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Kavitha Vijeyavelan
30 Sep 2014 1.2K 2 mins Share

New Zealand's Indian Food

Explore Indian cuisine in New Zealand and discover which one of these famous restaurants offers the most “Indian-ness” in its dishes!.

30 Sep 2014 1.2K 2 mins Share

New Zealanders are well known for their adventurous food preferences and the Kiwi diet is no longer just influenced by pizzas, burgers, and western fast food but is also being increasingly tantalized by the spicy Indian cuisine. Asian fast food consumption in New Zealand seems to have soared up by 20% in the past five years. 

Namaste New Zealand!

With immigration regulations loosening up, it has become easier for Indian restaurants to thrive in NZ. The second largest group of New Zealand Asians is the Indian community numbering up to 104,583, which is about 2.6% of NZ’s total population. Indians are in fact the fastest growing ethnic group and NZ has seen the highest number of migrants (5,800) in 2011, from India. In 2011, it was found that a total of 13,000 Indian students applied to New Zealand institutions. 

Reaching Heights- From the Himalayas 

Would you believe that over 3,000 restaurant workers and chefs were found to have migrated to New Zealand from the Garhwal division of Uttarakhand alone? Our Garhwali men are estimated to form 75% to 90% of the chef population in NZ’s Indian restaurants. More and more of them turn into restaurant owners as the years fly by. Their traditional cuisine differs from that of the typical north Indian one, yet Garhwali chefs serve the best of dishes such as rogan josh, chicken tikka masala, briyani, and tandoori lamb.
The Garhwali men haven’t confined their growth with in this country alone, but have migrated in noticeably huge numbers to countries like Germany, Japan, the UK and also the US. (Source: Otago Daily Times)


As per Restaurant Association of NZ’s  '2012 Hospitality Industry Remuneration Survey', chefs generally make $16-$27 on an hourly basis, depending on the location, type, and size of establishment they are working in.  (Source: Careersnz) 


What seems to be on the minds of New Zealanders when they opt for Indian food? Some of New Zealander’s favourite Indian dishes happen to be the paneer kathiroll,  basmati rice topped with some nice Indian curry, tandoori chicken ( the dish that never ceases to make it to the favourites list anywhere across the globe), butter chicken, chicken vindaloo, bunjal chicken and palak dhal. These are just a few of the mouth watering range of dishes being cooked in NZ’s numerous Indian restaurants!


Here are a few appetising Indian dining options that you are going to find hard to resist. brings you the best that NZ has to offer.  

Kairali South Indian Restaurant 

Kairali South Indian Restaurant, located in Auckland, specializes in south Indian cuisine along with an amazing range of beverages. This is a restaurant that will give you that authentic Indian meal and the flavour of spice that you need to energise, topped with world-class service! 

Saffron Indian Restaurant 

Saffron Indian Restaurant, located in Auckland, was voted to be among the “Top 50 Restaurants by Metro Magazine, 2008” in New Zealand and offers the best of Indian cuisine. Metro Magazine had also given Saffron the “Best Indian Restaurant” award in the year 2004. Some of its specialties are Masala Dosa, Uttappam, Dosa Kheema, and Rava Dosa. 

Jewel of India Restaurant

This is a traditional and award-winning restaurant based in Auckland and is recognized as the premier restaurant on the waterfront of Auckland.  Its menu features many interesting entrees such as onion bhaji, pakora, veg samosa, samosa chat, and paneer tikka! 

Nite Spice

Nite Spice is an Indian restaurant that prides itself on cooking only from its own homemade spices. It offers the best of the north Indian range of dishes. You should try out its lunch combo comprising curry, rice and naan for the price of $9.99. 

Indian Star Tandoori Restaurant 

Lonely Planet recommends Indian Star Tandoori Restaurant, a multi-award winning restaurant. The restaurant most recently won the “ Rotorua Hospitality Awards 2012.” This offers the finest Indian dining experience in all of NZ! 
These are just a few of the hundreds of Indian restaurants that have made it in NZ. Explore Indian cuisine in New Zealand and discover which one of these famous restaurants offers the most “Indian-ness” in its dishes! 
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