Penny L. said: "My husband and I go to this restaurant often as it is not far from where we live (and their butter chicken is my all-time favourite!) Our usual entree is the tandoori platter but now (because the staff recommended them!) – we are…" read more »
- Restaurants, Bar & Brasseries, Bistros
- Free Off-Street, Free On-Street, Pay & Display
- Price Range:
- Spendy, $25 - $35
- Good For Groups:
- Good For Children:
- Cocktails, Beer, Wine, Spirits
- BYO, Corkage Charge
- Wheelchair Accessible:
- Takes Reservations:
- Dietary Restrictions:
- Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free
- Meals Served:
- Lunch, Dinner
- Payment Types:
- EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX
- Seating For:
- Outdoor Seating:
Reviews for Jackson Cafe & Bistro
by Pauline w.
17th February 2013
We dined at your bistro last night, and were very impressed with the quality of the food, service and decor. Just a small criticism I think I should pass on, for desert I chose the creme brûlée, all very delicious and beautifully presented APART from the small quantity of fruit salad tucked beside the dish. It looked tinned and tasted tinned, and “yuck and why”
by Carl C.
10th January 2013
I was very happy with the service and food here. My wife and I were here last night and really enjoyed our experience. The staff were friendly and attentive to our needs. The starter came out quick and we enjoyed the Asian platter selection for that day. I ordered the Sirloin steak for the main and my wife ordered the Lamb Shanks. Both meals were good sized portions and came out in good time also. I am looking forward to returning and trying something from the lunch menu next time.
29th December 2012
Staff were un-attentive – to the point where they avoided eye contact. Staff had no interest in customer service. We waited over 20 mins to just get our table cleared after dinner.
Food was terrible. Duck was over cooked. Pork was tasteless and also over cooked. Worst pork and duck we have had.
Desserts were fine – nothing special.
Definitely over priced for the quality of food they serve.
Overall really dissapointed and will not be coming back.
by Lee A.
16th December 2012
This was our groups second time dining at Jackson Cafe and the experience was just as good as the first time a year ago. Staff are very attentive, without being a nuisance, and have a great attitude. The ambience and food are excellent. Our group had a variety of meals which everyone enjoyed. Will definitely be going back and would recommend.
by Peter B.
12th November 2012
Best duck ever, desserts overrated. All in all we would go back.
8th October 2012
We took our three young kids to Jackson Cafe & Bistro for a family meal. The kids menu is fantastic and great value, and our Thai chicken curry was delicious! The staff were very friendly and accommodating. I also liked that they were quick to bring out the kids’ meals. We’re now regular customers.
by Kate B.
28th September 2012
The food was great, all of us enjoyed it from fish to steak. I’ve also tried the place during lunch with workmates and they loved it as well. The tiramisu is very good! Friendly service and great ambiance. I would definitely recommend this place.
by Don F.
21st September 2012
Four friends wanted to celebrate their birthdays. We choose your restaurant because the menu looked great it was BYO and in a handy location. We were’nt disappointed with any aspect of the restaurant. The food was excellent and the service impeccable.Thanks for making our celebration memorable. We would have no hesitation to recommend this restaurant highly and intend revisiting. Regards Don.
by Marlene R.
12th September 2012
2nd time dining here and again a great choice! Wait staff were friendly and efficient and knowledgable about the menu. The steaks we ordered were perfect as we’re the sides and desserts, would heartily recommend as good value for money as well. Menu was varied and offered a good range of options – as well family-friendly but spacious enough to enjoy a peaceful dining experience.
9th September 2012
These guys need to sit up and listen.
A nice environment and the food came out in good time but the food is not what we would expect from Adam. The standards have clearly dropped. The place was not busy for a Saturday night (could’ve been the rugby or the foul weather). From our party of 4, one was pleased with lamb shanks, two found the steaks average – good size but chewy and not melt in your mouth like they used to be. The salmon used to be the best in terms of a honey flavour but it was very bland. The chunky chips tasted old and cold and their appearance looked recycled. The desserts were OK, but they used cream from a can. When asked how our meals were, we mentioned our disappointment to the waitress who said she’d advise the chef, but nothing was said or followed up (why bother asking then, and this is what customers will rate you on and tell everyone about). They appeared very dis-interested. We also felt the staff attitude change. Admittedly we were among the last to go, but at only 9.25pm staff were making it clear that they were wanting to go home. They were stamping past us looking at their watches, they all came out from the kitchen and even brought out their mop and bucket. We felt like we were being pushed out. We were disappointed that we recommended this to our friends as a quality restaurant. My husband has recommended Jacksons for the Christmas dinner this year, but is now concerned after this experience as people are coming from around NZ.
by Kathryn A.
12th August 2012
Had a lovely lunch here doing the $25 2 course meal inc 1 glass of wine. The entrees came out and they were nice. Although the soup had no resemblance of having either bacon or chicken in it as stated, and was pumpkin not tomato, but our amazing waiter had told us this part.
Mains were very average, edible, but not very pleasing. We both had MR Sirloins. We asked to have chips instead of potato. We could not see any part on the dish having bacon, onion and peppercorn. But there was plenty of the creamy mushroom jus. Sticky date pudding, excellent. Cheesecake, very mediocre.
What saved this was the brilliant service of our waiter. Very accommodating, does his job extremely well. Suggested wines for us and knew the menu well.
I will come back, but maybe for a proper evening meal, not the lunch special.
30th June 2012
On a cold winter’s evening, Jackson’s is warm and cosy inside. Our group was comfortably seated in a large booth and we were well looked after until everybody had arrived. As always, the food here is superb. We started by sharing a delicious entree of sauteed prawns with lemon chili and garlic sauce, which came with herb bread. The prawns were large and juicy. For my main course, the lamb shanks were amazingly rich with the meat falling off the bone. My partner’s pan-fried chicken breast with Madiera port and mushroom jus was also very good. We finished off a lovely meal with the Baileys walnut double chocolate tart – yum! The service throughout our meal was really good with the waiter offering to keep some of our excess BYO chilled and frequently topping up glasses and checking on how things were with our meals. Dinner at Jackson’s is always a treat for us and we are keen to return.
by Erica T.
14th June 2012
Where do we start? At the start I suppose freezing cold out side walk in and woosh warmth!!! Such a lovely relief to be away from the cold. Good start. Seated promptly. Drinks entrees I had the prawns hubby had the scallops both to die for he wanted some but I finished it all. Mains. Lamb rump for him fish for me. Both served amazingly both look so stunning and tasted even better. Big highlight for me was the salsa with the fish. The service was also excellent always their when you needed them but never in the way. A very good night thanks you Jackson. We will be back.
by Marie W.
3rd June 2012
For my main I ordered the fish with kumara cake and salsa thinking this would be a fairly light, fresh choice – WRONG. The consistency of the fish was so mushy it was hard to tell the difference between it and the kumara and the salsa was incredibly sweet and sickly. I ate a couple of mouthfuls and my husband, who is pretty easy to please ate one and agreed it wasn’t good – the rest was left uneaten. We were offered a takeaway coffee (incredibly generous, I know) to compensate but this would have meant hanging around for another 10 minutes so declined. On the way home we stopped at Riverbank Cafe in the Hutt for dessert because by this time I was pretty hungry. It was fantastic and made up a little for the bad experience. Not a memorable Wedding Anniversary meal
by Jodie W.
17th May 2012
Went with friends on a friday night, felt like a bit of a criminal walking in with a wine bottle suddenly couldnt remember if it was BYO or not, stuffed the wine in to our bags while we scoured the wine list for a clue, nothing there, googled it, and what do you know it is BYO, the staff are just slack. After having to go up and ask for wine glasses and dinner menus (15-20mins after we arrived) we could finally get on with ordering.
Entrees were a mixed bag risotto balls were great, but calamari was like deep fried rubber bands
Had the char grilled salmon for the main, and it was truely delicious almost enough to make my forget about the start of the night.
This was shortly ruined by a trip to the toilets where i nearly slipped over due to water (i hope) and toilet paper all over the floor, granted it was later in to the night and i had a few wines by then, but still that visual basically sums up my lasting impression of the place.
by Nicole S.
15th May 2012
Thought the place looked nice and clean, meals were awesome, very yummy and good price for the size of the meal. Their Service not that great friends got there 30Min’s before I arrived and had only just ordered their breads/Starters, they had to ask for some wine glasses to drink their wine. We arrived they asked us for started after having to call them over, but didn’t ask for drink orders. Which throughout the night we were never asked if we wanted drinks. Had to get our 9 year old to order water.. Or we were never asked how the meals were.
All in all food very good and would go back again. Just a pity on their service. Looked like only 2 people were working in such a big place.
by Paul K.
13th May 2012
Had a group of 11 for a celebration meal. We got a nice private table and the waiting staff really took an interest to make our evening a good one. Menu was sufficently varied that everyone was catered for. Lots of local produce and cuisine which was great to see. Food came in good time, well presented and most importantly tasted great!!!!
Very happy with the experience and we will definitely be back to Jacksons again!
by Clark C.
25th April 2012
I love this place!
The food is lovely, good specials, great staff. Sometimes you can be waiting on drinks but that okay, you’re not waiting on your food!
Lunch portion sizes are also great!
BYO is also a great option!
by Ellie W.
10th April 2012
All meals arrived quickly after ordering and the staff were friendly. Great setting whatever the occasion, meals are fantastic every time and for a good price. I definitely recommend to others, I love bringing friends along who have not yet been and this is my first pick when taking friends or family out to dinner.
29th March 2012
went with 9 others. Usually hard to please everyone but these guys succeeded. Great selection and generous portions.
by Carol G.
17th March 2012
This was our first visit to Jackson cafe & bistro. Having spoken to friends and reading the reviews we were quit looking forward to dining here. The service was very good. Very attentive. The atmosphere was relaxed yet inviting. I ordered the steak which Cooked just like what I want. My friend ordered the fish which very fresh and tasty.
Waitress explain every detail about our food with smile on her face and answer all the questions with patient.
All in all It was a pleasant evening.
15th March 2012
Disappointed is the only way to describe our recent experience here. We thought we’d give them another go after a previous poor service experience but no more chances now. The mixed entree was basically deep-fried nibbles that you buy frozen at the supermarket. The med/rare steak was med/well done, the sauce was so pungent it was basically uneatable. The kumara cakes were soooooooooo tough I could not cut them with a knife so uneatable. The chicken was overcooked and dry – didn’t finish it. Waitress 1 assumed we wanted the same wine when asked if we could order some more wine with our mains. Waitress 2 graciously accepted our complaint blaming the chef who was not Adam for the poor quality and implied this is not the first time. We were willingly given a discount. Will not return again and will steer others away!
by Deanna B.
7th March 2012
The food was amazing. Really good presentation and really really delicious too. The venue is fantastic. Not stuffy or cramped, you don’t feel like you’re sitting on someones knee and you don’t have to shout just to hear across the table. Didn’t have to wait long for our meals to come out either. Menu has a good and varied selection. However, a couple of the staff were a bit weird, seemed like they were put out having to take our orders etc, not very friendly. But will definitely go back because we went for the food, which was awesome, not to make friends with the wait staff.
15th February 2012
Went along with a group of friends based on one of our groups previous good experience. Was once Chow Restaurant, which was a great place. The decor has since been butchered a little, so it had lost some of it’s charm and atmosphere.
There wasn’t much that interested me on the menu, but I did feel like a curry (and apparently their curry was great). I was a bit torn, because it didn’t really seem like a place known for it’s curry (it’s more of a steak and ribs sort of place). However, I was pleasantly surprised!! Yum, tasty and a huge portion! I was well pleased with my selection, and I’d definately go back if ever I feel like curry again.
28th January 2012
Have been here for lunch and dinner.
Some of the best meals in lower hutt.
-Great Food (From what we have tried)
-Great Service (Lunch service seems the best)
-Some of the meals get let down by the sides (Microwaved veges/salad with no dressing)
-Bit of a mixed bag with the prices of the food (The food is fantastic, however the decor/atmosphere of the place does not match the price of the meals/experience)
Overall highly recommended
by Katie N.
10th January 2012
For those who haven’t recently been to Jackson Cafe & bistro, it’s really gotten quite excellent. This is a classic and fun restaurant. Lee (the owner) is turning out some wonderful dishes, including an excellent roasted lamb; and all of the traditional meals.
I went to Jackson on Valentine’s day and surprised find a lot of new waitress. they are very lovely and smelling all the time. They are very patient with every customers and introduce meals carefully.
Overall, as a loyal customer with Jackson, I feel the food still good and service has changed much better than before.
8th January 2012
We went with high expectations and were not disappointed at all. What sets the seen is the smell of fresh meat when you walk in the door. Just what you want at a grill!
Our starter of garilic lime prawn was fantastic and we followed it with the 600gm steak to share. The wine matching was spot on.
Overall, a really enjoyable experience and would happily head back again in the near future.
7th January 2012
I have never left a restaurant feeling this disappointed or ripped off. Their meal prices are on the mid to high range, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the standard of food being up there too.
The pork belly was dry and the mash you could cut with a knife. Ordered the duck for the main, which was good, but the kumara chips were dry as if they were a day old and reheated.
Wait staff were slow. I wasn’t even afforded the opportunity to politely say that the meal was well below par because no-one asked how our meal was. Perhaps they know it’s crap.
First and last time visiting this place.
16th November 2011
Jackson Cafe & Bistro is fun and different. There are many different cuts of beef prepared in various ways, lamb, pork, and fish. The servers, in what I imagine are traditional costumes, cut the pieces you wish.
The combination of quantity and festive atmosphere more than offsets the inconsistent food quality, though some of the meats are quite good. When we went with friends the top-round and lamb were very good, the skirt steak and chicken also good. The fish was dreadful, but hey–it’s really a meat place! And once you find things you like, you can pile your plate high. We’ll definitely come back.
by Darren C.
25th October 2011
Second time we have been here,still not that good. Wait staff had trouble getting orders correct,Our table had people eating while others waited. Angus steak was stringy & overcooked. Maybe we expected more from the reviews we had read on Adam Lee.
by Chris L.
18th October 2011
We went on a Friday night and it was busy. The food was good but not to the highest standard. We both had the duck, very nice but served a little cold. The vegetables were obviously microwaved, a bit too “al dente”, which let down the dish. Two of the wait staff were good, but two had impersonal manner and did not come across as warm or friendly.
12th October 2011
We went to Jacksons last night and had a good time. There weren’t that many people there so not that much atomosphere as the place is quite big. Our waiteress was a little odd, seemed very robotic throughout the course of the evening and didn’t really seem interested in being there. As for the food we started with prawn and scallop entrees which were presented beautifully but lacked in seasoning. I then had the Rib Eye for my main which as cooked perfectly, however, the mashed potatoe was way over salted and lumpy, my partner had the 600g All Blacks Steak – ordered rare but came out over cooked – mosting medium. A little disappointing. All in all though I would go back as it is local and reasonably priced.
by Jacqui W.
2nd August 2011
We go here often and love it! The food is fabulous. Everything has always been up to standard and beyond. The only place they let themselves down a little is with the waiting staff. They are enthusiastic but seem very disorganised at times and we often need to get their attention for service. Lucky the food is so great and the lady that does the front desk is outstanding.
by Heather G.
28th July 2011
My husband and I had dinner at the Jacksons Cafe and Bistro on the 23rd July 2011 being a Saturday night. I had the Lamb and my husband had the steak, both meals were delicious and very tender. Then for desert we shared the sticky date pudding, this desert was so mouth watering with the rasberry sauce and ice cream and wonderfully presented as well.Staff very good also. Prices were very reasonable for such a lovely meal. We will definately be back soon.
by Alison L.
11th July 2011
I have been to Jackson Cafe and Bistro couple times with friends, compare to other cafe and bistros, they have good dining environment, quality food, and reasonable price, especially their dessert, I really enjoy it.
I come to their place, they always offer excellent service, no queue problems, and always provide quality food, no disappointing. Good job.
Will come again for dinner with friends.
by Greg M.
23rd June 2011
Went here for Dinner last night. They had a special of a large Scotch fillet on the bone – 600 grams which I had to get as I was after a good steak in the first place. It was the most beautiful piece of meat I have tasted. Subtle hints of cumin in there and it tasted like a full roast and the best part was it was all mine! (well I did share with my partner as there was plenty to go round! We also had a great entrée / starter which was good value. My partner had duck medium rare which looked and tasted amazing. I was smiling the whole meal. It might just be a Wellington thing but the desserts were a little overpriced for the portion size. The portion size was small and that’s OK, just not $12 worth. Overall, I would go back just not for dessert.
6th June 2011
If you are in search of great food and don’t mind about the service, then Jackson’s would be a good choice. The food is well presented and very reasonable. Desserts were a particular highlight.
However, if you are in search of ambience and professional service, avoid Jacksons. We were placed by the kitchen, which meant we were subject to waiting staff racing past our table all night, and shouting out orders and comments to each other. Add to this, we were seated and then had to wait for more than 15 minutes before anyone came to ask if we would like drinks, and then it was only at our request. Later, when we were keen on a dessert menu, we again had to ask the waiting staff to come over. When taking the orders the staff were either surly or disinterested – it was like they were doing us a favour. Quite uncomfortable.
What a shame – this could be a great spot for a casual meal.
by Jonathan W.
23rd May 2011
Lunch last week for farewell.
Ordered 1/2 doz oysters with chips and salad.
Disappointed with the cooking of oysters, burned and uneven battering. Would not recommend or order again. My local chippie does better oysters and cheaper.
The funny thing was when I went to pay for the meal, there was another customer that had complained, not sure if they listen to customers.
I’ve been to this place before and ordered steak and duck, both meals have been great but I’ve never been more disappointed in a meal.
Lesson learnt, order only what a restaurant specialise in.
by Cynthia C.
29th March 2011
We went there for lunch on Saturday. The food there was good at reasonable prices. I had Gurnard fish with hollandaise sauce and my boyfriend had the egg benedict. Very well cooked.
The service is not that good. They really need to put a smile on their face. I would definitely go back and recommend for the food but hopefully their service can improve then.
by Peter F.
21st February 2011
We were fans of Chow who previously operated from this site so were a bit suspicious when Jacksons moved in. We have taken two lots of overseas visitors here (American/Italian). They were very enthusiastic about the menu and the food that was served up which they felt compared very well to what they were used to. For us, we feel very lucky to live near such a reliable and reasonably priced restaurant. Probably lacking a little in customer service sophistication but who cares about that with such an enthusiastic and friendly staff.We will go again. Often.
by Rumi S.
24th January 2011
We went to this place yesterday. The service was good but I struggle to rate it more than 3 stars from food point of view. I had the Roast Duck which was named a signature dish. It was ok not great. My wife had the Salmon … I would give that 3.5 stars.
We have been to Adam’s old place on High Street sometime back and really enjoyed the lamb. May be we should have stuck to Lamb or Beef which he seem to be good at.
by Karen A.
30th December 2010
We took friends from Sydney to Jackson’s last night and it was also the first time we’d been there (we live in Petone). We all had main meals, dessert & coffee – absolutely wonderful food, great service, relaxed atmosphere – we were most impressed. Friends are coming over again next year and said they’ll be dining there again for sure. We are going to recommend it to everyone we know! Thank you for a great evening & we hope you continue in Petone for a very long time.
18th December 2010
Loved this place! The food was AMAZING! So good! We’ll be back!
by Tim M.
19th November 2010
We had a fantastic meal with absolutely outstanding service.
We were most impressed by the attention that the staff gave to an elderly gentleman dining on his own. A staff member offered to go with him by taxi (at a cost to the restaurant) to make sure he got home okay. This is FAR above and beyond the call of duty and is incredibly impressive.
Based on this service (as well as the incredible meal) – we will definitely dine here again.
19th November 2010
Dine in here last friday with couple friends, we enjoyed the friendly service and the food is definitely outstanding, well presented, light and delicious! My favourite fillet prime beef ..Yum Yum! We will be back
1st November 2010
We were lucky enough to get a last minute booking on Saturday night which was great. Was disappointed that there was no Southern Comfort on the drinks menu and had to choose something else. Great that it’s BYO wine though. Once we placed our orders, meals were served very quickly and couldn’t be faulted. Delicious.
However, I think the wait staff need training…. Drink orders were only taken once and the glases were not removed from the table when drinks were replaced. Our waitress insisted on staying in one spot and passing the meals across – there were 7 people at our table – not very pleasant having someone leaning across infront of you. Surely its not difficult to learn how to serve & clear up.
30th October 2010
Had lunch here with a group of friends, al of us loved it. Friendly and smiley service. I had Chicken Pasta (fettuccini), the smell and taste made my mouth watery and i wanted seconds . Recommend this to restaurant to anyone.
Will definitely be back and try out the dinner menu.
Thank you heaps to Chef Adam and the friendly staff members.
25th October 2010
Congratulations Adam with the opening of your Jackson Cafe and Bistro,a big welcome back,we enjoyed dinner last night @ Jackson’s,the starter we ordered was a big surprise,the breads,garlic butter and dips for two,and then our mains,steaks with all the trimmings,just done as we ordered them,and then the house wine,another surprise,very very nice,our compliments,and the other very nice thing was to see the lovely serving staff came with you to the new premises,well done!!!We’ll be back for more.Regards from Gerard
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