When I suggested The Riverhead Tavern to my friends as our next food and beer based destination, it was as if I had read their minds. The stunning sunset views over the upper Waitemata are well worth the half hour drive out there.
Opting to sit outside watching over the river armed with blankets if the warm summer evening turned chilly, we chatted away with beers ($7.50) in hand until we realised we should probably read the menu. Usually I can make a decision fairly quickly but the fare on offer made this a difficult one for me. With plenty of seafood, steak and fresh gastro fare to choose from, my beer was half gone before I could make a final decision. The freshly sourced fish with coconut seafood risotto with smokey tom yum sauce, bok choy and crispy shallots ($32) was definitely the right one to make. Perfectly portioned with a generous serving of fresh fish hit the spot and won a place on my top risottos of all time list. The fish and chips ($26) were a spectacular sight upon arrival; rested upon old newspaper they were a nod to the rich history of this historical tavern. I didn't hear much about the grilled beef skirt with creamy mash, buttered carrots, homemade pickled onion and gravy ($28) that my friend had. Probably because he was too busy eating, surely that must be a good sign.
All in all a wonderful way to spend the evening. The drive out there added to the adventure element of the experience. I highly recommend trying to nab a spot on the deck during summer as watching the sun reflect off the river makes the beers go down a treat for sure. The staff were friendly and always on hand when you needed them.