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“Blue cod yum yum”
Review of Motu Kitchen - CLOSED

Motu Kitchen
Price range: US$26 - US$73
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 7 April 2013

Dined here with a last minute reservation on a Friday night and were treated perfectly by everyone. Food was fantastic and service 2nd to none

1  Thank cathrynmalta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (176)
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130 - 134 of 176 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2013

We were stopped abruptly with the 4pm to 6pm 'Lucky Hour' and after reading the menu, we were absolutely lured ... thank god we went in! Everything on the menu we wanted - it was our ideal food experience, alas we couldn't eat them all but we did our best.
So the sharing dishes;
- Squid with gremolata, just tender and perfect taste of squid, the sour dough soaked in all juices, it was to die for
- Oysters, we had 1/2 dozen Coromandel and Bluff Oysters, natural naturally
- Prawns, omg this took me back to Thailand where we had our honeymoon, the 'Nam Jim' dipping sauce was so simple yet intense and had all the flavours of Asian cuisine.
- Mussels in a pot, we literally drank the broth from the pot! It was rich with taste but yet light enough to slurp... we thought of asking for more bread, to soak up all the sauce because it felt like a crime not to... but we spared the space in our expanding stomachs for other dishes, I'm glad we did because otherwise we would've missed out!!
Because we had such a variety of sharing plates we had only 1 entree, 1 main & 2 desserts;
- Scallops with Pancetta, black truffle, Broadbeans and cauliflower puree/mash - the mash was a show stopper. We had to think about what were we eating because it looked like mashed potatoes ... I can't find the words to describe the taste, it was just mind-blowing, can't believe it's cauliflower!
- Crispy skin Grouper, fresh and cooked to perfection with the amazing saffron paste - colour looked so amazing, almost like capsicum but it was the perfect marriage with the prized line-caught (!!!) sea fish. We loved the risotto along with the fish, it had great flavour in the stock without overpowering the fish as most creamy/cheesy risotto tend to do.
- Wild Fig with Mascarpone, Rose Flowers Petal & Turkish Delight, it looked like a painting and tasted like bliss. An amazing homage to rose petals, it was an absolute beauty, this is going to sound trippy but we almost felt like running in a garden of spring flowers after... it was beautiful. I did not feel less of a man having pink fairy floss on my plate, it was worth it!!
- Avocado Mousse, Green Tea Meringue, Bruleed Pineapple & Meyer Lemon Ice Cream, just amazing combination seriously... None of the elements were too strong, wonderfully executed. The textures were so great, the crunch of the meringue, the pineapple! The best most delightful littlest most luxurious bit of pineapple I've ever had - worth the bite!
This was truly a treat, with immense control over our palate. We said step aside Nobu, not to say they are not good (they are top of our list) its just Ian & Em have truly set a new standard for us in our foodie experience and delivered a truly Modern New Zealand cuisine. Your cuisine is truly 'Motu', your own 'Island'... Simple yet complex, honest food.
Well done guys! We hope our review don't set your expectations high but give it try, it was all our kind of food and more. It was the perfect ending to our amazing holiday of the North Island. We wish you all the very best in all your cooking adventures, can't wait to see you establishment evolve, can't wait to return to try your new experiments... We only hope you don't mind if when we return for another meal in the near future, we just have a little siesta happily on your bean bags in the front yard after (we were pretty close to doing that tonight!) ;)

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3  Thank SaltedKaramel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2013

This is a really nice restaurant in Whitianga. Pleasantly decorated, espeically outside. The service deserves a special mention as ALL of the staff were really friendly and attentive. The food was good, fish was nice but (being picky) accompanying risotto was a little bland, however steak was cooked to perfection and very tasty. We found the portions generous, which was a shame as the desserts look fabulous! Definitely worth a visit.

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Thank snownoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2013

Four of us went to Motu Kitchen last night for dinner and and enjoyed a delicious meal. The service was wonderful and attentive without being too much. They have a great menu with many different choices from small plates through to the standard entrees and mains.

The restaurant was relaxed, with nice background music yet quiet enough to be able to chat easily around the table.

We all loved our meal - in fact our friend is still raving about his steak. We didn't have room for dessert but I'm sure this would have been great too. I'm sure we will go back when next in town.

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Thank Scottygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2013

We were taken by friends to Motu Kitchen last night and was rewarded with an amazing dining experience with attention to detail from the moment we arrived. The welcome by Emily and team and showed to our table. Menu was given and specials advised. Chef Ian sent a gazpacho soup of tomato with his compliments to start and I followed this with prawns and chili followed by Fillet of Beef, which was a symphony of flavours to savour with each mouthful taken. We send our clients to Motu Kitchen to dine and they all return given delight at this gem of a restaurant. On your next trip to Whitianga book a table and enjoy the finest food and excellent service that Motu Kitchen offers their guests, it really is Wow indeed. Thank you team for a lovely evening I shall return as will our clients staying in our Bed & Breakfast.

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

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