Monday, November 16, 2015

New Zealand - North Island Day 9 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To do:
Day out at Waiheke Island

We purchased the tickets that includes transport to island for both passengers and vehicle from Sealink and departure from Half Moon Bay Terminal.

The trip to Waiheke Island is mainly drinking and eating. We hoped to visit some galleries and visit the Rangihoua Estate and join their olive tour but time is very tight and when we arrive the place is already closed. Fortunately, we still have have the wineries to visit which is nice and comfortable. 

Man O'war Wineyards - 3.5 stars, mid-range

725 Man O War Bay Road Auckland 1971, New Zealand

This is first winery we stopped when we reached the island. Initially, we wanted to browse a craft shop selling crockery. Maybe it was sunday and now being off season, the place was closed. So we head out to Man O'war as its the furthest from the port.

The winery just opened when we reached. Do note that the drive is on a dirt track but its quite scenic.

I like the sparkling wine on the menu. And i was hoping a warm breakfast but wasn't much to choose from the menu. We settle for bread with dukka and Pinot Gris to go with it. Pinot Gris is nice and fruity.

Added bonus is the very friendly and smart dog who is very entertaining.

Wild on Waiheke - 4 stars, mid range

82 Onetangi Road, New Zealand

There are plenty of outdoor seatings and indoor seats as well. As we wanted to keep ourselves warm, we chose the indoors. Weather today was unpredictable with passing rain throughout. It was a very good decision to stay indoors as true enough it started to pour soon after.

I love the huge beer battered onion rings. It has a very nice flavour.

Oysters are also fresher than the ones we had at Chim Choo Ree.

Pumpkin soup is spicy and flavoured with tinge of curry.

As for the wine tasting, we had Rose and Pinot Gris. Both are light on the palette.

Oyster Inn - 3.5 stars, mid range

124 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Auckland, New Zealand

The final place we settle to eat is at the Oyster Inn. I saw from one of the travel magazines that Bluff oysters are the best in New Zealand and they are huge and tasty. After asking for a few places, we are so so glad that it is available here. We ordered ala carte so we can have some variety of oysters.

Te Matuku (Waiheke island), Mahurangi (Warkworth) and Bluff oysters. The Bluff oysters are the biggest ones right up front. Of all the 3 types of oysters we tried, the most smooth and fresh will be the local oysters Te Matuku. I think Bluff oysters are too big and not as tasty.

As oyster inn is somewhat located in the town centre, there are little shops to browse and look. Some art galleries as well to spend your time if that's what you are interested in.

To Eat:

Cafe Hanoi - 4.8 stars, mid-range
Gateway St & Commerce St, Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand

This is one place that SO loves it so much that he insisted on returning to try other dishes othe next day  despite my protests. But in truth, the food here is really really good. Totally suit our asian palette.

The lady serving us is also very friendly. Upon hearing that its our first time here, made some recommendations and also inform us that she can make the dishes to smaller portions for us. :D

Fried Crispy prawns fried to perfection. The prawns are coated with minimum amount of batter and its flesh is still juicy.
 Beef covered with dipping soy sauce.
Skewered pork. Accompanying the pork is lettuce, basil and coriander but these with the chili is a match made in heaven. The chili is spicy and a little like our chicken rice chili just thicker.

This is the definitely the best meal i had in New Zealand. If possible, i will go back again just for this.

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