Last weekend, my friend and I took a few days off work and decided to go on a small road trip around North Island. Our first destination was Whangarei Central where we stopped by Tahuna Reef for a late lunch. This restaurant is located in the picturesque Town Basin Marina and offers a lovely view of the Whangarei Harbour. We arrived at around 2pm and by then, the restaurant was close to empty. It’s quite unusual considering it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, but we weren’t bothered and took a seat by the window. Neither of us were very hungry, so we opted to have a light lunch whilst enjoying the view over a glass of wine/coffee.
Our order of bruschetta with pesto, tomato and mozzarella was not bad. The bread was warm and toasted and the melted mozzrella was stringy and delicious. However, I would have appreciated more pesto as it was slightly dry and a better presentation. The grilled calamari served with a rocket salad was mediocre. The calamari was well cooked and the light dressing was flavoursome and not overpowering. But my friend and I did not like the wilted rocket salad.
Portion-wise, it was smaller than expected, considering the price. I was not impressed with the decor and it felt like a waste of such a prime location. There were random plants scattered throughout the restaurant and the dining room arrangement seemed slightly odd as the circular bar occupied a big portion of the dining area. The food was decent and the service was up to standards, but Tahuna Reef gave me the impression that it could do so much better, but it just chose not to. Such a shame.
Date: Saturday 21st April, 2012 | Location: Quayside, Whangarei Central | Food: NZ Cuisine