Tu Meke Don

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Monday11:00 am – 2:00 am.

Tuesday11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Wednesday11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Thursday11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Friday11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

SaturdayClosed.

SundayClosed.

4/203 Queen Street East, Hastings

06 835 5457

In a happy marriage of Japanese food and Kiwi vibes, Tu Meke Don is a real family-run business, operating out of the lively Tribune precinct in Hastings. Bringing simple and delicious Japanese flavours to NZ, Tu Meke Don is nostalgic for those who have visited Japan, or an authentic experience for people yet to go. Everything is prepared with the utmost Aroha and care, and the food is colourful and tastes even better than it looks. 

Although takeaway sushi is the restaurant’s bread and butter, there are plenty of other options also to get you excited. Unsurprisingly, the Karaage chicken is a best-seller - whether it be in spring rolls, on curry or in sushi. Lesser known, but still with a devoted following, is the Japanese curry. Sometimes topped with cheese, with Karaage chicken or, most authentically, sprinkled with Japanese shichimi chilli pepper and mayo; this curry is comforting through and through. For seafood enthusiasts, the Kaimoana Chirashia Zushi Box is a must-try: sushi rice topped with a variety of raw fish and vegetables. 

On a working holiday from Yokohama, Japan, back in 2004, Junko met Tim whilst working at a Gisborne orchard, and when her time was up, she found it near impossible to leave. These days, Junko works her Japanese wonders in the kitchen, and Tim brings his classic Kiwi service out front. The newest member of their family, baby Tane, has also been a regular at the restaurant since his birth in 2017.  

Tu Meke Don has been operating as a kiosk in Napier for the past 11 years. Move, shakes, and changes saw a 2023 relocation to Hastings, the kiosk upsizing to a naturally lit interior seating 35 people, and a further 20 people outdoors. The mural adorning the interior tells the tale of where Junko and Tim came from and how they met, setting the scene for the restaurant (cleverly created by moillo_draws). The atmosphere within Tu Meke Don is welcoming, familiar and relaxed, bringing people together over delicious food - it really isn’t hard to see why many of their Napier customers have loyally followed. 

In true Japanese fashion, the hospitality at Tu Meke Don is exceptional. Every customer becomes a friend, whom Tim and Junko want to see over and over again. And next time, they hope you’ll want to bring your friends or family too.

Words by Nicole Mudgway & Photography by Anna Briggs

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Location

4/203 Queen Street East, Hastings

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