(Kaikoura) Tutis Restaurant & Bar


Tutis Restaurant & Bar was one of the most frequently mentioned restaurants I was recommended to go to by the locals at Kaikoura. Located near to the petrol stations and New World Supermarket, and just a few minutes’ drive from the city center, Tutis is hard to miss and is easily accessible by car. The restaurant was quite fancy and expensive, although it wasn’t exactly a fine-dining experience as well. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a picture of the restaurant’s exterior in the day, so I doubt you can tell how it looks like from the picture above.) Overall, even though most dishes were delicious, I thought some were too expensive in terms of value-for-money.

 – General Review –

  •  Service: 7.8/10

Friendly and prompt service, although reservations are recommended just in case the restaurant is full.

  • Servicescape: 7.8/10

The restaurant wasn’t very crowded when I got there, and most diners also conversed in mild tones, so it was pretty quiet and peaceful. In general, the restaurant was quite fancy and high-class, and apparently a popular destination for dinner-for-twos. The interior of Tutis was adorned with plenty of Indonesian cultural designs and decorations, but with a mix of Western elements as well. A lit fireplace in winter set a warm and cozy atmosphere, and the restaurant can seat small to medium-sized groups comfortably.


  • Non-smoking area: Seats are indoors and smoke-free.
  • Vegetarian dishes: Several vegetarian options available.
  • Price range: $$$ (NZ$26 – $38 for most main dishes.)

Overall Rating: 7.9/10

 – Food Experience –

1)  Vegetarian Spring Rolls:

A bit of mixed opinions on the spring rolls within the group, although I personally thought they were pretty good – skin was crunchy, and stuffing was fresh and crisp. Portion was a little small, although that’s pretty much expected in restaurants like these.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($12.50)

Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($12.50)

2) Seafood Chowder:

Creamy and savory, the chowder was served with fresh seafood such as prawns, crabs, and scallops. Portion was relatively large, so sharing is advised, especially since the chowder was quite rich in taste.

Seafood Chowder ($24.50)

Seafood Chowder ($24.50)

3) Chilli Mussels (Main):

Honestly expected a lot more from this dish, and I thought the sauce was especially disappointing since it tasted mainly bland and sour. The mussels could do with a lot more flavor and taste, although the garlic bread was the saving grace of this dish – it was extremely fragrant, and the texture was chewy without being too tough.

Chilli Mussels (Mains - $29.50)

Chilli Mussels (Mains – $29.50)

4) Fish of the Day:

The grouper was fresh, tender, and perfectly-cooked. The mashed potato was a little too much, but otherwise it was a pretty decent dish overall, although I still thought it was a little overpriced considering the value-for-money.

Fish of the Day (Grouper w/ Mashed Potatoes & Steamed Vegetables - $37.50)

Fish of the Day (Grouper w/ Mashed Potatoes & Steamed Vegetables – $37.50)

5) Seafood Curry:

The curry was a bit sweeter compared to the ones I’m used to in Indonesia, but I still enjoyed the variety of fresh seafood thoroughly, including scallop, mussel, fish, prawn and squid. The Seafood Curry came with a bowl of jasmine rice on the side, and although it’s still quite pricey, it was probably my favorite dish at Tutis.

Seafood Curry ($37.50)

Seafood Curry ($37.50)


Location: 35 Beach Road, Kaikoura, South Island – New Zealand (7300)

Contact number: +64 3 319 3370

Website: Tutis Restaurant & Bar

Operating hours: Mon – Sat: 5pm – late

Sun: Closed

Posted by: V

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