Manuka Restaurant, Devonport, Auckland

I confess I rarely make it across the Harbour Bridge. The Transit Authority has put an obstacle course en route; my own mini Amazing Race just to reach the North Shore, (I can just hear Phil Keogh ‘Unfortunately, you are the last team to arrive, and I regret to tell you…..). With my genetic predisposition to getting lost, I can do without the added excitement of multiple lane changes, detours and unfamiliar suburb names. Northcote? Browns Bay? Where are these places?

Luckily, there is the ferry option. Lifesaver. I’ve taken visiting family and friends to the North Shore, but umm… via the sea route. I enjoy Devonport, it’s quaint, there’s just enough to spend a pleasant afternoon, and plenty of scenic paths to walk off your lunch.

Ever since I wandered into Manuka Restaurant by chance a year ago, this is the place I bring people to. I love the trendy rustic atmosphere, the staff is always amicable and helpful, there are things to occupy other people’s wild children and the food is pleasant. If I were to judge a place just by its food, this would be just a smidgen above average. My last meal wasn’t great (see below), but the overall package makes it a no-fuss place to bring people.

Dessert counter

I brought my parents (and my brother’s kids) here for lunch. We were ushered into the comfy padded benches by the large windows, perfect to watch the street scene. The cheerful waitress quickly brought a carafe of water to the table along with a tin of crayons and colouring paper for the kids. Love the Maori inspired latte design.

The beer-battered fish & chips ($16.50) was good enough to keep Dad (and the kids) happy.

Mum’s fritters ($17.50), studded of mussel chunks were especially delicious with tomato chutney.

My potato rosti ($15.50) came with two overly greasy rosti with a generous serving of spinach, bacon and a good wedge of avocado. When I mentioned the oily situation to one of the staff at the end of the meal, he immediately apologised, thanked me for my feedback and comped a couple of the drinks. This level of service is hard to beat, no quibble and a pleasant attitude.

The ham and cheese pizza from the children’s menu ($9.50) weren’t really a hit with the kids, – they preferred the battered fish and the mussel fritters. I enjoyed them though.

Manuka Restaurant
49 Victoria Road, Devonport
Ph: 09 – 445 7732
Open 7 days

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