The Matakana Village Pub
11 Matakana Valley Road
It’s tragic, I know! We’ve lived in Auckland for eons and have never had the pleasure of visiting the quirky village of Matakana.
So, on the first night away from our nine month old twins, we ventured north for 28 hours of kid-less discovery. First stop … lunch with and a quiet, uninterrupted, tipple. What better place to soak up the local vibe, than this centrally located pub – The Matakana.
Built in 1903, the pub has recently been refurbished with eclectic decor, with a traditional twist. The outdoor area is fantastic, complete with couches, fireplace, and traditional seating options. I imagine it being a very busy place during Summer, brimming with thirsty beer drinkers.
The menu contains something for everyone. There is the usual pub fare of bangers and mash, fish and chips, or burgers. Or, for something a little more sophisticated, they also offer pasta, duck liver terrine, squid, mussels, lamb and a selection of prime steaks. To keep the influx of visiting Aucklanders happy, they even serve an Energy Salad.
The region has great local produce, and the pub is proud to promote this, offering free range pork sausages, line caught fish from Leigh, local buffalo cheese, etc.
From their Grazing Menu, I dined on the vegetarian pasta ($23). Pappardelle (kind of like a wide fettuccine pasta) tossed with truffle roasted mushrooms, goats cheese and a splattering of garlic chip shavings. The meal was beautifully presented and was delicious, with the exception of the clumps of woody rosemary, which I had to delicately remove from my mouth while no one was looking (classy move).
The husband celebrated his birthday lunch with a light dish of lamb fillet slices, served with buffalo cream cheese, crostini and baba ganoush ($17).
The fact that the beer has its own special menu, with the cover, “Bugger this, let’s get a beer”, provides an insight into the laid back atmosphere. Anyone with a sense of humour who visits must read the beer menu, (or ‘Beer Story’ as it is referred to). My favourite description was for the James Squire Amber Ale, which apparently has “more hop than a one legged man at an arse kicking competition”. How could I not order a pint of that?
Another funny offering is their husband creche. Apparently you can leave your man at the pub while you shop. We still had the whole township to discover, although, the hubby probably would rather have parked himself at a bar, all day, for his birthday. Maybe next time…
In a Nutshell: The perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.