WHERE LAND meets sea

Dish - - DISH + O:TU -

What hap­pens when the finest fruits of Marl­bor­ough’s Awa­tere Val­ley and O:TU vine­yard’s award-win­ning wines come to­gether with the culi­nary mas­tery of a top har­bour­side restau­rant? You get a din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to re­mem­ber – and a corker of a view.

If you think world-class New Zealand wine and the fresh­est lo­cal seafood are an un­sur­pass­able com­bi­na­tion, you’d be right. Well, al­most. Be­cause add in a beau­ti­ful har­bour­side venue, and you’ve got the ul­ti­mate din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the wine and seafood-lover.

O:TU vine­yards in the Awa­tere Val­ley pro­duces wines that em­body the pas­sion, skills and know-how that the world as­so­ciates with wines from the Marl­bor­ough re­gion. On the culi­nary front, Har­bour­side Ocean Bar Grill is an in­sti­tu­tion on Auck­land’s restau­rant scene, prid­ing it­self on dishes cre­ated with the fresh­est fruits of the ocean. Marry the two, and it’s a culi­nary love story.

Har­bour­side venue man­ager Vanessa Chant ex­plains they opened in 2012 af­ter un­der­go­ing a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar re­fur­bish­ment. From the mo­ment you make your way from street level up to the restau­rant, lo­cated in the his­toric Ferry Build­ing, past the stained glass win­dows on the stair­way, you know you’re in for some­thing special. The ethos of ‘pre­mium fun din­ing’ is suf­fused into the stylish dé­cor and fab­u­lous art work, and you can linger

over a sump­tu­ous seafood plat­ter as you gaze out over the har­bour from a sun-drenched deck or can­dle-lit din­ing room.

“Our phi­los­o­phy is pro­vid­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence that brings to­gether the fresh­est el­e­ments to de­liver an award-win­ning dish that looks so great when it is placed in front of you it al­most looks too good to eat.”

The restau­rant spe­cialises in lo­cal seafood – as well as of­fer­ing pre­mium beef, lamb, veni­son, duck and veg­e­tar­ian dishes. The seafood plat­ters reign supreme, but also pop­u­lar are the live cray­fish from Fiord­land, plus clas­sics such as white­bait frit­ters and sus­tain­ably caught whole mar­ket fish.

Har­bour­side’s White­bait Frit­ter ac­com­pa­nied by the O:TU Sin­gle Vine­yard Sau­vi­gnon Blanc – a full-bod­ied wine that builds up and ends on a long, fine and ap­petis­ing min­eral fin­ish – is a match made in heaven. And for those who like some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, there’s the de­li­cious Dry Red Curry Ha­puka paired with the O:TU Re­serve Hawke’s Bay Syrah – a plush and juicy wine with bold dark berry notes.

“We like to wow our cus­tomers some­times with the un­ex­pected.”

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