The Matakana Village Pub
The Matakana Village Pub has plenty of rustic charm.
November 26, 2014
Matakana’s best known for its famous Saturday markets, which hustle everything from vintage 50s dresses to goat cheese-stuffed figs in a picture book setting – complete with a live string band – by the Matakana River. Equally worth a visit is the Matakana Village Pub (just across from the markets on Matakana Valley Rd), complete with all the fixtures of a good old-fashioned country pub and always filled with a rowdy mix of folks.
Housed in a beautiful split-level villa built circa 1903 from kauri timber, Matakana’s local has gone through several refurbishments, the most recent in 2012. It’s now got that renovated Grey Lynn villa vibe – plenty of rustic charm; but with fresh paint, insulation and a shiny new kitchen and bathroom.
The menu has a great selection of NZ craft beers (the Sawmill chocolate stout is not to be missed) and wine from nearby vineyards. The food is a little pricey for pub fare, but much more varied and of better quality – you’ve got your classics such as burgers, steak and fish & chips, as well as pasta, pizza and even tapas. The veges are all grown in the backyard and the meat and eggs are free range and locally sourced.
I ordered the Gourmet Sausie Rolls (Salumeria sausage meat and fennel) with pickle salad and Fat Chips, duck fat-smothered wedges so thick you’ve downed an entire potato after three. My friend got the handmade potato gnocchi, which was slightly gluggy but redeemed itself with a plate-lickingly good blue cheese sauce.
While the food’s not perfect and the portions could be upsized, it’s all good - the staff are super sweet and the cheery music and fireplace make you feel like you’re in a friend’s lounge. Like you could get a little too juiced or talk a little too loudly or mispronounce something on the menu and nobody would mind at all.
If it’s dinner and a drive you’re after, Matakana’s Sunday roast is amongst Auckland’s best. Also be sure to visit on Saturday night for live music and drink specials – just don’t get too buzzed as a taxi home will probably cost as much as your rent.