A month ago I confessed to a growing preference for beer over wine as my tipple of choice when I reviewed a beer and wine tasting evening at the Pig and Whistle in Rotorua. Even before I returned to Waiheke the toms toms had reached me about an exciting new restaurant serving craft beers in the heart of Oneroa, Cove Bites and Brews by Deep Creek Brewery.
No sooner had my feet touched down again on home soil than the excited drummer dragged me there to sample the offerings. “You’ve gotta have the spare ribs. They’re the best I’ve ever eaten, and I say that coming from the home of spare ribs, Texas. Just a word of warning the servings are HUGE so I recommend you try the small bites.” She wasn't wrong. They leave the Pig and Whistle’s spare ribs for dead. There are copious amounts of meat on these ribs. It falls away from the bones easily because they’re cooked to perfection, succulent and tasty in their coat of Jack Daniels flavoured BBQ sauce. A steal at $12.50. The small bites range from $12.50 to $16
and would make a meal for most and include fish and vegetarian options.
The Cove has a winning combination of great tasting food at reasonable prices coupled with beers that require many return visits to sample. I say many visits because this is craft beer and therefore of a much higher alcohol (and flavour) content than your average tap offering from the big breweries. For me, but maybe not you, this means I can only drink one pint at a sitting without feeling the effects.
I’m working my way through the Deep Creek inventory which includes such exotic sounding brews as Pontoon is a Monsoon (IPA), The Leprachauns Belle (Irish red ale), Dusty Gringo (brown ale) and Dominatrix, reserved for a time when I’ve got a designated driver. For those interested in finding out more about the beers follow this link to the boutique Browns Bay brewery. Similarly you can find out more about the menu which is common to all the Deep Creek outlets throughout Auckland.
On one occasion I met one of the owners, Julia (pronounced Hoolia), who’s come to Waiheke via birthplace in El Salvador and New York. I asked her how many restaurants she’d run and was gobsmacked when she said this was her first. I found this difficult to believe given the winning formula so evident here. In addition to good beer and food is the unpretentious nautical ambience, fabulous view over Oneroa Bay and, perhaps best of all, fantastic staff and service. Good staff is usually a sign of good management.
I’ve been sampling the food and beer on a regular basis ever since, as I’m sure have many of you, but if you haven’t found your way there yet you should get along as soon as possible because it really is very good.