Here at Dine In we love to feast on down home comfort foods at our local neighborhood eatery as much as anyone else. Sometimes the occasion or mood calls for something different, something unique, and something your grandparents never would have imagined. We find ourselves reaching for the stars making variety and convenience the primary focus for our clients. When we find an eatery reaching for the stars, going to the farthest reaches of the universe in order to bring an amazing experience to the diner, it’s hard not to be impressed. Sometimes it is difficult to fathom all the hard work, tenacity, and creative vision which is needed to create a completely unique and satisfying dining experience. As the old saying goes “No risk, No reward.”
Sometimes a restaurant is much more than its food. It is an experience which engages all senses at heightened states. ’35 South’ in Paihia is a spectacular experience for many reasons, especially their amazing food. New Zealanders love fish as much as any other food. According to the Seafood Industry Council of New Zealand, 88% of New Zealanders eat fish at least once a month. An astounding 640,695 tons of fish were consumed within New Zealand in 2010.
Not only does 35 South offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as well as an extensive children’s menu, and a full scale bar that has everything under the sun; it also showcases an amazing 60,000 litre saltwater aquarium in the center of the restaurant. This is truly a unique feature, and along with the great food, keep’s patrons coming back again and again. 35 South has become notorious for its stellar seafood, as well as being one of the best family dining experiences due to the marvelous aquarium which kids adore.
The aquarium plays perfectly into the theme of the restaurant, and features snapper, trevally, kawhai, granddaddy hapuka, leatherjackets, kingfish, and more of the best ocean critters New Zealand’s plentiful waters have to offer. To show you how meticulous 35 South is, they change the saltwater in the aquarium everyday and actual divers clean the inside daily as well. The aquarium also recently upgraded its rock facades for the viewing pleasure of its customers.
Not only does 35 South captivate the visual sense it completely takes the sense of taste to the nether- regions of deliciousness. Without exaggeration, their lunch menu features one of the best calamari dishes known to mankind. The deep-fried calamari with caper vinaigrette, wasabi aioli & zesty slaw is a work of art. The sweetness of the perfectly tender calamari is beautifully offset by the sour yet savory notes of the caper vinaigrette, with the wasabi aioli adding the perfect amount of heat on the back end. On their dinner menu, the ‘Seared NZ King Salmon’ is a testament to the amazing seafood we have here in Kiwi land. It is served in a mild yet rich saffron sauce alongside coconut gnocchi. The gnocchi is a completely original concoction that I have never seen anywhere else, and very light and airy with a pronounced flavor of coconut. I must give this dish top marks on both originality and taste as well as all the items on the menu which are superb.
When a grandiose and high level concept comes together it is a beautiful thing. 35 South is a very complex and wonderfully run establishment. To pull off the décor, food, and service at the high level they do is extraordinary. 35 South is unique because it is high end food, yet not pretentious, and let’s not forget the aquarium which is a sight to behold.