to fit in,we had to move our table so that we were squashed into a corner with children's toys. No help from the staff, no apologies, nothing. And no sign of our order yet, not even the coffee we'd asked for. After another ten minutes - I kid you not -we went to the counter and asked how long our order would be. "Oh we haven't started it yet" we were told. (No apology.) She very grumpily said that she'd warned us. She was most reluctant to refund us when we said we would leave and was all set to argue.
I recommend you go a few yards up the road to a wonderful restaurant at the Vineyard.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Doffo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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