Hiku

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Monday6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Tuesday6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Wednesday6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Thursday6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Friday6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Saturday6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Sunday6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

114 Esplanade

03 975 0920

Hiku sits directly at the water's edge in the heart of Kaikōura. The restaurant, along with the Sudima Hotel it shares the space with, opened its doors in September 2022. With the majority of staff made up of Kaikōura locals and a stream of local customers popping in daily, there is already a sense of Hiku being deeply rooted in the community.

The ever changing oceanic scenery viewed through the windows or outdoor deck of the restaurant is the perfect backdrop to the modern kaimoana-inspired fare it serves, and the interiors also echo the colours of the natural world that surround the restaurant. Hues of teal, ochre and natural wood blend seamlessly with the outlook of the space. The atmosphere is sophisticatedly inviting and amicable. During the summer, there is ample outdoor seating, and when the evenings are cool or crisp, two fireplaces – one indoors and one out – guarantee a warm, comfortable setting. 

It goes without saying that crayfish/ kōura features on the menu in various forms. You can try it in an omelette, you can have it in a slider, or you can order a full tail direct from the grill. There are also oysters to be sampled, Ōra King salmon, clams, calamari, local fish crudo and more. Yet, if seafood is not your jam, fear not, as there is a huge variety of dishes to choose from, whether vegetarian, gluten free or steak you’re after. Kids have also been considered with their own menu filled with all the favourites. 

As with any self respecting restaurant, the menu at Hiku follows the seasons. There are bound to be changes along the way, yet some staples are there for good, for example, the best chips you’ve ever tasted. Head chef Mohamud Abdirahman is passionate about using local produce and making everything in-house – and he means everything, from making his own mince to smoking his own fish. It’s a full-day-operation in the kitchen with a team of eight chefs to make it all happen. 

The wine list here is worth a mention as well, with all the wines gathered from wineries within a 160km radius of the restaurant. With Hiku sitting in between two wonderful wine making regions – North Canterbury and Marlborough – there is no need to reach further afield. And the decision to include local wines only goes naturally in hand with the goal of sustainability the restaurant shares with the hotel. It is always on the lookout for reducing waste and its carbon footprint. Now, that is the way of the future.

Words by Petra Nyman & Photography by Ashleigh Veermark

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Location

114 Esplanade

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