Restaurant Reviews

Huka Prawn Park Restaurant– a unique or an overrated experience?

It was a few months back while I was sprawled across the sofa and checking my Facebook news feed that I heard my husband excitedly calling out to me. He wanted to show me the pictures that his friends had posted of their recent visit to the Huka Prawn Park Restaurant. The size of the prawns in the picture was unbelievable and it made my mouth water. I so wanted to go there on our next trip to Taupo!

So last month when I was planning our Easter trip to Taupo, Huka Prawn Park was number one on my list. The other activities in the park like prawn fishing weren’t of much interest to me (as it’s just hard to concentrate on prawn fishing when your 8 month old is throwing tantrums and demanding your full attention) but I really wanted to try out the restaurant.

And so the day arrived and we entered the parking of Huka Prawn Park, and man it was full! The parking lot (a quite big one) was fully packed and we had a hard time searching for parking. Thankfully most of the parking was for the activity park but the restaurant was full as well and we were placed on a waiting list. Oh well it was expected…it was Easter….the busiest time for the restaurant I suppose and everyone who was in Taupo would most definitely want to try out the famous Huka prawns.

I hadn’t had breakfast in the morning and watching the restaurant so full was making my anticipation and excitement grow…I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some huge tasty prawns. Thankfully the wait wasn’t long and we were seated in the next 5 minutes. I’d have preferred an outdoor seat but with the clouds threatening to pour down any minute I was content with an indoor table with a beautiful view.

12809708_1084035468324805_6314786086568570199_nThe steamed prawns on the table next to ours looked amazingly big but I wasn’t much of a fan of steamed whole prawns with their eyes, legs and antennae sticking out. Plus they were priced at $98.5 a kilo…a complete rip off if you ask me…despite the prawns being so huge, once you got rid of all the other body parts, the meat in the prawns wouldn’t be much and not worth paying so much!

12417572_10154096238566350_1983223194026212227_nSo we decided to order crispy battered prawns and prawn chowder (priced at $21 and $18.5 respectively) some fries and juices, the girl waiting on us confirmed that it would be very filling for the two of us. We had to wait 45 minutes before our order was served….but since it was so busy I am not complaining. When the food finally did arrive I was so disappointed by the serving size. There was no way this would be a filling meal for me or my husband. The disappointed look on my face gave my husband an idea and he decided to order some garlic bread midway through the meal. We ended up dipping the garlic bread in the prawn chowder and eating it as if it was naan and curry to fill our stomachs.

The final bill was $65 and I was still hungry and highly disappointed. So much for the experience I had been looking forward to for months 🙁 On an ending note I’d say it was a bit of a let down for me however for steamed prawn lovers who don’t mind the price I ‘d say its a must visit.

21 thoughts on “Huka Prawn Park Restaurant– a unique or an overrated experience?

  1. Looking forward to a nice day out, visiting the restaurant everybody does hype about and then disappointment. An experience everybody knows! How would you rate the value for money? As far as I understand the quality seems to be satisying. I often made the experience that restaurants serve smaller portions on exposed days. When I went a time nobody goes (such as lunch on Tuesday or dinner on Monday), portions have been much bigger.

    1. I think this was their standard serving and I guess it was wrong of me to expect it to be fulfilling. I guess most people just go there for the sake of trying it out

  2. The popular restaurants are often overrated because of the hype. The pictures of the food look really nice and I am a fan of prawns too but yes, they are quiet pricey. Also, these kind of restaurants do not have generous servings, at least they are small for us, if not for the others. Great review!

    Fatima |

  3. That does seem quite expensive. I’m not a fan of prawns that haven’t been cleaned and deveined, so it’s not somewhere I’d be excited to visit, but I’m sorry you were so let down! x

  4. I can’t only imagine how much you’re disappointed :/ you’ve been waiting for this moment and first they make you wait so long and it’s not even filling :/ ooh man

  5. Such a shame when the restaurant doesn’t meet your expectations! Hope you find a better place for your prawns.

    I personally can’t eat prawns!

  6. OMW I LOVE PRAWNS!!!! If you’re squeamish over removing the head or the poop shoot lol try looking for ready cleaned prawns, they’re usually frozen packs sold in supermarkets, or if you go to the fish market or the fish section in the supermarket you can request for it to be cleaned. The best prawns is queen prawns, they’re the right size, easy to cook and de-shell. The recipes I have shared has no head and are ‘butterflied’. Thank you for sharing this post looks super yummy 🙂 (

  7. Hina, the beauty of the park is scenic, hope everybody else has enjoyed Prawn fishing but the Prawn’s sight is scary, maybe your toddler is also scared of them??

  8. I love the clean frozen prawns… grew up eating them so I can’t say no to a really good prawn dish. But I can imagine how disappointing it can be to experience such a restaurant – ‘all hype but no satisfaction’.

  9. Salaam! Awe thats so disappointing. Ive experienced this a couple of times myself where I have been so excited about a restaurant and it turns out to be a really bad experience. Subhan’Allah. The view of the lake is absolutely gorgeous.!

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