Tapiano Bar & Bistro

Our rating 

User rating 

1 review
Venue Image
2 Matakana Valley Road,
Matakana Village,
Matakana
Auckland,


(09) 423 0383

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byBrett Atkinson15/09/2008

3 out of 5 stars

There are some songs that just shouldn’t be played by one guy on a piano. Obviously “The Piano Man” by Billy Joel is OK, but when the pianist at Matakana’s new Tapiano Bar & Bistro starts doing “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the Friday night ambience is not quite right. Mind you, it’s probably better than the piano accordion version of Dean Martin’s “Volare”, we got earlier in the night.

The awkwardly named Tapiano – it’s cobbled together from “Tapas” and “Piano” - is Matakana’s first attempt at flash big city-style dining. The rural village north of Auckland has been transformed in recent years with lots of local wineries and the wildly popular Saturday morning Farmers’ Market. Tapiano is an attempt to harness this growing foodie sophistication.

It’s housed in a downstairs space of the new Matakana cinemas complex, and a cosy open fire provides warmth to the stark but elegant interior. Six weeks after opening, word’s obviously getting around, and it’s nicely full with an older, conservative crowd. Come summer the restaurant will be expanding onto a riverside deck for brunch and lunch.

Tapiano’s menu is a smallish selection of Tapas, Entrées, Mains and Desserts. In a time when too many restaurants offer too many dishes, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it straightforward. The winelist is very impressive by the bottle – including a strong French accent – but unfortunately only offers a few local Matakana wines by the glass.

Armed with a flinty and floral Greystone Riesling from Canterbury’s Waipara Valley, I kick off with Bacon-Squid Bundles ($10) from the Tapas menu. It’s an interesting take on squid rings, with a mini-tower of the tender seafood concealing rashers of bacon. The bacon infuses a salty tang through the squid.

The service is casual but professional, and my request to turn an Entrée-sizes scallops and chorizo into a main is accepted without fuss. When the dish emerges it’s overwhelmed by a huge baton of char-grilled fennel, but the delicate scallops contrast well with the rustic chorizo. At $38, it’s definitely heading towards top end big city prices though. Carol’s Fillet of Beef ($32) is well-cooked and robust.

Our shared dessert of Date and Rosewater Brulee ($15) is the highlight of the night. Served with a tamarillo chutney and a clove and macadamia biscuit it’s delicate, but with a tangy give-me-more crunch on top.

Tapiano is probably not worth a special trip to Matakana, but it’s a worthwhile introduction to the region’s growing foodie reputation if you’re heading up to get an early start for the Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning. Brunch on the deck in a few weeks will be more affordable with mains around $15-20.

I’m still not sure about the live piano playing though.

Tapiano Bar & Bistro has been reviewed by 1 users
 

Most Read Today

image
01 Get Your Skates on this Winter!

Paradice presents Aotea Square Ice Rink with a NEW...

image
02 List With Us!

Get your venue or event listed with View New Zeala...

image
03 Auckland's Best Free Kids Activities

We check out the best five free kids activities in...

image
04 Auckland's Best Playgrounds

The kids have spoken and we are pleased to present...

image
05 Auckland's Best Malls

Check out our picks of the top five malls in Auckl...

Content updated: 31/07/2014 21:26
 

Auckland Venue Hire

Latest Pubs & Bars User Reviews

  • The Cav
    This isn't the old sports bar on College Hill that it used to be....

    Chiana_Local_Hero on 28/07/2014 @ 3:00 p.m.
  • Galbraiths Alehouse
    Our group of 6 meet for a beer and early sunday dinner. Most o...

    TableTop on 28/07/2014 @ 2:10 p.m.
  • Bolliwood
    We came here as we were passing by and saw the $10 lunch meal. It...

    candy on 28/07/2014 @ 10:44 a.m.
  • O'Connell Street Bistro
    It had been a while since I had managed to get out to one of Auck...

    KevinB_LocalHero on 14/07/2014 @ 2:46 p.m.
  • PokPok Thai Street Food & Bar
    I went to PokPok for the first time just last Saturday and I'll d...

    Olivia Duncan on 7/07/2014 @ 9:52 a.m.
Hitwise Award Winner