Taiko Japanese Restaurant & Bar

Our rating 

User rating 

3 reviews
Venue Image
460A New North Road,

(09) 815 0610

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byBrett Atkinson24/08/2008

4 out of 5 stars

On yet another monsoonal Auckland Saturday night, we approach Taiko just as a few green-jerseyed Manawatu rugby fans are eyeing up the Japanese bar and restaurant. They’re also under the weather in a different sense, and eventually weave around the corner to a few more drinks at the Kinsgslander pub. I shouldn’t have worried actually, because our prior reservation with Taiko has secured the last table in this buzzy spot.

I reckon there are two approaches when eating Japanese food. Either you order a bento box and get an array of teriyaki, sushi and sashimi, or you dive into the accompanying menu of smaller plates, and treat the whole experience a bit like Asian tapas. Taiko’s menu is nicely wide-ranging, so we take the small plate route.

Despite being full, service from both the wait staff and the kitchen is excellent - in fact, almost a bit too fast - and we’re soon trying a few dishes you definitely won’t find at the your local St Pierres Westfield outlet. A 700ml handle of Sapporo draft beer ($11) and a crisp Lake Hayes chardonnay ($10) ideally partner the different tastes. Five other Japanese beers, sake, and other well-priced Kiwi boutique wines are also available.

We kick off with Super Giant Squid ($8), actually whole baby squid filled with a delicately spicy peri-peri sauce. The warning “Caution: filling may be hot” is very apt, but they’re deliciously moreish. Prawn yakitori ($11) are good value with five skewers packed with prawns, and pork and chive gyoza (dumplings $7) are light without a hint of greasiness.

The most unusual dish of the night is Takowasabi, ($5) raw diced octopus in a zingy wasabi sauce. The octopus is not as tender as other places around town like Parnell’s Gion, but the wasabi fire in the dish has me seriously considering a second huge beer. We keep up the octopus theme with Takoyaki ($9). Octopus dumplings are a favourite Japanese street food and Taiko’s Auckland versions are light and fluffy. In between the small plates, a large platter of sashimi ($26) provides contrast, with the highlights being the salmon and a single, tender scallop.

We really should be full, but the very capable waitress convinces us to try Taiko’s home-made ice cream ($7). Carol’s Green Tea flavour is more successful than my quirky wasabi and ginger variant, but on a night where we’ve dived into other idiosyncratic Japanese tastes, I’m glad I tried it.

Next time at Taiko we’re going to come back with a larger group, or park ourselves as a couple at the funky bar and try even more flavours off the wide-ranging menu.

And remember, if it’s a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably want to book.

Taiko Japanese Restaurant & Bar has been reviewed by 3 users

Most Read Today

01 Auckland's Best Swimming Pools

We have a look at five heated swimming pool comple...

02 Auckland's Best Playgrounds

The kids have spoken and we are pleased to present...

03 Christmas Lights and Displays in Auckland

Enjoy Christmas in Auckland under the glow of fest...

04 Auckland's Best Malls

Check out our picks of the top five malls in Auckl...

05 Auckland's Best Milkshakes

We look at the Auckland shakes that cause quite a ...

Content updated: 29/11/2015 16:20

Add Review

Latest Pubs & Bars User Reviews

  • My Bar
    I was looking for a place to host my sisters hens night - My Bar ...

    j_31 on 25/11/2015 @ 7:12 p.m.
  • Aria Restaurant & Bar
    Had fantastic food from this restaurant but very rude and upsetti...

    anony on 26/10/2015 @ 5:04 p.m.
  • Madam Woo Takapuna
    Have been to Madam Woo in Takapuna twice now and I have to say th...

    LisaS_LocalHero on 1/10/2015 @ 12:08 p.m.
  • My Bar
    I hired the function room to host a hens party and I felt so luck...

    NixP on 30/09/2015 @ 2:05 p.m.
  • Bolero Tapas Bar & Restaurant
    This restaurant looked busy and inviting and staff welcoming were...

    Knight100 on 24/09/2015 @ 9:23 p.m.
Hitwise Award Winner