Naritas (Wairau, North Shore City, New Zealand)

Rediscovering Naritas in North Shore, Auckland. Once a family favourite, we explore its current offerings and reminisce about the past.  Back at Naritas in North Shore! From nostalgic bento boxes to exploring new dishes like spicy seafood ramen and unagi teriyaki. Some hits and misses, but still a spot filled with memories. #JapaneseCuisine #NorthShoreEats #FamilyFavorites

When we migrated to New Zealand, we lived in four suburbs. Initially, we stayed near the city for a short while, then moved to the North Shore, where we spent over ten years. After a couple of years out West, then we returned to the North Shore and have been here for nearly two years now. During our first stint on the North Shore, Naritas was our family’s favourite restaurant. It was known for its value and quality. Now that we’re back, this is our first visit after nearly two years. We’re eager to see if it still holds the same charm and quality.

From 2006 to 2010, dining options on the North Shore were not as abundant as they are now. Competition is quite tough today with many new Asian restaurants sprouting like mushrooms. We have many new favourites, especially in the Albany Corinthian area. The big question is, does Naritas still give us the same spark that it did in the early 2010s?

Back in the day, we always ordered their bento boxes. They cost between NZ$20.00 to NZ$25.00, with lunch specials being NZ$5.00 to NZ$7.00 cheaper. These bento boxes were great because they offered a variety of small dishes, making them a complete meal on their own. They even used to come with dessert, though I didn’t notice that during our recent visit. This time, we decided to try other dishes from the menu.

Here’s what we ordered during our latest visit:

Nigiri Sushi (NZ$28.90), an assorted selection of fresh raw fish, prawn, and egg on sushi rice. The quality was consistent with what we remembered. While it wasn’t super premium, it was definitely value for money.

Unagi Teriyaki Set (NZ$28.90), this dish tasted good but was served unusually. Typically, traditional Unagi Teriyaki is served whole and then sliced after cooking. However, this one, it seemed to have been sliced before cooking, resulting in a curled appearance. The set included rice, miso soup, and salad. The eel pieces were small but flavourful.

Tempura and Udon (NZ$22.90), this dish featured nice flavours and good udon texture, bouncy and chewy. The tempura was perfectly crisp, mostly made of vegetables with only one prawn, similar to what we had before.

Ramen and Gyoza (NZ$25.90), Spicy seafood ramen, Unfortunately, this was a letdown as it was extremely salty. After asking for hot water to dilute it, it became quite delicious. This ramen was unique with its seafood base and tasty noodles. The gyoza was good, though it seemed air-fried or baked, with crispy bits all over, not just at the bottom.

To be honest, this was our first time trying the ramen, udon, and unagi, so we didn’t know what to expect.

Naritas used to be our favourite Japanese restaurant. Before we visited quite frequently for their Bento boxes which was consistently impressive and always an enjoyable experience. However, each time the ownership changed, the menu and quality seemed to decline. It’s disheartening for everyone who used to frequent this place like us.

The atmosphere remains similar, with a very Japanese feel, though I miss being greeted upon entering the premises. The service was good, and the prices are still fairly reasonable. Despite some disappointments, Naritas continues to offer a nostalgic dining experience, even if it doesn’t quite match the heights of its glory days.

Narita Restaurant
Address: 31C Link Drive, Wairau Valley, Auckland 0627, New Zealand
Phone: +649 444 0084
Website: https://narita.co.nz/

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1 Response

  1. You have so many interesting dining options in your area! While it might not be the same as the previous version, that sushi still looks darn good!!

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