Occupying a prime spot on Hurstmere Road in Takapuna, Master & Apprentice commands its position along this popular stretch. It is in good company amongst the many other restaurants and bars in the area but certainly holds its own in terms of atmosphere, service and quality. Taking residence next to Mac's Brew Bar, everything is brand spanking new and you can even smell the fresh paint when you walk in. The interior is industrial chic— wooden tables and chairs bring warmth to the large space, and a large quote reveals the bar's ethos on one of the walls— it's appropriately all about good times and mutual respect.
Service was a little slow but the place is still very new and staff are still finding their feet. They were friendly and courteous and the menu was very comprehensive. As with a lot of places in Auckland at the moment, the menu is split into sharing plates, a great way to try a little bit of everything.
We found it hard to move beyond the cured meats board but ultimately decided to save that for next time as there were too many things we wanted to try. The chilli fried chicken with charred lemon and sesame was very moreish and the crispy batter had a subtle touch of cinnamon. The pulled pork and manchego croquettes were hot, crispy and bursting with mashed potato, runny manchego cheese and pieces of pulled pork.
We also sampled the blue cheese and smoked mushroom risotto, which was the best kind of comfort food— creamy, smoky and with the tang of the blue cheese for contrast— we could've gone for seconds of this. We rounded things off with the bruschetta with cured salmon, fried capers and dill, and the smokey pork ribs which came smothered in barbecue sauce and accompanied by corn and cabbage slaw.
Master & Apprentice would be a great spot for large groups being so open and spacious, there are a few really long tables available. Equally, it is perfect for couples and families too. A great addition to Hurstmere Road.