Charlotte Eats: New Zealand Cafe

The UrbanSpoon app on my phone has been a great source of food info for us since moving. I love the location of our house because we live close to lots of restaurants – and just a short drive from many more. And… we don’t have to get on a single highway! For these Two Texans, that’s epic.

New Zealand Cafe is maybe a mile from our house. Ridiculously close. It’s located in a shopping center and kind of tucked away. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have known about it initially had I not seen it on UrbanSpoon, where it gets pretty good reviews.

To be honest, I had no idea what kind of food would be served there. What cuisine is New Zealand famous for? I must admit I had/have no idea. But a bit of googling showed that this spot had an eclectic menu full of sushi, Asian dishes, and a few other random things.

We hit it on a Thursday night around 8pm and there was a crowd waiting outside. It’s a teensy place, with maybe 20 tables squished inside along with 5 seats at the sushi bar. And one random table outside on the sidewalk. With just a party of two, we usually get seated fairly quickly anywhere and this was no different – 15 minute wait max. We were seated at the sushi bar, where we could watch 3 chefs preparing sushi. Jason was seated practically on top of the soda machine, which I found incredibly amusing each time he got us refills without moving an inch 🙂

The service here was very good. Our waitress was very sweet, knowledgeable, and present.

The menu is a decent size with reasonable prices.

Appetizers include items like spring rolls, pot stickers (6 for $4.75), salt and pepper calamari. They also have some soups, like miso soup, and salads available. We ordered the pot stickers and they were tasty.

They have quite a sushi menu (and here) available, but I (shockingly!) didn’t try any this trip.

The entrees include things like grilled tuna, teriyaki steak, mango chicken, pork chop, and noodles. Jason ordered the Atlantic Seafood Platter ($7.95) which included marinated shrimp, scallops, and one lobster meat sauteed in Chef’s sauce with mixed vegetables (read: 99% broccoli). It also came with house salad, crab cheese ravioli, chicken skewers, and choice of garlic noodles or brown rice.

Unfortunately, the Chef forgot to add flavor to the sauce that night because it was almost completely flavorless. Such a disappointment. 😦

I ordered Malaysia’s Butter Shrimp ($6.95) which is battered jumbo shrimp in some kind of sauce. This was very tasty! Mine came with the same side items as Jason’s.

I love the bento box presentation, and the variety of items that it came with.

New Zealand Cafe is always packed when we drive past so they are obviously doing something right! We’ll be back to try again – and hopefully Jason’s will have flavor this time 🙂

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