Mister D is a casual eatery located in the centre of Napier. They won runner up in the Best New Restaurant category in the 2013 Cuisine Food Awards. They open from 7.30AM for breakfast and lunch and also have a dinner sitting Thursday to Saturday. The staff at Mister D work to deliver fresh local produce and great service with no fuss.
I’ve been to Mister D previously for coffee and afternoon tea and had really enjoyed the food we sampled. During our recent trip to Napier we returned for dinner so we could try a wider selection of dishes from the menu.
The dining area is very cool and relaxed and our table was opposite the open plan kitchen so we could watch the chefs in action during our meal.
The restaurant was packed and when we first arrived our waiter was rushing around his section visibly stressed. After a little while things settled down a bit and the service we received was very good.
The menu is varied and creative. We tried a large range of dishes including fried bread with rosemary and garlic aioli; potato gnocchi with cheese sauce and coffee grounds; caramelised onion tart with Hohepa feta, kalamata olives and thyme; asparagus with strawberries, pistachios and labnah; sashimi salad with avocado, orange and modern dressing; pulled pork with white polenta, apple and fennel salad and pollen salt and the risotto with braised duck, wilted spinach, currants and pine nuts.
All of the food was delicious, the fried bread was crisp, tasty and totally indulgent, the gnocchi creatively presented and cooked perfectly, the onion tart buttery and light, the asparagus was fresh and light and worked well with the unusual accompaniments, the pork tender with a crisp crackle and creamy polenta and the duck tender and tasty.
For dessert we tried the quark cheesecake, a macadamia and caramel slice and one of Mister D’s specialties, a doughnut with injectable filling. The doughnuts come with a choice of three fillings, chocolate, caramel or custard, you can choose one, two or all three of the fillings. Again all the dishes were delicious, the cheesecake tart and light but still creamy, the macadamia and caramel slice packed to bursting with crunchy nuts smothered in caramel on a crisp shortbread base and the doughnuts light, warm, freshly tossed in sugar and cinnamon and accompanied by a syringe of custard.
Mister D is a very enjoyable place to eat. The vibe is friendly and relaxed and the food top level. It rivals many of the popular Auckland restaurants in both quality of food and service at very reasonable prices.