No visit to Auckland is complete without a jaunt over to Waiheke Island. Just a half-hour ferry journey off the east coast of Auckland, Waiheke is barely a hop and a skip away from the city. Commonly known as NZ's "Island of Wine", there are dozens of wineries crammed into one little island. If you're a wine lover, Waiheke is a cannot-miss.
The island may be small, but it's charming, gorgeous all-round, and boasts an easy, breezy, laidback vibe. But, it's also packed with a million things to do and see: there are restaurants galore, beaches a-plenty, and have I mentioned the dozens of wineries?
Te Whau was our first stop on Waiheke Island, and one of the best winery restaurants on Waiheke. The food was classic New Zealand, and featured the freshest of what the surrounding sea and land had to offer. Light, inventive cooking resulting in clean and clear flavours. It's no wonder Te Whau is Waiheke's most awarded restaurant.
The curry-dusted Seared Whangamata Scallops (NZ$24) was robust, and softened by a vanilla-pea puree, sweet and sour heirloom tomato compote, and sorrel. Absolutely smashing, and a must-try.
The Market Fresh Fish, a Snapper (NZ$39.50) grilled to a moist flaky perfection, was set on a rich sauce bouillabaise lush with wilted spinach, sundried cherry tomatoes, juicy clams, and a duo of prawn and potato cigars.
The Hubs opted for the Grilled Grass-Fed Beef Fillet (NZ$41.50) which full-bodied sumptuousness was highlighted by smoky romesco and a sweet bacon jam. Confit potatoes and fresh watercress lent balance.
The Seasonal Asparagus (NZ$8), lightly grilled and draped in a lemony Hollandaise, was the epitome of the best of spring.
The cosy and sun-drenched dining room. Just look at that amazing view.
The cellar door.
The view from the small balcony off the dining hall.
The Te Whau cellar door and restaurant.
Te Whau Vineyard & Restaurant
218 Te Whau Drive
New Zealand 1971
Tel: +09 372 7191