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KaiZen dining has evolved at Go Vino over a number of years. Originally operating as a Tapas restaurant we came to realise that our dishes were more complex and not particularly Spanish influenced. There was also a confusion in the market as to what "Tapas" were. So KaiZen dining was developed. Kaizen in Japanese, means "change for the better". It’s a philosophy of continually making small improvements that over time create a substantial positive change but is also a combination of the word Kai - the Maori/NZ word for food and Zen - a philosophy of enjoying the moment We change our menu seasonally (every three months). This gives us the opportunity to continually develop and improve our dishes
US$9 - US$16
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner
European, Fusion, Wine Bar, New Zealand
Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
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All reviews tapas tasting menu duck scotch egg prawns new zealand goats cheese small plates food and wine dining experience taste buds dishes nz garden whitianga
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Reviewed 3 October 2020

Me and my partner come here every year. The food is so exciting and different, the service is spectacular and it is always a wonderful evening! Would also highly recommend the margarita with jalapeno! Very good!!!

Date of visit: October 2020
RyanL4046, Owner at Go Vino, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2020

Thanks for your great feedback. Look forward to having you back again next year

Reviewed 16 August 2020 via mobile

As a single diner I was asked to move from the main seating area to a half lit unlaid table apart from the rest. The manager greeted me with the advice that they only serve sharing plates. Not helpful. I was hurried and felt most...unwelcome The dish I had was pleasant enough in flavour but slightly wet. Prawn dumplings lacking in any discernible prawn at all.More

Date of visit: August 2020
Reviewed 6 July 2020

This restaurant & bar is located at the small shopping area at Cooks Beach and as such there is no beach view to admire from your table. The bar has a contemporary look however there is also a garden courtyard at the rear which allows...for al fresco dining and on the evening we visited the latter is where most guests were seated, ourselves included. The menu is based on small sharing plates of food, similar in the style to a tapas bar with the difference being that the food is not Spanish. The dishes could instead be described as eclectic. The restaurant themselves describe the small plates as "Kaizen" dishes to differentiate from the idea of Spanish "tapas". There were a choice of around five or six each of meat, seafood and vegetable based dishes and you can mix and match to suit your tastes. We chose four plates to share - Herbed Gnocchi $18; Monk Fish $19; Ostrich Fillet $21; and Prawn Dumplings $18. Each plate was served separately in turn and our waiter provided a brief description of the ingredients before returning with the next offering as we finished the last - it all worked well in our experience (although it was a quiet night so the staff were not pressed). Our bottle of Saint Clair Cab/Merlot wine ($40) helped wash things down nicely. Each plate was a real mix of flavours which all worked well - in some cases unexpectedly so - and from that point of view it was a dining experience. The fish, the pasta and the prawn dishes were all delicious. The experience of trying ostrich for the first time in my case didn't go down as well (or at all) since I almost wore out my jaw chewing on a piece. Try as a I could I could not break it down and just kept chewing. My wife and I actually had a laugh about this so it didn't spoil the evening, on the contrary we made light of it. Never having eaten ostrich before I commented on this to the server when he collected the plate. He expressed some surprise as apparently many guests see the ostrich as a highlight dish of the restaurant so perhaps I was just unfortunate. For dessert we had a Dark Chocolate Cake ($14) and their "Howey" ($14) which from memory my wife described as resembling vanila slice. Both were good. Overall it's not the type of place where you're going to be presented with a plateful (although they do also offer pizza!). However we were entirely satisfied to share the smaller portion sizes of dishes with many different flavours and on the whole these worked well. Two courses and a bottle of wine in nice surroundings with pleasant service for $144/£71 seemed decent value for money. We visited in March 2020, prior to Covid-19 lockdown.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 9 March 2020

The owner was quite friendly and the staff most so as well . the food though OK was miniscule and extremely expensive . They seemed to take pride in the pantamime they were performing when serving us quite funny ( we were paying for it...so the joke was on us ) Good selection of wines . I would say unless you like to pay a lot for very little stay away . not recommended . Go into Whitianga for more choices in dining .More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 20 February 2020 via mobile

Went to Go Vino on a Thursday evening in February with my wife. It was busy with several other couple and families. The outside dining area was lovely and a real surprise when you enter the restaurant. We went with the Kaizen tasting plates at...$45 per person. These were a pleasure to eat as you never knew what was coming next. A highlight for me was the risotto scotch egg and my partner really enjoyed her dessert “The Howie”. The staff were excellent and we have a very enjoyable evening.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 16 February 2020

We went for the shared plates as we were told that meals come out individually. Not a great fan of shared plates but this worded out well. A good variety which gave our group of four a chance to go a little left field. The...food come out in a timely fashion , was well presented though the plates were a little small for the cost. Setting is really nice on a lovely warm evening and the staff from the owner down are very pleasant and happy to engage in a conversation. Not a lot at Cook's beach in respect to dining so the residents here are very lucky to have a restaurant of this standard.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 12 February 2020 via mobile

Managed to secure a table for 2 on a busy Saturday night. We chose our own dishes to share. Every option whilst not overly large had great presentation and made with love and attention. We had 4 different dishes and reordered the prawn dumplings because...they were fantastic. We left the restaurant very satisfied with the quality and quantity of the food and the friendly efficient staff were better than expected for a small sea side townMore

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 4 February 2020 via mobile

Go Vino offered the best food I have eaten in a long time. The tastes were divine and it was beautifully presented, with great service. The drinks menu was varied and unique - wine and beer that we haven’t seen elsewhere in NZ. This place...is not to be missed!More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed 20 January 2020 via mobile

First visit as staying in Cooks beach. Wonderful service from Fernando, great outdoor setting at the back and awesome winelist. We shared a goats brulee (stunni g) seared tuna ( tender and tasty), softshell crab ( great flavour but only 1 small crab for $18???...How are you meant to share that, kangaroo fillet as ostrich was not available, but very tender and flavoursome. Last dish was lamb, which was very tough and gristly due to the cut. All in all we had a fun night outMore

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed 13 January 2020

We also thought this was a hidden gem. The restaurant doesn't have great street appeal from the outside but has a great courtyard hidden from the street. Our party of 4 ordered the tasting meal and it was excellent. Very fresh ingredients, well presented and...well cooked. This was a great way of trying some dishes that we may not otherwise have ordered. Highly recommended. We will return!More

Date of visit: January 2020
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25 January 2020|
Response from Johan_The_Hunter | Reviewed this property |
As a local I have been here loads of times year after year since it opened (I have no relationship or friendship or gain here). Never have I EVER seen them be rude. The food is consistently very good. The locals keep coming... More
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