A Day at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin
On Sunday my husband and I decided to spend a few hours at one of our favourite places – the Auckland’s Viaduct Basin.
Like many baby boomers, we are soon to be heading from the Big Smoke to a place less busy, where you can drive across town in minutes rather than hours, without a traffic light or mega roundabout in sight.
It’s not that we don’t love Auckland – we do, but home equity is such a waste sitting there doing nothing but keeping the roof above our heads. So with less than two weeks to go before we leave for newer pastures, the Viaduct seemed a good place to go on a beautiful early December day.
We got there just after ten and, as usual, the place was bustling with visitors out to enjoy the sparkling water, drool over the countless super yachts (well, I could have counted them if I’d really wanted), and head off on a Whale and Dolphin Safari or a cruise around the harbour, or like us to just wander and enjoy the surrounding buzz and, of course the food.
is the home of many world class cafes and restaurants – each time we visit, we choose a different one to sit back, enjoy the atmosphere, and munch our way through whatever delicacies are on offer.
On Sunday, we chose the Porto Vino Italian restaurant, which is positioned directly opposite a row of charter launches with the closest being a sleek black America’s Cup vessel –a stunning sight from our front-of-restaurant table.
To say the food was good would be an understatement. We started with a hot chilli flat bread then, In keeping with the fresh air and invigorating surrounds, I opted for a healthy-sounding shrimp and scallop salad. One word – Divine. My husband also chose salad – his with chicken. He is always less elaborate with his adjectives but “really good” in his language spells “fabulous” in mine.
Some might say salads are fairly safe, a dieter’s compromise, but truly these salads were well worth our choice of restaurant and proved to us that the Italians really know their food. I don’t know what the dressing on mine was comprised of, but it most definitely enhanced the flavour of the dish.
And it was all so deliciously fresh, fresh, fresh.
We washed it all down with a glass of Casa Rosso (house red), which was as good and better than a lot more expensive wines I’ve had when dining out and, at the end, Mike had his usual cappuccino and I took a scoop of vanilla gelato with an espresso on the side. A satisfying conclusion to a truly scrumptious lunch.
Did I mention the service? We were served throughout by a total of three different waitresses, which ensured we were never left for long periods wondering if we had been forgotten – something that seems to happen with regular monotony in many restaurants. In Porto Vino it seemed they were all responsible for each and every table so if we looked like we’d like something to happen, there was always a waitress on hand to see to our needs.
Top this off with the décor –very comfortable white leather seating and pristine surrounds – and the price – for such a high profile destination where, obviously, leases would be high and patrons many, the cost of our meal was surprisingly low. All in all, we were entirely delighted with our luncheon experience and, as we have since discovered, there are quite a few Porto Vino restaurants dotted around the country so we won’t necessarily need to make a trip to the Big Smoke to try more of their very appetising menu.
As with each Restaurants, cafe, Places if interest we visit, NO money or goods is exchanged for the comments and recommendations made in these articles. The recommendations are made in good faith and are true and correct at the time of publication 8th December 2014