Located smack dab on the main thoroughfare of Oneroa town centre, The Oyster Inn is often touted as Waiheke's best and most popular restaurant. While I'd agree that it rustles up really awesome oysters that were some kind of wonderful, we weren't exactly blown away by the rest of the food. It wasn't bad at all, and I had no actual complains about our dinner, but in light of the amazing restaurants at Te Whau and Te Motu, The Oyster Inn pales in its blah-ness.
We liked the vibe though, boisterous and convivial due to the restaurant doing a roaring business, with warm attentive service in spite of the frenzied dinner crowd.
The Grilled Market Fish (NZ$35), a flat john dory pan-fried to perfection, was paired with grilled new season asparagus, wilted baby spinach, and a lemon-infused Hollandaise sauce. This was lovely, but forgettable. I think, this needed a little salt, by way of bacon or jamon or some other cured meat, which would have made this 'pop'.
Ditto with the Risotto Primavera (NZ$27) dotted with spring peas, broad beans, and finished with a drizzle of basil oil and parmesan flakes. It was as healthy a risotto as it gets, but all that greens made this taste a little one-dimensional. A little meat would have rounded this off nicely.
The Macaroni Cheese & Bacon (NZ$16) was excellent, creamy and robust without being cloying.
The Chocolate & Dulce de Leche Sundae (NZ$16) was fantastic, and a must-try. It was rich and sweet but balanced.
The Latte (NZ$4.50) was a little weak but it was sufficed as a body-clock adjuster to NZ time.
We ate straight off the oyster counter, while nursing a drink at the bar, while waiting for our table. Ask the bartender for recommendations, they'll point you in the right direction according to your preferences.
The restaurant facade on the second floor.
The Oyster Inn
124 Oceanview Road
Tel: 09 372 2222