On our 19th year to Ixtapa, I felt we should check out a few different restaurants in case we've been missing something. Found these glowing reviews for Nueva Zelanda on Trip Advisor expounding on the great food, etc. It was ranked number 5 of 62 restaurants in Ixtapa - how had we missed this? I insisted our group of 8 try this place out - we've walked by it every year without noticing this gem.
When we got to the central courtyard area, all the restaurants were filled with people - but no one was at Nueva Zelanda. No one. Doubts and dissention started in our group but we eventually decided to give it a try.
As midwesteners, we really don't like to give poor reviews and we don't complain, but not every place can be great and the reviews should reflect that.
So I'll at least start with the good parts - the owner and hostess (husband and wife) were really, really nice and were trying their best. Service was very good - we got hands on service from her and she doesn't even officially work there. Having the only 8 people in the place helps. At the end of dinner, she offered us a free cup of coconut ice cream as a treat - completely unsolicited and unnecessary - a very nice gesture. Prices were quite low too.
But in reality, the place can not be considered a fine dining experience by any stretch. The great reviews of the place elevated expectations way too much - actually hurting it's reputation I think.
It is best described by our group as a Mexican fast food restaurant. You order your food using an order form, putting checks by the items you want. Thankfully, the nice hostess saved us this process by just taking our order instead. The food choices were very "simple" - fast food-like it seemed.
The strawberry margarita's we had were actually bad (They were a deep red, but had no strawberry taste at all. Possibly the favor mixture had gone bad?). No, we didn't complain at the time, but we should have - but she was so nice.
The food was edible - but to a person (8 of us, remember) it was described accurately as bland. Hard to do in a country with so many peppers available.
Now, most of the good reviews are about their breakfast - which we didn't try, and I could see how that could be better. But calling this a fine dinner experience seems misleading. It is what it is - fast food at a cheap price. Don't expect more.
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