Devonport Wharf has been a sorry state of affairs for quite some time now - a beautiful seaside location, used purely as a exit and entry for the ferry. As a result, locals rejoiced when Devon on the Wharf started to take shape, promising a better hospitality experience in the form of casual Middle Eastern dining.
The restaurant boasts a gorgeous fit-out. Colourful booths emblazoned with lush green leaves, white walls, cane furnishings and gold painted ceiling fans make Devon on the Wharf a brilliant environment in which to dine, made even better by the views across the Auckland harbour from wherever you sit.
The staff don't seem quite as relaxed as the diners however, and it appears that there's some teething problems with the service. When I asked a nervous young waiter about the 24-hour-cooked beef cheek with butternut and confit shallots ($28.5) he said it was 50/50 - "some people like it, some people hate it". Intrigued, I ordered the meal and found the meat was perfectly cooked and flavoured and that I was in the 'like it' half of diners that the jittery young chap mentioned.
We also sampled the mezze platter which comes with a range of dips, labneh, grilled halloumi, bean salad, pickled vegetables and Turkish pide. The dips were reasonably flavourful and the bread was fresh - making for a decent array of snacks, ideal for grazing on while you sip something cold.
Next, I tried the dolma - a Nazar Group signature dish featuring stuffed capsicum served with chicken or lamb ($24.5). This was a delicious and unique affair featuring a beautifully stuffed whole pepper, succulent lamb and all doused in a delicious sauce.
After a few weeks of practice, the team at Devon on the Wharf will undoubtedly start to iron out the kinks and provide a flawless hospitality experience - particularly as they are now offering a rather delightful looking breakfast menu. When this happens the location will speak for itself and Devon on the Wharf will claim its rightful title as one of the best spots in Devo for a bite to eat and a drink.