Once upon a time, many moons ago, I used to write a food and wine column for the Waiheke Marketplace under the title ‘Tubby Twosome’. Hence my car’s number plate ‘Tubby2’ in case any newer locals have wondered why the quirky rego. I used only to review Auckland restaurants. This was because bad reviews of local restaurants could be too damaging for many struggling businesses.
My new policy is to write about good experiences on island and elsewhere, reserving any bad reviews for those that deserve it on the mainland. Anyway, most eating and café experiences here are good and it’s nice to say so.
Last weekend I enjoyed an evening meal at 4th Avenue Eatery and Bar (the revamped Beachfront Café) in Onetangi. My choice was the ‘Sticky Asian Pork Belly’ which came on a bed of fennel, apple and coriander with a citrus palm sugar dressing. The pork was succulent, the Szechuan spices not overpowering yet suitable sticky, the portion ample. There was a mild wasabi mayo to accompanying the dish which added piquancy to the delicious meld of flavours. Fabulous value at only $26. This was washed down with a half litre glass of Tiger beer at the reasonable price of $9.80.
I can’t say why, but I’m enjoying beer more and more. Maybe this is because of the more extensive offerings at restaurants or because of the summer heat, or just wanting a change from wine. Then again it could be because NZ is brewing some exceptional beers. Yes, I know ‘Tiger’ is a Singapore brew, but travelling through the east has given me a taste for their beers.
We dined on the terrace overlooking Onetangi Beach and the Gulf on a warm summer’s evening. Great view, food and beer - it doesn’t come much better than that.