He's one of Hawke's Bay's finest chefs, and gets more good reviews than bad. But Pacifica chef Jeremy Rameka says the bad ones, the harsh online ones, haunt him.

He says there's a better way.

"More can be done if we are told directly if something is wrong and can fix it straight away and not wait to see something online days later."

The Marine Parade restaurant, owned and run by Rameka, is one of Hawke's Bay's most acclaimed eateries.


In 2017 it was named New Zealand's Restaurant of the Year in the Cuisine Good Food Awards and has won multiple regional accolades.

Marianne Gannaway was banned from a Napier cafe after writing a three-star online review. Photo / Paul Taylor
Marianne Gannaway was banned from a Napier cafe after writing a three-star online review. Photo / Paul Taylor

"I don't read them anymore," Rameka says of the online reviews.

"I've been here 13 years and you tend to see a lot of good ones but it's the bad and harsh ones that stick with you."

He says in the past they have had people tell them on the spot or directly a day or so later voicing their concern with their meals or service, which he says he is happy to listen to.

"We had someone send us a letter a few years ago with an issue they had with when they attended the restaurant a few days before and so we contacted her and managed to fix it all up," he said.

"But when it comes to reviews online, people critique the smallest thing and even things that are out of your control like noise or other customers and say things like expecting the restaurant to kick them out.

"It's ridiculous. There are some when you look through that you can just filter out and the ones that do hold merit you can see straight away."

Rameka said chefs are passionate about what they do and they always try to do their best.


"For us in the hospitality industry we work to give you a good experience. We're not there to make your day miserable."

This week Hawke's Bay Today revealed Ajuna had banned a woman from its cafe after she wrote a three-star online review.

Rameka said there were times when eateries could step over the line.

"People in hospitality can be very passionate about what they do and about their business but there is a point where you have to make sure you don't go too far."