Navas Cafe

Our rating 

User rating 

2 reviews
Venue Image
14 Ponsonby Road,

(09) 378 4478

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byCandice Reed9/11/2008

3 out of 5 stars

Ponsonby Road is long and trendy. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights it’s where many Aucklanders go for a drink and bite to eat, or both. Dotted right along the ever changing street scene between the retail stores and residential properties are many well known eating and drinking destinations that have stood the test of time - places such as Rocco, Prego and Sawadee.

Then, a few years ago Navas Cafe opened its doors at the K’ Rd end of Ponsonby Rd as a traditional and authentic Malaysian restaurant. It is family owned and operated, which is one of the first things I noticed when I arrived for a meal with my partner on a Friday night. There was mum at the door to greet us, dad in the open kitchen cooking and two primary school aged sons doing homework behind the counter and bar.

Navas Cafe has been described as Ponsonby Road’s hidden gem and I found it hard to disagree.

Inside it’s a quaint little place, with rustic exposed brick along one wall strategically covered in delicate wall tapestries and pictures. The other wall is soft in colour and feature lights create a relaxed ambience.

There’s room for about 50 eat-in patrons, but the cafe offers take-away service so those with less time can enjoy the food on the run or in the comfort of their own nearby studio apartment.

I point out the daisy’s are real, which is a nice touch that many similar striving restaurants could pick up on, but my favourite thing about this restaurant is the smell. Food always smells enticing when you are hungry, but these guys went one step further burning incense near the door which gently wafts’ over and greets you when you enter. There’s only one other family sitting down to a meal, so our orders are taken quickly. Navas Cafe offers BYO wine with a $4 corkage fee, or there’s a small wine, beer and soft drink selection on offer.

The menu is detailed but not overwhelming as you come to expect at some Asian influenced restaurants. Dishes include vegetarian samosas for entree ($10), butter chicken ($17), beef and black bean ($16) and vegetable dhall curry ($16) us westerns have come accustomed too, but there’s also more traditional options.

I love a good chicken kurma and it comes recommended so I go for that ($17) while my partner chooses nasi goreng ($17).

I duck out to the toilet, which requires me to head out the back door and past the kitchen, and come back to find our meals are almost ready. It doesn’t take long for us to devour the dishes, neither really wanting to share because both choices are full of flavour and thoroughly enjoyable.

And when we top everything off with a sweet sago pudding with coconut milk the chef knows he’d once again cooked a ‘top notch’ meal.

Navas Cafe has been reviewed by 2 users

Most Read Today

01 Auckland's Best Rooftop Bars

When Auckland's weather allows, enjoy a few coldie...

02 Auckland's Best Outlet Shops

We check out the five best spots for outlet shoppi...

03 Auckland's Best Malls

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

04 Auckland's Best Playgrounds

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

05 Auckland's Best Free Kids Activities

We check out the best five free kids activities in...

Content updated: 26/11/2015 12:44

Restaurant Reviews

Get Onboard

Make It A Date


Latest Restaurants User Reviews

  • Brothers Juke Joint BBQ
    I have been wanting to go to the Juke Joint (part of the Brothers...

    Chiana_Local_Hero on 20/11/2015 @ 3:31 p.m.
  • Tokyo Club
    Tokyo Club in Ponsonby Central is an “Izakaya” dining bar, offeri...

    Chiana_Local_Hero on 20/11/2015 @ 3:28 p.m.
  • Sri Pinang Malaysian Restaurant
    If you haven’t been to Sri Penang you MUST. It’s the best Thai i...

    Chiana_Local_Hero on 20/11/2015 @ 3:27 p.m.
  • Nanam
    Don’t be deceived by the casual recycled interior of Nanam in Roy...

    Chiana_Local_Hero on 20/11/2015 @ 3:25 p.m.
  • Al Volo
    Al Volo uses the best cheese in Auckland – from Il Casaro, being ...

    Chiana_Local_Hero on 20/11/2015 @ 3:24 p.m.
Hitwise Award Winner