Good Food Guide - - Northland Auckland -

The charm of the Duke of Marl­bor­ough goes way be­yond its unique her­itage, the waves lap­ping at its doorstep and its unashamedly by­gone decor. Its fam­ily-friendly menu de­liv­ers equally to lo­cals and the throngs of vis­i­tors who stream through its glass-pan­elled doors, with gen­er­ous por­tions of hot and hearty dishes. A deep bowl of chow­der over­flow­ing with lo­cally har­vested fish, clams, mus­sels and crus­tacean oil, melt-in-the-mouth short rib with per­fectly al dente gnoc­chi and a tiramisu that would make the Ital­ians proud are just a few of the dishes that keep din­ers re­turn­ing. Ser­vice is at­ten­tive and friendly, with wait­ers al­ways ready to share their knowl­edge. The huge in­vest­ment of lo­cal pride at the Duke is clear, and a meal here is a me­mory-mak­ing por­trait of a spe­cial part of New Zealand. 35 The Strand, Rus­sell, ph: 09-403 7829, the­duke.co.nz Lunch & din­ner 7 days; mains $26-$38

IN BRIEF Re­li­ably good food in a hard-to-top sea­side set­ting

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