Restaurant Indonesia Napier New Zealand

If you are ever in Napier there is one restaurant I would over all others – the people are fantastic and the food amazing.

Restaurant Indonesia is located on the seafront on Marine Parade…and as with all good things this recommendation starts with a story.

Looking for a job during my uni break the summer of 93/94, student job search only had a waitering job that they said I didn’t have a hope of getting because the restaurant owner thought all male students were lazy.

I rang up and talked to the owner, Harry, who didn’t seem that enthusiastic but agreed to give me a go; “just show up in black and whites”.

Of course I didn’t have black and whites so showed up in brown and whites. He rolled his eyes, we weren’t off to a good start.

It was my first time waitering and for some reason it was a crazy busy night with was only myself, the chef and the owner on.

The main dish on the menu was (and still is) the Rijsttafel, a huge array of Indonesian dishes consisting of all sorts meats and flavours. Some guests starve themselves the whole day and then take several hours to make their way through them, going for a walk and a smoke midway, then coming back to finish.

That first night was total chaos, with Harry yelling at me, the chef screaming and me doing a million different things, all very badly. We were so rushed off our feet there wasn’t a single clean item left by the end of the night, and we had to stack dishes and pots on the lawn outside. At the end of the night Harry didn’t say much, other than to come back the next night.

To be honest I was having serious doubts about returning at all! Waitering, I thought, was bloody hard work.

However, I ended up spending my whole my summer holiday and learnt so much. Harry became a close friend not just of me but my whole family. Both my sisters and my brother ended up working there for many years.

It is also where Belinda and I met (she came for a trial and stayed as well!), so we have a lot of great memories and history imbedded into the walls of the restaurant. This summer we had the wonderful opportunity to go back again, meet the new owners and enjoy an amazing dinner. It was a belated celebration of 26 years together – and where better to have it than where it all began!

You will love it too, from the authentic carvings to the candle warmers and the INCREDIBLE food, Restaurant Indonesia on Marine Parade is iconic.

And now I hear they are giving away meals through this covid lockdown to families that are in need, how cool is that, if you are in Napier you need to visit..


2 responses to “Restaurant Indonesia Napier New Zealand”

  1. Mauritz Mulligan Avatar
    Mauritz Mulligan

    Haven’t been there in years, will definitely swing past for a good feed and few handles on my next visit 😉


    1. It’s worth it mate, take a big appetite!


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