If you are looking for a laid back cafe to make the most of your weekend (or week day), then Dear Jervois should be at the top of your list.
It spreads out onto the sidewalk and is the perfect location for breakfast or lunch on a sunny day.. If however the weather is not holding up, like it can in Auckland, then head on inside as is just as inviting. There is a cute little back room that gives you an outdoor feel, whilst you’re snug and warm inside.
The food is unpretentious and wholesome and whether you are a fuss-free eater like me or a gluten-free/vegan/dairy-free fairy, there is something for everyone’s taste. They serve an all-day menu up to closing time at 4pm and prices are mid-range, mostly in the early $20’s.
I love feeling emerged in my suburb, watching as people doing their thing. It buzzes with families, singles and everyone in-between and is a true gem in the heart of Herne Bay!
Getting across to Waiheke is an absolute treat and there are loads of places and wineries to choose from to eat. I was recommended Casita Miro and it was hands down the best part of our day on the island! We were really lucky to manage to get a booking 2 days before but if you’re planning a trip to the island, I wouldn’t recommend leaving it that late.
You access the restaurant on a small section of dirt road and pass by the grapes you may well drink. The main restaurant boasts high ceilings and beautiful glass windows that look out over the vineyard. The first thing I noticed was the mosaics on all the walls. It’s colourful and vibrant and definitely adds a unique touch to the décor.
We kicked off the afternoon with a seated wine tasting. The waitress was friendly and knowledgeable and the wines were pretty good too. It’s a nice way to extend lunch and really make the most of what the place has to offer. I’d recommend trying a glass of their bubbles if you enjoy sparkling wine.
The menu isn’t huge but I prefer it that way as more effort can be put into each dish. The overarching idea is tapas although there are a few options for mains as well. So we opted to share a starter and a main as there were two dishes that really caught our attention. The Goats Cheese Croquetas to start (NZD15) were mouth-wateringly delicious and all over far too soon. Topped with lightly toasted almonds and drizzled with some honey – it’s a must taste dish for sure.
Before leaving South Africa I tried to find the perfect pork-belly with little luck. So on having the waitress reassure me that it would definitely be crispy crackling and tender meat, we dived right in (NZD32). The belly is served on a tomato and chickpea broth that is smoky in flavor as they incorporate some ham hock into the dish too. Hands down the best pork belly I have had in years! And to top it off… we also ordered some freshly baked bread, crusty and delicious to mop up the broth.
There is a buzzing atmosphere and if the weather is good then you can choose to move to one of their picnic spots on the lawns surrounding the restaurant, which we did as soon as lunch was over.
I usually do some research before heading out to eat but ran out of time before going on this trip. What I have since learnt is that it won its place in Top 50 Best Restaurants in Auckland, which it well deserves after trying it with no bias in mind at all.