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 Fireworks displays in Auckland

Our guide to the best Fireworks displays in Auckla...

image
02 Auckland's Best Free Kids Activities

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

image
03 Auckland's Best Petting Zoos

We've picked out the best 5 petting farms and pett...

image
04 Auckland's Best Malls

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

image
05 Shane Carruth Interview

Shane Carruth, director of mind-bending Science-Fi...

Content updated: 28/06/2017 01:59

Add Review

Latest Pubs & Bars User Reviews

  • Mekong Baby
    Definitely the best on the strip for South East Asian food. Great...

    Apples on 26/06/2017 @ 4:20 p.m.
  • Paper Moon Cafe/Bar
    This is the best place for brunch! Everything on the menu sounds ...

    SarahK_LocalHero on 3/06/2017 @ 9:03 a.m.
  • Coco's Cantina
    Absolutely appalling... overpriced, mediocre , slow, unfriendly s...

    oldsocialist on 5/05/2017 @ 9:16 p.m.
  • Edinburgh Castle
    Went in for a beer while I waited for my pizza across the road, I...

    Ukbar2017 on 29/04/2017 @ 8:13 p.m.
  • Kura Japanese Sake Bar
    Auckland has its own hidden gems much like being in Japan, but be...

    Chiana_Local_Hero on 22/03/2017 @ 3:51 p.m.
Hitwise Award Winner