Pub Spy: Greenhithe hides oasis of calm far from crowds

The Malt House Village Pub
10 Greenhithe Rd, Greenhithe
www.malthousegreenhithe.co.nz

The Malt House. Photo / Michael Craig
The Malt House. Photo / Michael Craig

I'd never imagined there was anything at all of interest off the Upper Harbour Motorway, mostly because I rarely find myself taking that road.

However, I was tootling along on my way back from the western beaches and pulled off at Greenhithe out of nothing more than idle curiosity and my attention was captured by a small parade of shops and what looked very much like a pub.

Gripped by a spasm of work ethic, I decided to pull over and investigate. I have to say I wasn't expecting a great deal, especially as it was just gone noon on a Monday, which is never an ideal time to go to the pub, but what the hey.

It's a lovely spot to walk into. Cool and sheltered from the sun and the wind, the inviting outdoor area stretches down the side of the building and there are plenty of seats. What surprised me was the number of people who were there. It's clearly a popular spot, with people settling into lunch or just enjoying a morning coffee. Inside, it's clean and tidy and nicely demarcated. The front end would appear to be the dedicated dining area, with the bar area more mixed and then the pokies and pool tables towards the rear.

The first thing you notice, though, is the huge pizza oven right behind the bar. Not only does it give the place a little exotic ambience, but it sends a gorgeous woodsmoke smell throughout the entire bar.

Service was a little shaky to start with, as the bartender kept disappearing, but she was friendly and chatty when she finally resurfaced.

The drinks selection was a little disappointing to be honest. For a bar calling itself The Malt House to offer nothing but mainstream beers was a bit of a shame, but it does a nice pint of Guinness.

The wine list is limited, but I get the feeling that they stick to wines that are popular among their customers.

Not that it would hurt to broaden people's horizons a little, but better safe than sorry, I suppose.

The menu is good, offering a range of options as well as pizzas. It isn't cheap, but it's not ripping the guts out of it either.

Overall, it's a nice little pub, with plenty going for it and not much in the way of minus points. It's tucked away nicely, far from the traffic and I can imagine spending a few more afternoons there among the trees on the deck enjoying a few pleasant pints.


Scores

Service: 3.5
Food: 3.5
Drink: 3.5
Atmosphere: 4

Overall: 3.5

- Herald on Sunday

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