Dida's Wine and Tapas Lounge

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4 reviews
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54 Jervois Road,
Herne Bay

(09) 376 2813

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Review byBrett Atkinson9/03/2009

4 out of 5 stars

What a difference a couple of generations makes. Dida means ‘grandfather’ in Croatian, and this corner location in Jervois Rd was originally a grocery store owned by the first immigrants of the Jakicevich family. Grandfather Joe Jakicevich then launched the Glengarry wine stores empire, and now his descendants are behind one of Auckland’s best and most authentic tapas bars. With a heritage including Glengarry’s, it’s little wonder that Dida’s Wine Lounge & Tapas also offers one of Auckland’s best winelists.

It’s a late Saturday afternoon when we approach Dida’s, and a group of Herne Bay locals – complete with matching dogs – has taken over the sunny outdoor tables. Heading inside we snaffle a seat on one of the leather sofas with low slung tables. A row of tall stools punctuates the long wooden bar that’s seemingly straight from a decades-old café in Spain or Portugal. Rich mahogany tones partner with old black and white family photos, and the building’s incarnation as a bustling grocery store is nowhere to be seen.

The wine list is actually called the wine journal, and it’s about the same size as the Dubrovnik phonebook. A great array of Kiwi wines is partnered by a good selection of Spanish and Italian wines. On the beer front there are microbrews from Moa and Dux de Lux.

With our tapas selections 100% seafood, we begin with a glass of Rimu Grove Chardonnay and Yealands’ excellent Riesling. Our seafood focus is bang on with crispy squid, prawns wrapped in cured ham, tuna skewers, and prawn and coriander fritters all hitting the spot .At around $8-11 each they’re actually pretty good value, but more rustic and less refined that the more expensive tapas offerings across town at Bellota. A good value $25 lunch deal – including three tapas of the chef’s choice and a glass of wine – apparently runs during the week at Dida’s. As if I needed a reason to return…

We’re still not finished today though and partner the churros – slim cigar-shaped cinnamon-flavoured doughnuts - with a decadent chocolate sauce, and an equally tasty bottle of the chocolately Souwester stout from the Dux de Lux microbrewery in Christchurch.

This is definitely the place to bring overseas visitors wondering what New Zealand’s food and wine reputation is all about. No wonder the visitors from Chicago bedside us are quietly raving.

Dida's Wine and Tapas Lounge has been reviewed by 4 users

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