Te Motu Vineyard, 79 Onetangi Rd, Waiheke. Ph 372-6884.
Lunch Thursday-Sunday; dinner Friday-Saturday.
Yes, it’s a shed, made of plywood with plastic-sheet windows, and you look onto the storage sheds and tanks of the vineyard: rustic charm, and great food. Over summer, chef Bronwen Laight was making a heavenly gazpacho with homegrown heritage tomatoes and a generous dollop of goats’ curd. Her sweetbreads, cooked with spiced apple and kohehe, offer a perfect balance of flavour and texture. She does a lovely char-grilled flat-iron steak with chimichurri, and her pork trotter dish — slow-cooked, the meat shredded and turned into a kind of sausage, served with red cabbage — is magnificent. Desserts, especially the sago pudding, are delightful. The wine is good, and well matched to the food, and on an island where so many maîtres d’ are wonderfully engaging, Clare Dunleavy fits right in with the best of them.
A favourite dish: Pork trotter en crepinette with red cabbage.
$$$$ | FP | D | V | FR | C | CL | K what’s this?