The bottom line: I would go for the sushi
During a recent lunch outing a couple of my coworkers and I ventured out to New Zealand Cafe. It was a perfect place to write a review on as it is not very far from my job and I find myself getting lunch there occasionally. The restaurant is relatively small so we try to head out there early enough to beat the lunch crowd as if it gets packed you will find it difficult to get a table. I would say that overall they might have between 8 to 10 tables in the whole restaurant.
New Zealand Cafe is mainly known for their sushi. The list of sushi options you can get is very extensive. Pictured you will see just one of the menus that they offer you upon your arrival, and this is just their daily special! For the most part New Zealand Cafe had been where I went for my sushi fix (at least until I discovered Koishi) and I hadn’t been disappointed. I feel like the opportunities of sushi offering really are endless as every time I go more sushi variations are added. Oh and did I mention they have $1 nigiri? Well they do. During my latest visit I tried the shrimp nigiri and it was fairly decent. The shrimp seemed fresh and well cooked.
However, this time I decided to go for one of their standard entrees as did my other coworkers. The entree I got was the King’s To Fu. It was tofu, shrimp, and chicken stir fried with broccoli, carrots, and other veggies. All of their meals are served with salad, crab cheese ravioli, chicken skewers, and garlic noodles or brown rice. Let me start with the salad. I really enjoyed it and mainly it was because of the dressing (the veggies more than likely came from a bag in my opinion with the exception of the cucumber). To me the dressing tasted a little bit like the thousand island dressing except much lighter in consistency. The crab cheese ravioli were also good and fried until they were very crispy. However, I felt that the actual crab cheese filling was minimal. Besides that I don’t have any other complaint about them seeing that I ate both until my hearts content. The tofu, shrimp, and chicken stir fry was also decent. I enjoyed eating it although to be honest I liked the tofu and shrimp better. I paired these with the garlic noodles which provided a balance to the saltiness from the soy based sauce. And finally, the only thing I would say I did not thoroughly enjoy were the chicken skewers. We all found them to be a bit dry overall. Furthermore, I am not that much into dark meat. So to my surprise when I bit into one all of what I did taste was dark meat…ugh! I wish maybe they could put a description that the skewers are made of both dark and white meat or make it an option for the customer to chose one over the other. I do have to say though that all of this food came with a price of $7.50 so it’s not a bad deal for someone who is just looking to satisfy their hunger quickly and inexpensively.
My coworkers said they liked their meals although they weren’t exactly blown away either. Lisa, who ordered the Malaysia’s Butter Shrimp, did state that she felt the serving was fairly generous since she got 8 pieces of shrimp (I know because she counted them). My other coworker Tina ordered the Grilled Tilapia and said she also liked her meal although the sauce had a hint of sweetness to it and for her it wasn’t the best pairing when mixed with the fish. My overall assessment is that if I ever go with an entree again I would more than likely go with the jumbo shrimps.
Overall, I wouldn’t say New Zealand Cafe is a bad place at all. In regards to their service every time I have been there everyone is nice and very attentive. I do think though that they have carved out a niche with their sushi offerings and perhaps this is where their forte lies. Given the convenience that they are close to work I will be back but will probably stick with sushi for sure.