Monthly Archives: August 2014

VOP: Waiheke – Lunch at Cable Bay Vineyard & Restaurant – Faultless

This is part two of our celebratory weekend on Waiheke Island.

Having got established in the lovely house we’d rented for the weekend (Waikare), had coffee and food at Café Delight and dined at Oyster Inn we were ready for the big lunch at the Cable Bay Vineyard & Restaurant. Deb had been particularly keen to try Cable Bay and as it was her/our anniversary she got to choose!!

Anyway the family party of 8 set out by taxi van on a rainy and cold Saturday. Cable Bay has a gorgeous setting with panoramic views of the gulf.View

We arrived to a very welcoming greeting from the duty manager/maître d’ Alan and were seated at a table near the floor to ceiling windows that had it been a fine day would have yielded a splendid view out over the water.

Still a lovely fire provided much needed warmth and atmosphere and we were soon perusing the menu.

A bottle of champagne promptly arrived (Deb’s favourite Veuve Cliquot, ordered secretly by Rebecca) and we were soon toasting the special event.

Menus in hand we then proceeded to scan the wonderful offerings. The fact that it was lunch time meant not a jot as I ran through entrees, mains and desserts – this was going to be the full monty.

Quel choix!!

To start we liked the look of everything so we decided to get one of each: Green olives, pickled garlic, rosemary, orange, fennel; Freshly Baked Ciabatta, EVOO, whipped butter, tapenade; Duck Liver Pâté, sherry jelly, almonds & brioche toast and Salted bluenose brandade, lemon peel, parsley & sour dough.


And just in case you didn’t know, EVOO stands for extra virgin olive oil – I knew that!! And of course you did know that brandade was an emulsion of bluenose and olive oil – of course you did!

Despite the wind and rain outside we thought we were in heaven at this stage. A wonderful array of flavours and tastes and we hadn’t even got to the entrees!

More awful (in the nicest possible way) choices to make for the entrée. Variously we had the Cured salmon, crème fraiche, squid ink, cucumber, grapefruit, fennel; Braised game & carrot open ravioli; Roast artichoke, crayfish, shitake, bresaola (air-dried, salted beef), truffle jus and local oysters, chardonnay vinegar sorbet & lemon.


I had the crayfish dish which was absolutely divine. Everyone else declared their choices exquisite.

It couldn’t get better surely!

Crikey this is turning into a long lunch and an even longer story haha.

Time for the mains.

If you know me you will know that I always go for the pork and the Free range pork, parsnip cream, braised quince, swiss chard, mustard was just sensational and perfectly matched with the Cable Bay Vineyards Syrah 2012. I really like parsnip and am rather partial to quince so there were so real bonuses with this dish.

If you Deb you will know that she always goes for the fish and the Line caught fish, roast cauliflower, mussels, caper, lemon & nasturtium did not disappoint – moist as it should be (and often isn’t) and flavoursome.

The rest of the gang variously chose Beef fillet, braised shin, black garlic, charred onion, leek, brown butter potato; Merino lamb rump, green wheat, carrot, date, yoghurt & chestnut  and the Spelt & potato gnocchi, walnut milk, grilled cos, broccoli, maple.


They all sounded wonderful, looked amazing and the tastes and flavours were sensational. It doesn’t get better than this.

And we still had dessert to go!!!

No, well this was actually where a bit of sanity prevailed.

Given the special nature of the event, I had ordered in advance what turned out to be a gorgeous decadent chocolate cake which had the added bonus of being able to be cut to requested size. Deb was in charge of portion management and the first slither was handed to me. I said “that waver thin piece can’t be for me”. She said “well it should be” and it was passed to someone, could have been any of the others, for whom it was more than adequate!!


Soon it was time to depart – they needed to set up the dining room for dinner haha so our long lingering gorgeous lunch came to an end.

We literally loved the whole Cable Bay dining experience. Wonderful and warm service – nothing was too much trouble. Unbelievably superb food. One of those “we’ll always remember” experiences. And full marks to Cable Bay for being so helpful in organising the celebratory cake. They made our big day very special. Thank you Alan, Josh and Liz.

Can’t wait to go back.

So if you’re looking for a superb outing, a day trip to Waiheke for lunch at the Cable Bay Winery & Restaurant could not be beaten. In a word – faultless


VOP: Waiheke Celebratory Weekend

It’s been a quiet-ish winter for Poncentric but a recent family trip to Waiheke put some warmth and joy into a slow July.

We had cause for a double celebration – wedding anniversary and birthday – so it called for something very special.

Firstly there was the accommodation. We wanted something that was a bit special with sea views and close to Oneroa. Checked out a few sites and stumbled on Be My Guest and found this little beauty.


Perfect. Not only was it a lovely 4 bedroom house with awesome views but it was only a 1 minute walk to Oneroa Village.

Secondly there were the dining requirements for the Friday night and Saturday lunch. Friday night was easy as we are all big fans of the Oyster Inn. But for the special celebratory lunch we needed to go up a notch. In the end it was a toss-up between Mudbrick and Cable Bay Winery. Deb had always wanted to go to Cable Bay so that got the nod.

So onto the 1 o’clock ferry Deb & I jumped as the advance party. I should note that it was an awful weather weekend so we weren’t sure what the ferry crossing would be like. As we waited to board Deb said “should have bought some Sea Legs!!” It the event it wasn’t too bad. Even managed a fairly average selfie haha.

Caught the bus up the hill to the village ($2 – well you would splash out wouldn’t you!). Driver said “where’re you going”. “29 Waikare Rd” said I. So off we go. Now I’m not sure whether Waikare Rd is even on the bus route but soon enough the bus pulls up on the side of the road and I look out the window and see 29 on the letter box. Thanking the driver profusely we alight at the door.

Then we spy the delightful Café Delight right there. How good is that? Even better, our house is the lower level of the café. And it had Allpress coffee. How good is that?

We popped in for a late lunch (as you would); the seafood chowder was very tasty and I couldn’t resist the honey & lemon semolina cake (unusual but yummy) and of course the obligatory flat white. Most enjoyable. And a great view!!



Boy this is a long story and we haven’t even got to the first dinner!!

Anyway to cut a very long story down to a long story, the family progressively arrived and got ready for dinner. A short 2 minute walk had us at the Oyster Inn where we enjoyed a lovely meal in convivial surroundings.

I always find it hard to resist their oysters so I had the Battered oysters, wasabi tobiko mayo – with no sharing haha.

The rest tucked into an assortment: Hapuku & kafir lime ceviche, chipotle mayo; House-smoked Ora King salmon, crème fraiche, chives; a gorgeous chicken liver pate (that I didn’t get the full description of!!). All were so scrummy not that old “no sharing” was allowed to sample!!Collage

Main time and my choice was easy – Line caught fish & triple-cooked chips. Others had the more healthy options: Market fish, roasted in masala spices with cauliflower puree, coriander & mint, Savannah fillet steak, beer battered onion rings & roasted bone marrow and the Wild mushroom risotto, truffle mascarpone. And we had assorted veges and the obligatory bowl(s) of shoestring fries!! All were declared tasty and very yummy.


As always there was always room for pudding and I was drawn to the Toffee & ginger pudding, caramelised banana, vanilla ice cream (no surprise here!!) Others had the Choux buns, vanilla ice cream & warm salt caramel – now they were a treat though I could only observe from afar – Mr. No Share was not allowed a taste!!


It was a lovely evening with the family and as always the staff were attentive and helpful.

TO BE CONTINUED………………………….