Photo: Ken Downie
124 Ocean View Road. Ph 372-2222, theoysterinn.co.nz
Hours: Lunch and Dinner 7 days. $$
Winner, Best Destination Restaurant; Finalists, Restaurateur of the Year: Jonathan Rutherfurd Best and Andrew Glenn; Finalist, Best Chef: Anthony McNamara; Finalist, Best Service
What makes it special?
From the veranda, which you cannot book, you look out over Oneroa Bay, the village streetlife below, the boats moored beyond and the green headlands curving round to enclose it all. On a good day (and when does Waiheke not have good days?), what better place could there be? Especially when the food and drinks and service are so damn fine.
Behind the scenes
Jonathan Rutherfurd Best and Andrew Glenn have worked hard to make The Oyster Inn this good. It’s buzzy, the waitstaff know their stuff and the two owners themselves are inestimably charming. But their secret weapon is chef Anthony McNamara. He knows his fish, for sure, and he also does meltingly soft lamb ribs, a mean macaroni cheese, a delightful Asian-style coleslaw... So many delights.
A favourite dish
Fish and chips, actually. Hauraki Gulf line-caught fish (snapper when they can) and triple-cooked chips.
What it offers
Shared-plate options / Set menus for large groups / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Good seating outside / Private rooms, including an event room for 36 / Takes large groups / Bar / Craft beer selection / Good for kids
Chef: Anthony McNamara