606 Remuera Road,
(09) 523 3505
The ViewAuckland Review
4 out of 5
With its flash gift shops, cavalcades of European SUVs, and Thai restaurants that get away with charging a few extra bucks for pad Thai, I've never really viewed Remuera as a preferred destination.
So it's with reduced expectations that I make my way to The Villager on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
The Villager is a Monteith’s pub and, thankfully, the authentic Kiwi charm of the brand has been retained; there's minimal evidence that you're in the conservative, blue chip heart of Remmers.
There's a nicely egalitarian vibe with a few guys in cargo pants and T-shirts enduring another Black Caps loss on the big screen TV. A boisterous posse of young Mums and kids has taken over one of the long tables, and outside a few settled seniors are steadfastly downing pints of Monteith’s. v
With an age range from babes in arms to grizzled veterans, it's a pretty good cross-section of our country. Quirky memorabilia like duck decoys and faded Chinese Checkers boards dot the interior. It should feel contrived, but the retro Kiwi theme hangs together well.
On a hot and humid day, a pint of zingy Summer Ale stands out from the full range of Monteith’s beer available on tap. If you're there with a few mates, jugs are available for twenty dollars, and for an extra five bucks they'll throw in a bowl of wedges.
Sounds like a great deal for watching the Blues across upcoming months. With a full menu, the versatile Villager is as much a café, and like most Monteith’s pubs, it's a good place for just coffee and cake—or even a decadent dessert without the complication of a main course.
Scratch the surface a little though and a few subtle indicators of Remmers do surface.
A wide range of champagne is available including dinky 200ml splits of Veuve de Vernay for $10. At least 95 per cent of the 50-strong wine list is available by the glass, so despite The Villager's brew pub roots, non-beer drinkers won't go thirsty.
And for beer fans, there's always the diverting distraction of a Monteith’s tasting paddle with five different brews. If going Kiwi doesn't suit, there's Sol, Amstel and Budvar on offer.
I'll never be able to afford a European SUV, and $14 is always too much for pad Thai, but The Villager's unpretentious and welcoming vibe may see more visiting Remuera just a little more often.
Does this review have you salivating? You can now make a reservation here!
Villager has been reviewed by 2 users