One of the best things about living in Auckland is that you can jump on a ferry from the city centre wharf and in forty five minutes you are on a paradise island. This island is covered in perfect beaches and vineyards and one of the newest vineyards to open is Tantalus Estate.
Sitting on 5.3 hectares of vineyards, Tantalus consists of a winery, a craft beer brewery and a stunning restaurant.
If you are planning on going to Tantalus for lunch or dinner I would recommend making a reservation as they are extremely popular and always busy.
We booked ahead and had a perfectly positioned table on the outside terrace overlooking the vines.
Special mention must go to the exceptional staff who were attentive, knowledgable and efficient. The quality of the staff and the food was reminiscent of a fine dining restaurant.
We ordered a selection of items to share and they were all of exceptional quality.
A complementary amuse bouche was brought out which consisted of watermelon topped with crispy chicken skin and dried shrimp.
We followed this up with the Mountain River Venison which was served with Clevedon Buffalo Feta Parfait, Beets, Burnt Miso, Crushed Peas, Marigolds and Chicken Skin.
The Duck Liver Parfait came with Chocolate Jelly, Blueberry Jam, Earl Grey and Rye and was as smooth as silk.
The Ora King Salmon and Chatham Island Paua came with Instant Ceviche, Dashi Meringue, Activated Charcoal and Alibi Stout Crostini, Passionfruit and Celery Seedlings.
The Cheese Tile literally came served on a ceramic tile and you have the option of choosing from 3 or 5 cheeses. I went for the 3 cheese option and it came with Quince Paste, Smoked Truffle Matiatia Honeycomb, A Rosemary Walnut Baguette and Charcoal Fennel Seed Lavosh.
The Longline Market Fish was a beautiful fillet of Monkfish and came with Persian Jewelled Rice, Scorched Cauliflower Crème, Snow Peas, Pea Shoots, Buckwheat Pops and Preserved Lemon.
I cannot fault Tantalus Estate at all and it is the perfect location for a sunny, long lunch with friends.
Have you been to Waiheke Island before? What’s your favourite vineyard?