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Hede Japanese cuisine

3 star rating
34 reviews

Cuisine: Japanese, Asian

43 Cuba St
(1st Floor)
Wellington Central
Wellington City
04-472 5249


  • Mon-Wed 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
  • Thu-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
  • Sun 5:30pm – 10pm
  • Facilities/Features:
    • Business Dining
    • Live Music
    • Private Functions
    • Private Parties
  • Payment Types: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners
  • Price Range: Cheap, Under $15
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirits
  • BYO/Corkage: BYO, Corkage Charge
  • Good For Groups: Yes
  • Takeaways: Yes
  • Delivers: No
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Outdoor Seating: No
  • Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Hede Cafe & Bar offers a great casual atmosphere and an experience of fine Japanese food at very affordable prices. Hede Japanese Restaurant

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34 Reviews for Hede Japanese cuisine

10th February 2014
5 star rating
Service a little slow as there are not many staff working here but definitely great Japanese food! Best Karaage chicken in Welly!!! Very good place for lunch as it is half the price for the same sized portion…

Despite the slow service I am still a regular :)

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23rd January 2014
2 star rating
I hadn’t eaten at Hede Restaurant for a few years, so thought we would try it out again. The food was good as it usually always is, though my iced lemon tea (which I used to love having here) tasted like it had been sitting in the fridge for weeks. it was a quiet Wednesday night when we visited with only a few tables occupied, so the usual bustling atmosphere was lacking, making the very tired decor, cramped sticky tables and wobbly chairs much more obvious. The toilets were disgusting. The service was very average, considering how quiet it was.
I left feeling disappointed, I think we expect a lot more from our restaurants in terms of atmosphere and enjoyable surroundings these days and Hede has obviously not put any effort into this at all over the last 10+ years. There are definitely much nicer places to eat in terms of having an overall enjoyable experience, not just good food.

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6th October 2013
4 star rating
I visited on Saturday night and the restaurant was super busy. We booked in advance but had to wait for 3 mins before having a table (fair enough). Although there were a lot of customers, they still remembered us and we didn’t have to wait too long for the food. The food was quite good, all four of us agreed so. We had a great time there where everyone sang happy birthday for a girl’s birthday at another table (we didn’t know her obviously). I was full and satisfied after finishing my dish. My only concern was the price, it’s not really cheap but rather moderate and I didn’t know where the queue to stand was when paying.

Visited September 2013

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21st September 2013
2 star rating
Bad experience here, the only saving grace was the food which was average at best.

It started with a booking for 19 that was lost entirely, and while they did do their absolute best to accommodate us it just never recovered.

Nearly an hour after we were seated before we had our order taken, without even being asked if we wanted any drinks. Then when they started bringing out food we had peoples mains coming out while entrees where being brought to the table. The way the food was brought to us was also haphazard with some people getting food, then another table of different people getting food before the rest of our group got their’s leaving gaps of 10 minutes for the first set of people to either eat or leaving food to go cold. Hardly making for a social eating experience.

The food itself was rather average as compared to any other Japanese restaurant i have been to in the last year or so, nothing terrible but not exactly special either. While i can recommend the Unagi Don, I wouldn’t bother with the teppenyaki chicken, there are many other places that do it far better at a much better price (Arashi I’m thinking of you)

The wine and beer list too, if you could call it a list, was so short it was not funny, only 3 Japanese beers at a Japanese restaurant? Not sure what is up with that.

Over all, if you go, expect average food, below average alcohol selection (it is BYO so maybe take your own) and double check the booking to check that they have you down as coming in

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11th May 2013
4 star rating
I have been to Hede a few times over the years and have enjoyed my meals there on all occasions. The only thing I would say needs changing would be the chairs and the crampness of it all. On one visit it was a bit hard having a lovely birthday dinner with my partner when you are surrounded by three table rows of groups who are all loud. I have been there with a group so I know how annoying it can be for smaller groups of diners.

Besides that Food is great and we will definitely will be back soon.

Visited November 2012

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27th March 2013
5 star rating
Well … just wanted to say we had a lovely time there last night.

First time we had visited and will certainly come back.

We brought friends from the UK who eat fish, no meat. The menus are very cool – wooden & were already laid out on the tables when we arrived.

Our lovely friendly waitress asked what our preferences were & then made good recommendations. No problem with our friends not eating meat – the waitress brought out sushi & sashimi combinations with fish and veges only. Beautifully presented food.

I did have menu envy when hubby had miso soup served with his terriyaki chicken which included rice and vege dishes too. Tempura prawns fantastic as well. I had raw fish, Yummy!


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15th March 2013
4 star rating
I’ve been to Hede many times over the past years and have always been happy with the food, its tasty and we leave empty plates. I find the seats very uncomfortable, and the service can be hit or miss.

The set menus are good. If you are after good Japanese food at a good price, but can happily sit in wooden seats – this is good.

Visited February 2013

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29th January 2013
5 star rating
My partner and I visited Hede in June 2012, and then again in January 2013. Both times we received excellent service, our meals arrived quickly, and tasted brilliant.
The wait staff were courteous and friendly, and made us feel very welcome. The food arrived a lot faster than I expected, and looked amazing and tasted even better.
We both love Hede and would happily recommend to friends and family, as well as return again!

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7th January 2013
4 star rating
Well, this place has changed heaps.
I was terrified to come here, especially with a huge group, but it was much better than the previous reviews.

Apart from the TERRIBLE squished layout, VERY unstable seating, and having to get our own menus, the food didn’t take long to come out, and it was DELICIOUS. Everything came out at relatively the same time too.

I had the teriyaki salmon which was cooked to perfection. The dressing on the salad was yum. And being BYO, was just a bonus for a big group.

Was a very good experience apart from the very little space waitresses had to get between tables, and people were constantly being knocked in the back by other customers.

We visited on a busy night and things seemed to be running rather smoothly.

Well done new management, things are looking up!

Visited December 2012

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Comment from Zefeng J. of Hede Japanese cuisine 8/01/2013   
Thank you for the 4 star review Rachael! I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed our food. And thank you for giving us suggestion in what we need to look out for next time especially with the seating layout and not having to get your own menus! Hope to see you again at…    More »
12th December 2012
2 star rating
Seated ok with menus.
Waited 40 minutes before being asked about drinks and food
Spoke to one person about getting some service but she did not speak good English and then she disappeared off down the stairs
Food was good but service was horrible.
May have changed hands but not a good experience

On the ‘not to back to’ list.

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6th July 2012
2 star rating
A group of 12 went in.
It took 1 hour to be served and a further 1 hour for our meals to arrive. We were asked to get off our table just before we were served and move to a much smaller one because the guy running the place had other customers that he could fit in.
He was not friendly at all, in fact we were treated more like were a pain in his a$$ then anything!
Meals were average, I guess because the service was so rubbish and the length of time it took for us to be served made the whole experience is one that I will NEVER go back to! If you want to pay for crap service, this is the place to go.

Visited June 2012

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20th June 2012
2 star rating
As per everyone else’s review, the food is incredible! Seriously, so scrumptious. Wow. But that’s where the good stuff ends. If ‘going out’ to dine was simply about the food, then this would be a 5 star review. But eating out is just as much about the ‘experience’ as it is about the food.

We made a booking earlier in the day for 7.15pm. When we arrived, we were told to come back in 15 minutes. It was freezing Wellington night, so we kept ourselves warm in a Fix convenience store since there was no room to wait in their establishment.

We returned 20 minutes later – just to be sure – and were pointed to a window table. The restaurant was still very full and bustling, but guests were starting to leave (there were tables with big groups and well as smaller groups). We waited half an hour to be given menus and water, while the staff concentrated on clearing tables and processing the paying customers. It got to the point, after about 20 minutes, that we kept looking around to try and get their attention but were still ignored.

Finally, after all the staff had cleared roughly 5 or 6 tables, they asked us “what are you waiting for, did you just here?”. Not so impressed. They brought over a menu and water for us. Then we ordered appetisers + mains – they came out 15 minutes apart which was good timing.

The food was incredible, and very good portion size (Chicken + Japanese Mayo, Tempura Prawns, Teriyaki Chicken, Teppanyaki Beef). We couldn’t finish it all. As soon as we were done eating what we could, all the staff were sitting around at the tables with their jackets on, and using their phones. Obviously they wanted us to leave. They kept staring at us. And big bowls of food was being brought out to one of the group tables where they were sitting – so obviously they were about to have staff dinner, and wanted us to leave.

So we did. Full (and with the leftovers in tow) and satisfied by the food, but vMoreery bemused by the non-existence of any customer service whatsoever.

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10th June 2012
3 star rating
After reading other reviews I was a bit apprehensive about coming here. Although we had booked a table for 7pm, we did have to wait for other diners to leave before we could get a table.

Pretty standard menu. Nothing overly adventurous. Appetisers were served at the same time as the mains which was a little strange. Service was ok. We were brought refills for our water. The wait staff were friendly enough. Toilets weren’t great, but they did have soap. I’m not a fan of the cheap wooden disposable chopsticks. Would have expected decent ones at a dine in restaurant.

Hede is in the gold section of the entertainment book. Would not say it is of gold standard, but if you want decent food at a reasonable price, I’d say give Hede a go. Good for BYO nights.

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3rd June 2012
2 star rating
Went to Hede two nights ago with some friends who were visiting, had been there a few years ago and our usual was all booked out. Made a reservation restaurant was packed full when we arrived, waited a while to be seated. Ordered pretty quickly felt rushed. Place was boiling hot not a single window open was or the front door to let fresh air in. As you can imagine the single water bottle went around six people quickly and wasn’t replaced. Food was quick to come out but it was a struggle to get through the meal environment was very uncomfortable. I got the teriyaki chicken meal at $20 thought it was quite over priced for what I received very bland the chicken was very fatty and chewy, another had chicken sushi and thought it was low quality and chewy as well. The gyoza were nice though. When it finally began to quiet down they opened the windows and door which made it really cold. Staff were unfriendly and seemed like an effort to serve us. When asked for side plates they never arrived and we ended up having to get up and get our own. Couldn’t wait to get out of there, when it came to paying we were charged for a one extra meal and corkage they were rude and argumentative when we tried to explain they were wrong. I was very hesitant to pay did not enjoy the experience and will never return do not recommend it we will stay with our regular at Ozeki on Tory Street where the service is good and consistent, the food is great and not over priced.

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3rd June 2012
2 star rating
A group of us had dinner at Hede recently before going to a show. Let’s start with the positives: the food tasted pretty good. We had salmon and white fish sushi to begin, which was nice. The chicken katsu was very good and we also enjoyed the beef teppanyaki. Service was average – nothing to brag about but very basic with lots of reaching over the table to deliver/clear plates. The environment is very tired and 13 of us were squashed around a table suitable for 8 (10 with a push). The toilets are absolutely foul: filthy and no hot water or soap available in either the men’s or staff toilets, making us more than a little concerned about the food we had all just eaten. Strangely enough, we could not find their health certificate/rating displayed and the duty manager notice (handwritten on a piece of refil paper) was hidden behind a movable screen.

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13th January 2012
4 star rating
Went for dinner this evening and restaurant was packed. We expected that so booked as we had a group of 8 and didn’t want to miss out. Service was excellent, and food was tasty and arrived in a timely fashion. A range of entrees were ordered – most popular being the yummy gyoza dumplings, and for the mains we all ordered the set menus – again most of us ordering the same dish this time being teriyaki salmon set which comes with miso, rice and salad. The place was buzzing and everyone enjoying themselves. Another good night out at Hede.

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3rd January 2012
4 star rating
A month back we were going to a concert and wanted something quick and easy to eat beforehand. We decided to give Hede Restaurant a try but after reading all the mixed reviews we were not sure what to expect. Well we were not disappointed, instead pleasantly surprised. The Teriyaki chicken was fresh and delicious. The boys who do not like Japanese food, ordered the raw fish and devoured every bit with comments on how tasty and delicious it was. The service was excellent, polite and quick. We mentioned we had a concert to get to and they had the food on our table within 15mins, this included entrees. Will definitely be back.

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21st October 2011
1 star rating
I had the most terrible experience last week at Hede. the manager was so rude. He didn’t give us seats right until we ask. Me and two of my good friends waited for 10 minutes just to get our order and the staff ignored us. They chat a lot and our meal were 25minutes late.
I am very disappointed with their service and I will never go there again! I went to Hede a year ago and everything was great. Hede used to be a popular place to dine in the weekend and sure you will get good food, good price and good service. But now, a horrible place to go.
I noticed they lower the price(set meal used to be at least $20 and now they make each noodle/donburi $10 each)
I guess the reason why they have to make it cheaper is that the bad qualities of the restaurant scare the customers away.
And at last, when I went to the cashier, the manager looked very angry and just chuck the receipt without asking me. That is worst service I have ever received.
I can only wish Hede good luck…

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29th September 2011
1 star rating
A pretty horrible experience.. I don’t reckon they like serving people.. the waitress seemed like they’d rather stand by the counter and talk amongst themselves than serve us.

Ordered Curry Soba and for $17, I’m thankful I was hungry. Meal arrived as ramen (like the instant noodles) and when I asked them, they insisted that was Soba and that was what they served. They shouldn’t advertise it and write it in their menus if it isn’t actually what it is :/ Curry soup was literally soup with a dusting of curry powder. They were very generous with their vegetables though! hmm..

Last time I went there (about a year ago) service was equally terrible and the tuna tataki I ordered that was supposed to be seared came out completely cooked :/

sigh.. don’t bother, i don’t think it’s run by actual Japanese.

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11th September 2011
1 star rating
We have been going to Hede for years & enjoyed ourselves, the food has always been good, this helped us to ignore the amazingly loud, cramped space & somewhat rude & disinterested staff. However, after dining there this evening we will NEVER return, the ‘manager’ was the most disguisting, rude, customer hating person I have ever met in the service industry. An absolute a-hole that had no respect whatsoever for his customers, we were treated appallingly & were shocked & stunned that someone like this was employed to represent Hede. Never never never again. Oh & no paper towels in the toilets & we were served up cold meat…..awful!!
Rating 0 stars.

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Mya Y.


27th July 2011
1 star rating
The food was average but the service was awful!!! I went there by myself to have a quiet meal and do some work. I was rushed through my meal, then while I was paying the cashier was extremly rude. I will never be coming back.

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29th June 2011
5 star rating
Excellent service and even better food. This has to be some of the best value Japanese cuisine in Wellington. Came with a large family of seven and were quickly seated and served. Hede provides the high level of service expected from any Japanese business. Recommended.

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9th June 2011
1 star rating
Do not even consider Hede Wellington!!
I went with a group and while the food was average at its best, the service from the staff was Appalling!! They rushed us through our meal and then charged us corkage even though this site says it has no corkage, then they had the audacity to speak rudely about us in their language infront of us (one of our group can speak their language). They charge corkage per person even if you have people who do not drink. Stupid! The guys are particularly rude and obnoxious one of them was a Stanley. These people have no business running a customer focussed business. They need to go to wagga mama’s and learn what customer service is all about. You should be ashamed of your establishment Hede Wellington! You’re not even worth a corner of a star, but heres a full star for pity sake!

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5th June 2011
2 star rating
The food is average, it is a bit overpriced for its quality. I went with a group of 6 and we struggled to hear each other as it is quite loud and noisy. There wasn’t much room to move and we felt trapped in our seats at the table. The BYO aspect was tricky, those who didn’t even bring wine still had to pay corkage! There are better Japanese places in Wellington.

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30th January 2011
4 star rating
Good fun, you go for the whole experience, it has a great atmosphere, tasty affordable meals. Go to the toilet before you leave as you won’t want to use their ones and don’t expect any cheerful staff. Great for byo groups and birthdays.

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20th January 2011
5 star rating
The food is really good here but it can get very loud and difficult to hear anyone.

The seating can be a bit uncomfortable too if you have a large group too.

They are always busy and very popular.

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26th August 2010
3 star rating
I’ve been here many times as the food is delicious, affordable and quick. It’s a relaxed, casual environment. it is great for groups but if it’s just the two of us we get there early around 5.45/6pm as it gets really noisy and cramped when there are lots of groups. i will keep going back.

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22nd April 2010
4 star rating
Delicious food at affordable prices. This place isn’t one to go to if you’re after quality dining, much more casual and that’s what you’re paying for. Don’t be alarmed when the waiters won’t pour your wine or if you have noisy groups around you, as this is all part of the atmosphere at Hede, and one of the reasons people keep going back!

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6th April 2010
3 star rating
Had trouble booking this place. They initially let us make a booking, then changed their minds and said that we had to order the banquet meal since we were a large group. Upon ringing back I recieved an answerphone and was never called back. Since we had both vegetarians and poor students in our group, and we were unable to discuss our problems with the banquet meal with the staff who were not answering their phone, we had to change our booking. We were very disappointed about this as the food we have eaten there in the past was delicious (especially the sashimi.)

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25th August 2009
1 star rating
Their Japanese meals were lovely and their service was great!!

But the whole dining experience that night was spoilt by the state of their extremely dirty loo!!

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31st May 2009
4 star rating
very good food for the price you pay.

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5th May 2009
3 star rating
I have heard a lot of good things about this place so I decided to go there. I booked for 7pm, got there at 655pm, they asked me to wait since it wasnt 7pm yet. I waited and got the table at 745pm! What a joke!!! I was so pissed off, bad BAD service. But I must say, the food was DELICIOUS. I’ll go back again, and if I have to wait for 45mins again, I wont be back.

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29th May 2008
4 star rating
I love this place, great atmosphere. Awesome food, good range of Japanese beverages.

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Els C.


20th July 2007
4 star rating
Cheap and cheeful. Well presented food. Gets crowded so pays to book.

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