Hawke’s Bay has been blessed with no less than 11 restaurants that now open Friday nights that weren’t open just a year ago. In fact, most of these restaurants have opened in the last 12 months, showing just how fast the regions dining choices are evolving (about time I hear your say) and adapting to our changing dining habits. If you haven’t tried all of these restaurants, I suggest you get going before the tourists beat you to it. One of the things I enjoy about summer in Hawke’s Bay, is showcasing the regions new dining options to visiting family and friends from overseas. Alongside the regular comments of “I forgot what it’s like not to have to queue for a table” and “wow this is reasonable”, I always hope that they try a dish that makes them say “mmmm, we dont’ have this in <insert megacity name here>”. Remember if you need dining out advice or just want to be kept in the loop so you aren’t the last to know about dining out goss, subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.
Emporium is Hawke’s Bay’s newest and hippest eatery. Our pick is to choose four plates while enjoying a couple of drinks. Pulled spiced lamb burritos, cracked wheat, hummus + tzatziki my favourite.. Broad cocktail choices and non-alcoholic drink selection.
Tasty Nights are the brain child of Chef James Beck and have made a high end degustation of dishes a weekly outing. Except smaller plates of intense flavours that excite all the senses. As the weather gets warmer why not sit outside in the umbrella’ed area for a while first. There’s 12 bottles to the selective wine range with 50% being organic and the rest ethical, sustainably produced wine. Open till late.
An entirely new upstairs level has recently opened at Indigo that accommodates up to 100 people separately from the main downstairs restaurant, with a separate bar and facilities in addition to the whiskey bar downstairs. Indigo is available for functions, receptions, work parties, business seminars. Open till late.
A little known secret that’s getting out is that the Ten Twenty Four team will open for an evening function if you can make it worth their while. They’ve helped friends celebrate a birthday and they were blown away. A Napier business had team function there and decided then and there they were doing the same for Christmas. Haven’t been yet? tut tut. Friday nights open starting November.
Friday nights are beer, wine and the ‘late eats’ menu at Market Street Taradale. Open till late.
Namaskar is the latest and newest Indian restaurant in Havelock North. Open till 10pm Mon-Sat.
Garden Mojitos are on the menu, so are gremolata crumbed anchovies and edamame beans. Finally some after work quality bar snacks in Ahuriri.
Perfect on a Friday night to watch the sport. The station burgers are extra good with 60% steak offcut ends and 40% mince used in the patties. Girls love the Rekordelig Cider here and Station Bar stocks all the latest flavours as they arrive from Sweden. Get there.
Mister D (it’s not Mister D’s so I’m told!) is almost always busy, but you’ll have to take your chances as tables can’t be booked. Celebrating something special, Mister D will help you get underway with Bollinger by the glass.
It’s easy to forget about Snapper Park Cafe unless you live nearby in Bayview then it’s simply the biggest godsend in the area. Snapper Park extends their hours for summer from the usual 5pm until 9pm. Watch Bonnie talk about Snapper Park Cafe here:
Nicknamed by the Waipukarau locals as LT40S, by day it’s a cafe and by night a restaurant including a selection of cocktails to kickstart your Friday night. Just make sure you have a place to stop for the night!
Black Barn promises the most stunning sunset views of Hawke’s Bay. You can now visit late afternoon if you’ve just finished a round of golf and feel like popping in for a beer. Yes, they’re more than welcoming for those wanting to visit Black Barn for a couple of early evening drinks. Staying for dinner? Entirely up to you, but I would, especially if you won that round of golf.