The Oyster Inn, Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Address: 124 Oceanview Rd, Oneroa, Auckland 1081
Phone: +64(0)9 372 2222
Rating: ***** Excellent
How I ended up there: I was invited to the annual outing for Team Downs/Alderton from the law firm Bell Gully, my previous employer. After attending Garry's farewell morning tea for his retirement, we caught the 1 pm ferry from the Ferry Building in Downtown Auckland over to Waiheke Island, for a late lunch
Setting: The Osyter Inn is situated opposite the beautiful Oneroa Beach and has a view across the bay that is to die for. There is seating both indoors and outdoors. We were seated at a large table indoors, as we were in quite a large group.
Ambiance: Quite casual
Food: Amazing. The menu has a fantastic selection, with a focus on fresh seafood. The team began with oysters (minus me, as they're not really my thing). For the entree, I had the burrata which had been recommended to us by the waitress - some wonderful heirloom tomatoes with Clevedon Valley buffalo mozerella and basil.
For the main, I had the pan-roasted market fish (hapuka), with a Vietnamese slaw, thai basil and crispy shallots.
We shared some sides as a group - shoestring fries (delicious), a garden salad and duck fat new potatoes. We were all so full that we skipped dessert. You know you're on the right track when you order the same dishes as the fittest member of the legal profession (I ordered first, so it wasn't me who copied!).
Drinks: I didn't drink, but the group ordered white and red wine. The wine list reveals a good range of local, New Zealand and foreign wines. It was a bit weird that they didn't have Coke Zero on the menu, but I made do with water, which is better for your health anyway.
Overall impression: I'll be back. A really nice, casual eatery. But then again, I would have had a great time with this bunch of people no matter where we went.