Published on October 9th, 2012 | by Ultimate OmNoms2
Long Bay Restaurant
I’ve always heard that North Shore has two great restaurants. Having already experienced the elegance of Eight.Two in Birkenhead, I was ready to see what the rave was for Long Bay Restaurant.
The trip here was something else. I really had the need to to soothe myself from the winter days when the raindrops are heavy enough to balance me on a scale but that day was full on pouring. We drove in the general direction of Long Bay Beach hoping to see bright lights. No luck for us, the restaurant faces out to the otherwise-would-be-gorgeous beach on a summer day. “Is this the place?”
I half expected a someone to slam themselves against the foggy car windows à la Spookers. Isolated. Dark and rainy with no cars around. Eep.
It’s really my fault for picking the early dinner time of 6pm on a Tuesday night.
A tentative peek in confirmed we weren’t lost afterall! Rescued from the biting cold and into the cozy restaurant, I spied a table right near the fireplace. The waitress must have caught my longing eye because soon enough I was fully defrosted.
Ready for a 3 course meal to celebrate mid-winter, the entrees were quick to come.
Seafood chowder w/ mussels, Cloudy Bay clams, fresh fish, prawns, lemon, dill & crusty bread
There’s nothing better than having creamy seafood chowder with fresh bread on a cold winter night! What a way to warm you up and open up your appetite. There weren’t many mussels or prawns, but the chef was generous with the fish and the clams. The chowder itself wasn’t as creamy as I would’ve liked, but the clams and the fish really did make up for that.
Pohutakawa smoked tuna loin w/ marinated radish & Fennel, spring onion, sunblush tomator puree, wasabi mayo & avocado
This was a delicious entree and one that had me lemming for more. The smoked tuna was cooked lightly with generous lashings of sauce. The combination of tomato, wasabi and avocado gave it a nice tang and I happily soaked it up.
Fish of the day: Salmon w/ herbed lemon risotto, spinach, red pepper, pea & cashew salsa, sauce Alfredo
I’ve found I’m enjoying fish and risotto more and more – even though they’re very hard to get right, but these past few dining experiences has somehow convinced me to order them when on the menu. And it was no different for this dish. The salmon wasn’t overcooked, and the grains in the risotto weren’t undercooked. It’s just such a pity I really didn’t enjoy the cashew salsa – take that away, and the dish would’ve been perfect in my eyes(mouth).
Lamb Osso Bucco- slow cooked in red wine, served w/creamy mash potato, baby carrots, roasted shallots, bacon & wild mushrooms
Nothing is more satisfying than NZ lamb on a wet winters night. Prepared with whole baby carrots and mushrooms, it felt as though a grandmother had prepared it for me from the warmth of her kitchen. The raw and simple presentation adds to the cozy and unpretentious atmosphere. Beautifully juicy and succulent, it had me warmed up in a few bites.
Vanilla tea panacotta w/ roasted rhubarb & boysenberry crumble
Panacotta is one of those desserts you can never get sick of, see Prohibition’s panacotta HERE, and Mecca’s panacotta HERE. While not a true fan of rhubarb, the temptation of the vanilla panacotta was enough to make me order it. The warm crumble and rhubarb was paired surprisingly well with the rich vanilla flavour.
Baked passionate cheesecake w/ coconut & tropical fruits salsa
This was not the dessert I was expecting during the middle of winter. A creme brulee, or some thick chocolate fudge would’ve seemed right. Maybe the chef wanted to remind us of the summer tropics. When I first saw the fruit, I thought this would be one sour dessert; turns out it was okay, with the cheesecake and ice cream – most likely because we just had creamy oily dishes.
Here’s the real highlight of the service. The same waitress who caught me looking at the fireplace single-handedly delivered the whole nights service. At the start of the night I thought maybe it’s just a quiet night – no need for more staff. But as tables filled up one by one, we realised she was taking orders, serving and taking care of reception too. All with the amazing chilled out Shore attitude.
It’s great to have a such a respected on the Shore and right by the beach. It’s a popular spot for wedding receptions and I can see why. Just the right tad of seclusion with the beautiful Long Bay beach as the backdrop, it oozes the Kiwi down-to-earth spirit. With sophisticated food to fill even the most hungry guests, you can put Long Bay Restaurant on the list as one of your event venues next time!
Long Bay Regional Park
Ph: (09) 473 5436