Good Food Guide - - Auckland -

On a sum­mer’s day there aren’t many places that beat The Tast­ing Shed for a con­vivial af­ter­noon of eat­ing and drink­ing – es­pe­cially if you take ad­van­tage of their cour­tesy van. In the heart of west Auck­land’s vine­yard re­gion, the set­ting is charm­ingly rus­tic, with a sprawl­ing lawn that makes it a great place for fam­i­lies. The food is made for shar­ing and it’s solid with the odd flash of bril­liance – from an ex­cel­lent ce­viche with wa­ter­melon, crunchy buck­wheat and but­ter­milk to a fun-to-eat Scotch egg with white kim­chi, daikon, chives and black sesame seeds. Desserts are a high­light – be sure to leave room for the beau­ti­fully light chur­ros with poached quince and sweet pureed pump­kin. Ser­vice is ef­fi­cient and prompt and the wine se­lec­tion well rounded. 609 State High­way 16, Kumeu, ph: 09-412 6454, thetast­ing­ Lunch Fri-sun, din­ner Wed-sun; shar­ing plates $12-$28 IN BRIEF Crowd-pleas­ing shar­ing plates in a lovely coun­try set­ting

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