Little Savanna

Restaurants icon
Restaurants icon

Monday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Tuesday5:00 – 9:00 pm.

Wednesday11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

Thursday11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

Friday11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

Saturday11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

Sunday11:30 am – 9:00 pm.

45/47 Princess Street, Palmerston North Central

06-358 7775

Little Savanna’s expert fitout gives this South African inspired restaurant a unique visual identity on the Palmerston North dining scene. With strong food and drink offerings to match, it’s a complete lunch or dinner destination in the heart of the city.

When owners Margie, a South African, and Andy Holmes, a Kiwi, moved from Johannesburg to New Zealand they missed the flavours of the traditional South African ‘braai’ or BBQ. With that they decided to open Little Savanna in 2017 and have executed the concept to a tee.

Little Savanna brings the braai inside with a flame grill. As Margie put it, “We use the best of New Zealand’s produce but cook it the South African way.” This is seen in Little Savanna’s bestseller, Espetada, which are Potugese style skewered meats. Choose sirloin steak prepared with the house’s top secret basting or chicken thigh filet with peri peri. These choice cuts are prepared on the grill and served on the skewer for a plate that is both familiar and something new, all at the same time.

The Espetada is juicy, delicious and perfectly balanced by the smoky chargrilled notes. These skewers come served with garlic and herb butter, carrot puree, broccolini and balsamic tomato and your choice of sauce; chimichurri, creamy mushroom, bernaise or green peppercorn sauce. The special skewer allows the butter to drip slowly onto the grilled meat, and it’s the kind of dish that gets even better with each bite as the various flavour profiles merge together.

Little Savanna also offers tasty dishes such as South African style pork ribs. These free farmed ribs are flame grilled with the house’s smokey BBQ basting, and local South African expats come in just for them. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, give the desserts menu a look, with numbers like the Belgian dark chocolate semifreddo with salted caramel and pistachio praline.

Excellent food, of course, deserves to be paired with excellent libations and Little Savanna has developed a drinks menu that more than does the job. The wine list is varied with bottles from New Zealand, France, Argentina, South Africa and beyond. If you suffer from indecision or would like to expand your wine palate, Little Savanna offers wine paddles of three or six pours. Thanks to special corking technology, even their finest wines are available in a paddle or by the glass. The bar also does excellent cocktails including the flaming lamborghini which involves a bit of fire and hospitality theatre.

While you wait for your meal, relax in this restaurant’s expert fit out featuring wood and steel joinery, plush leather couches around the fire and low lighting. Designed to mimic a sunset on the savanna, the restaurant delivers its own unique environment on top of everything else. So come for a drink and a snack, a business lunch or a special dinner, and enjoy.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Anna Briggs

Information not correct? Report an error


45/47 Princess Street, Palmerston North Central

Nearby Places

Cameron Jewellery

Close up of jewellery being hammered.
Place Palmerston North

Whether you have a specific piece in mind or simply appreciate handmade beauty, be sure to visit Cameron Jewellery whilst in Palmerston North.

Saigon Corner

The inside of the restaurant.
Place Palmerston North
Restaurants icon

Head to Saigon Corner on Princess Street for a taste of Vietnam. This local spot’s modern Vietnamese cuisine has earned excellence on TripAdvisor for over three years straight, and it doesn’t take long to figure out why.

Brew Union Brewing Co

Customers sitting on bench seats.
Place Palmerston North
Bars icon

Longtime mates Murray and Jules spent years planning and designing exactly what they thought epitomised the perfect concept, and this shines through at Brew Union, Palmerston North’s downtown brew pub and eatery.

HARU Japanese Restaurant

The wooden interior of Haru.
Place Palmerston North
Restaurants icon

A calming central city spot for top quality Japanese fare. At Haru Japanese Restaurant you’ll be quickly greeted and seated by the friendly staff. Order some warm green or yuzu tea and explore the menu which is varied but not overwhelming.

Similar Places

BABCO - Brick Artisan Bread Company

Close up of pastries in a box.
Place Palmerston North

BABCO, which stands for Brick Artisan Bread Company, was started by husband and wife duo Alice and Jeremy. The Palmerston North pair created BABCO from scratch in every sense of the phrase - it all started with a bread baking experiment in their backyard pizza oven.

Feilding Farmers Market

A giant whitebait pattie.
Place Palmerston North

Many of Manawatū's most talented, passionate and well-known growers, cheesemakers, artisans, bakers, herbalists, apiarists, florists and craftspeople have stalls at the Feilding Farmers Market making this market a celebration of all things fresh and local.

The Herb Farm

The exterior of the building.
Place Palmerston North

Head to Ashhurst to experience one of New Zealand’s most beloved natural skin care brands in more ways than one. When you arrive, you’ll immediately be greeted by the beautiful gardens which are home to many of the herbs that feature in The Herb Farm’s products.

Café Cuba

Behind the counter at Cafe Cuba.
Place Palmerston North
Cafes icon

Located on (you guessed it) Cuba Street, Café Cuba is one of Palmerston’s most popular and long standing cafés and eateries. There’s something for everyone here and the cabinet alone is enough to entice even the most conscientious eaters.